Where do you buy books?


So, I need some advice, guys.

I’m in the midst of a budget freeze. No purchases but gas and groceries until the middle of October. (Really, I should push it until the middle of November, but I haven’t bought anything outside of necessities for two whole months already and I’m kind of dying inside a little bit.) Because I’m going a little bit crazy with this, and because so many things are coming out in October, I’m already compiling a list of books to buy. (Which of course defies the point of my austerity budget…because I will spend too much money and then be stuck in the cycle all over again. C’est la vie.)

The main problem being: where the heck do I buy them?

I live in a one-bookstore town. Usually this is not a problem because I work in the damn library, but still. It’s a big-box store that sells more toys than books, and never, ever has the titles I’m actually looking for. Now I can go in there and come out with a full bag and a broken credit card, but they never end up being the purchases I planned on. (It’s not like I’m looking for a bunch of indie titles. They don’t even carry The Fifth Season. Their SFF section is one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen.)

And I’m increasingly anti-Amazon. I have used it in the past, and I probably will have to do so in the future for products you can’t find elsewhere, but it always makes me feel icky. There’s no specific reason, really. I’m just not a big fan of huge, world-dominating corporations. I don’t believe in Amazon, I don’t believe in Google, I don’t believe in Apple. I understand the necessity of using those things to get around in the world, but I don’t have to like it.

But when it comes to other avenues for online book shopping, I’m at a loss. I’ve used Barnes & Noble’s online shopping, and wasn’t really happy with it. I’ve heard a lot about The Book Depository, but I’m a bit confused by them, honestly. I’ve also heard about Powell’s. I’ve considered doing online ordering from the closest indie to me–Quail Ridge Books & Music–but it seems fairly expensive and, again, that they don’t always have the inventory that I want. Since I’ve never used these places and I only know of them through hearsay, I’m a bit iffy about all of them.

So I turn to you, denizens of the bookternet. Where is your favorite non-Amazon place to buy books online? Who has reasonable prices and reasonable ship times? I’m guessing that there are plenty out there that I haven’t even heard of. Help me out!



Filed under Book Talk

4 responses to “Where do you buy books?

  1. Amanda

    The Book Depository is owned by Amazon

    • hlmorris85

      Right. That’s part of what confused me. It’s owned by Amazon but also British? But also ships to America? I think???

      Everything in the dang world is owned by Amazon. Grr.

  2. If Book Outlet ships to you, and you aren’t in a rush for “new” titles (their catalog front list is usually 1-2 seasons behind with limited quantities to begin with), then I’ve found that their sales are pretty sweet. Yeah you pay for shipping but it’s worth the value you save from paying the full cover price.

    I’ve also heard okay things from Abebooks.com but haven’t used it myself.

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