Buying Books

I think buying books and supporting physical book and comic stores is really important. Especially if they are locally owned and operated. But, I also understand that everyone doesn’t have easy access to physical stores or the funds to buy books at cover prices.

I, for one, live in a small Midwestern town in the US. The closest bookstore is over an hour away – and we only just got a comic book store in the last few months. And, let’s be honest. I like a good deal. So, I’ll admit that I do a lot of my book shopping online.

While I occasionally buy books from chain stores like Barnes & Noble and I try to support my local comic shop, they aren’t really my go-to places. So, today I wanted to talk about the sites/stores I find the best deals and do most of my book buying.

(This post is NOT sponsored and contains NO affiliate links. I just wanted to pass along some – hopefully – useful info.)

Amazon: I’ve been buying books on Amazon since I started college. I’ve always found great deals on books, and as a Prime member I get free 2-day shipping. I especially love the ability to buy used books through the Amazon marketplace. I generally stick to buying books that are in “Like New” or “Very Good” condition though, since there can be a huge discrepancy between what I consider to be good condition vs. what someone else considers to be good condition.

BookOutlet: I learned about BookOutlet when I first started watching BookTube. And, I was amazed at how cheap their prices are. I’ve ordered quite a few books from them over the past year or so – and saved a ton of money doing it. Since it’s all overstock you never know what you’re going to find on the site which can be great; you uncover gems you’ve never heard of before but, also frustrating as you often can’t find all the books in the series. Two side notes: most books contain overstock marks in case that’s something that bothers you, and the shipping time is not quick.

Book Depository: I am new to Book Depository, but I am now completely sold. I love that they offer free international shipping. And, it’s especially helpful if you are looking for a UK cover of a book, but you live in the US. (Hello, beautiful The Bear and the Nightingale cover!)  The only downside is that shipping isn’t exactly quick. But, every book I’ve ordered from Book Depository has been well worth the wait.

Instocktrades: I love this website. Their catalog is seeming endless, and you can’t beat their prices. Shipping is free for purchases over $50 (in the US), and its fast. I usually have my order within 3 or 4 days. If you are a comic reader – I highly recommend you check them out! (They also offer international shipping at actual cost.)

HalfPrice Books: This is the one physical bookstore on the list. Our closest HalfPrice Books bookstore is about 1.5 hours away so I don’t get there often. But, I always leave with a bag full of books for a great price. And, I really love how organized and clean their stores are. I know some people really enjoy the act of “digging up gems” in used bookstores. I’m not really one of those people. I like mine sorted and organized so that I can spend my time looking at books in genres I enjoy.

So what about you? Do you prefer to buy your books in stores or online? Do you have a great used/new bookstore near you? Have you found any of these sites useful or do you have recommendations of places you love to buy books?

47 thoughts on “Buying Books

  1. I’m a book hoarder pretty much, so I’m constantly buying new books. I usually buy from Books-a-Million and Barnes & Noble, while I do almost all of my online ordering from BookOutlet unless it’s a preorder. I can never spend less than $50 on that site lol!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing these. I agree, I am a big fan of going to book stores and of supporting local businesses, but sometimes you just can’t pass up a great deal when ya find one! πŸ˜‰
    Sadly a lot of the independent book shops I used to frequent aren’t around anymore, but I still love going to book stores when I can. I’m lucky because I’ve got a good comic shop like 10 or 15 minutes from where I live. There used to be two, but alas, the other one closed shop a long time ago. 😦
    I’ve used Amazon a few times to buy books, usually around the holidays, but I’ll definitely check out the other sites you posted. Thanks again!! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree! My heart says buy local all the time, but my wallet says *deals, deals, deals.* Haha.

      That’s awesome that you have a local comic book store! I’m really hoping the one here takes off and can expand its in store offerings.

      Thanks! I hope you find some great deals! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been fortunate enough to always live in cities that have the cool little locally owned bookstore and all that. I always prefer to go to bookstores and finds books I didn’t know I wanted. My go-to if I know exactly what I want and don’t have three hours to spare is to go on Amazon. =]

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  4. Oh wow the prices on bookoutlet are incredible 😲 I wish they shipped internationally!

