5 alternatives to buying books on Amazon

So, let me start by stating that this post is in no way a criticism of anyone who uses Amazon. I use Amazon and for many people, including myself, it’s been a valuable resource during the Covid-19 pandemic. With bookstores having been closed for the majority of the year, I’ve spent the last few months buying my books through Amazon. I can buy a book with a simple click of a button and it usually arrives through my letterbox within a day or two. However, with the recent news that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezoz’s personal wealth has increased by an estimated $74 billion since January, I’ve started to question my reliance on Amazon. While the Covid-19 pandemic has forced small, independent businesses to close indefinitely, the world’s richest man is only getting richer. With shops starting to open up again, I think it’s important to remember that while Amazon is a convenient option when it comes to buying books, it’s by no means our only option.

Without further ado, here are five alternatives to buying books on Amazon.

  1. World of Books

World of Books is a website that was introduced to me by a friend. It’s a company that sells secondhand books because they “don’t believe that books should only be read once, or have a single owner”. Furthermore, they work to reduce carbon emissions by ensuring that books are kept in use for as long as possible and when this is no longer possible, they ensure that those books are properly recycled. As well as selling a wide range of cheap paperbacks, they also sell rarer books, books that you might not necessarily find elsewhere. Oh, and not only is postage within the UK free, they also post their books out in recyclable packaging.

2. Charity shops

When charity shops open up again, please, please go and check out the selection of books in your local store. Not only will you be supporting a good cause, but, as with World of Books, you will be keeping books in use for longer, ensuring that they don’t end up in a landfill site. Charities such as Oxfam actually have entire stores dedicated to books and there are real gems to be found on their shelves.

3. eBay

A majority of the clothes that I’ve bought this year have been secondhand from eBay. It’s not just a great site for fashionistas, (which I, sitting here in my panda pajama bottoms, faded t-shirt and knitted cardi, am most definitely not), it’s also a great place to buy books. Again, by buying a secondhand book, you’re helping to ensure that it doesn’t end up in a landfill site, plus you’re also helping out the seller.

4. Independent bookstores

Living in Glasgow, I have access to a lot of different bookstores, some of which are independent and run by local people. Most towns and cities have at least one independent bookstore. Some sell new books, some sell secondhand books. Whatever books they sell, though, you’re guaranteed to leave that shop with at least one new read. The Covid-19 pandemic has hit a lot of smaller businesses hard, so when it’s safe to do so again, please help them out.

5. Book swaps

Book swaps are great. Not only do you get to clear some of shelf space, you also get new books in return… Wait, no, you’re not really clearing any shelf space. You’re simply swapping one book for another… But still. Books! I’m a member of some bookish Facebook groups and I often see people doing book swaps. Book swapping is a practice that’s cheap and fun and you can do it with friends and family as well.

So, there we have it, guys. My five alternatives to buying books on Amazon. Do you have any alternatives that you’d like to suggest? Drop them in the comments below.

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6 thoughts on “5 alternatives to buying books on Amazon

  1. I love that you wrote this post. It’s maybe something we don’t always think about. But book stores are amazing and we should definitely support them more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reading my post, I’m glad you liked it! Exactly, it’s something a lot of us don’t think about it. It’s all too easy to automatically go to Amazon sometimes.


  2. Charity shops have always been a huge favourite of mine. As has ebay (especially when looking for specific cover varieties).
    Never heard of World of Books, but I’m going to be checking that one out ASAP. Especially seeing as how postage is free.
    Awesome post, Jazz!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I was living in Lincoln, there was a nearby charity shop and the entire top floor was books. It was actually heaven 😍 I really can’t recommend World of Books enough! I was chatting to a friend last night and she mentioned a website called Hive, which sells books from independent bookshops 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That charity shop DOES sound like heaven. I want to go to Lincoln just to try and find it!

        I’ve popped World of Books and Hive on a little list for when I next need books 🙂


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