    And I couldn’t agree more about supporting bookstores, I feel guilty that I do most of my book buying online but sometimes the difference in price is so high that it’s hard to justify paying so much more 😒

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  5. I fell in love with BookDepository the moment I found it! Being an international bookworm, BookOutlet and the sort are completely off limits (shipping is like three times the cost of the books) 😦

    I really love supporting local bookstores, but here there aren’t that many books in English, and if you buy a translation it costs about double so my parents won’t let me *sigh*

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  6. I only buy books via amazon because we dont really have bookstores that sell English books (I’m from Germany) and I only read in English! I’ve only recently signed up on BookDepositry and haven’t really looked around much yet, only placed my pre-order of A Court Of Wings And Ruin since they actually offered the copy i needed to have my books match.

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  7. Love this discussion. I have two small local bookshops I’ll check on occasion. But I use my library much more and if I really liked the book then I’ll buy it. Book Depository is great because paperbacks are standard for them and much cheaper. I don’t have a Half Price Books near me, but I go every chance I get πŸ™‚ do you prefer hardback or paperback?

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    1. Lucky you! I would love to have a local bookstore. Several years ago we had a used bookstore in town – and I absolutely loved it. I was there every couple weeks.

      Hmmmm….that’s kinda a toss up. I love the durability of hardcovers, because I hate broken spines. But, I will say that I’m a sucker for a big floppy paperback. Especially when its a big ole sci-fi or fantasy novel.

      What about you? Do you have a preference?


      1. For me, primarly paperbacks just because they don’t take up as much space and especially when they’re floppy. But I will make exceptions for hardcovers because the covers can change/extra material included/pre-ordered it πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I would prefer to buy all my books locally as well, but being in Australia, books are very expensive and often my bookstores just don’t have the books I’m looking for! I’ve used Book Depository for a long time and love them. Great discussion!

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  9. We used to have several local bookstores around here, but now we’re down to only one in a half-hour radius. It is a really nice one, though, and I try to buy a few things there.
    The vast majority of the books I read come from the library–I pretty much only buy something if I know I’ll read it more than once. If I’m buying online it’s nearly always Amazon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Its always sad to see bookstores go out of business. 😦

      I really need to get better about using my library. Its a great resource, and it would save me from spending money on books before I know I’ll like them. But, I get impatient for new releases or get memorized by beautiful covers I need on my shelves. Haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I recently ordered the Complete Sherlock Holmes from Book Depository for Β£5.59!!! No joke. I’ll definitely use it again, especially as it has free postage, and I found I didn’t have to wait long for it to be delivered. I’ve used Wordery before as well, but I think I’d go to Book Depository before Wordery. I like going into The Works as they are so cheap and you can find some great books in there for bargain prices!

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  11. I’m also from a tiny town, though on the East Coast. There’s only one bookstore in our entire county and it’s at least 30 minutes away, so I do most of my book buying online (usually Amazon since they spoil me with their speedy delivery). I’ll have to check out some of these sites too!

    I have also ordered from Fishpond.com to get a book that had only been released in Australia so far. They are a pretty good site. πŸ™‚ (The book was Fairytales for Wilde Girls, in case you are curious. πŸ˜‰ )

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I buy books online and in stores, but I refuse to go near a kindle .. it’s just not the same. Lately I’ve been finding books I can’t get anywhere on ebay. Most are used but the condition is still good. Shipping takes 2 weeks but for the price I don’t mind so much 😊

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  13. Love those stamp cards currently offered by Waterstones. Spend Β£100, get Β£10 back. Scary how many I’ve got through. I had some book tokens at Christmas, and sold some textbooks to create book funds, but still …

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  15. I will be checking out some of your suggestions. Sadly the bookshops I visited as achild are closing . I like a kindle read but there is nothing like the feel of a brand new paperback. I really hope physical books don’t become a thing of the past.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I live in New York about an hour and a half from Manhattan, I sometimes support my local stores in my area but most of the time its Amazon or I trek to Manhattan to the comic shops there. I am going to be testing some of this sites that you mentioned. Thanks for the links!

    Liked by 1 person

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