Education comes first
bernardbodo/istockphoto

The Best Places to Buy Books Online

View Slideshow
Education comes first
bernardbodo/istockphoto

Turn the Page

Sure, you can buy your books from Amazon. And a lot of people do; one-third of Amazon customers make books their most frequent purchase from the retailer, according to one survey. But if you’re seeking something beyond the latest bestseller or want to support community, independent, and alternative bookstores, there are a number of online booksellers that can help you find your next great read. From mass-market fiction and nonfiction to used, rare, and foreign-language books, here are some of the best places to buy books online that aren’t named Amazon.


Related: 27 Most Beautiful Bookstores Around the World


Alibris

Alibris

Shop Now


Alibris connects readers with independent bookstores and other sellers of used and rare books, music, and movies, including some Goodwill stores and Half Price Books outlets. Create an account to participate in chat rooms with other Alibris customers and to maintain wish lists of books for future purchases.

Bookshelves overflowing? Sign up for Audiobooks and get a 30-day free trial. [Sponsored]


Related: Clever and Creative Gifts for Book Lovers


Barnes & Noble
Sean Pavone/shutterstock

Barnes & Noble

Shop Now


Like Amazon, Barnes & Noble offers readers access to a huge selection of new books, music, and movies online. But B&N is best known for their 600-plus stores in all 50 states, which invite book lovers to browse and linger over a cup of coffee at the in-store Starbucks. Shoppers can buy online and pick up in store, and the retailer offers a rewards program that offers free shipping and discounts on purchases.


Related: Best Sites for College Textbooks


For more great shopping guides,please sign up for our free newsletters.

Better World Books
Better World Books

Better World Books

Shop Now


True to its name, Better World Books takes an altruistic approach to selling books online. This certified B Corporation donates one book for each book sold, gives grants to libraries and literacy organizations, and has committed to a zero-waste, zero-emissions operation. Oh, and they sell new and used books, textbooks, music, and movies, too.


Related: 20 Beautiful Libraries Around the World


Biblio.com
Biblio.com

Biblio.com

Shop Now


Biblio connects book buyers with independent sellers of new, used, rare, and collectible books and textbooks around the world, and devotes a portion of its profits to funding literacy efforts at home and abroad. Search for general-interest booksellers or use its website to find dealers who specialize in rare and first-edition texts, learn about how to begin collecting books yourself, or to estimate the value of your own collectible books.


Related: 25 Rare Collectibles Worth More Than Your House


Books-A-Million
Books-A-Million

Books-A-Million

Shop Now


Like Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million is a bricks-and-mortar bookseller with 260 stores in 32 states as well as an online presence. In addition to general-interests books, they also carry toys, games, and other gifts. For regular readers, there’s the Millionaire’s Club loyalty program, which gives members discounts on purchases and free shipping.


Related: Gifts for People Who Love Jigsaw Puzzles


Book Outlet
Book Outlet

Book Outlet

Shop Now


Book Outlet offers deep discounts on remaindered books — essentially, publisher overstock of bestselling and mass-market titles — as well as calendars, games, T-shirts, and similar gifts. Selection is more limited than what you’ll find at a general-interest online bookstore like Barnes & Noble, but with prices just a fraction of the list prices, it’s a browser’s delight. Readers who love hunting for cut-rate books will also want to check out the similar Daedalus Books.


Related: The Best Gifts for Writers


Bookshop.org
Bookshop.org
Half price books
Half Price Books

Half Price Books

Shop Now


Chances are, if you live in one of the 19 states where there’s an HPB, you’ve probably bought — or sold — books (and music, movies, and comics) at this Texas-based chain of 120 stores. They’re known for their cavernous inventory of used books, but they also sell new and remaindered titles.


Related: Gift Ideas for Music Lovers

ThriftBooks.com
ThriftBooks

ThriftBooks.com

Shop Now


If saving money by buying used books is your idea of a good time, then ThriftBooks is a good place to begin your online book-buying spree, whether you seek a bestselling potboiler or a signed first-edition collectible. Orders over $10 ship for free, and gamers take note: ThriftBooks also does a brisk business in used video games.


Related: 21 Common Household Items to Reuse and Upcycle

Strand Book Store
©TripAdvisor

Local Bookstores That Sell Online

Independent booksellers offer their readers a direct connection to the books and authors they love, from promoting local authors and artists to supporting marginalized communities and special-interest genres. Perhaps the largest is Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon, which offers readers both a huge inventory of books and other media but also operates two subscription services for book lovers. Another indie bookstore of note is New York City’s Strand Book Store, which has long touted its “12 miles of bookshelves” and large selection of rare and used books. Other local bookstores of note include The Last Bookshop in Los Angeles, which is almost as famous for its used records as it is for its texts; Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn; and Tattered Cover in Denver.


Related: More of the Coolest Bookstores in America

Amazon Package
Jorge Villalba/istockphoto

Online Bookstores Not Named Amazon (But Still Owned By Amazon)

If you’re determined to avoid shopping at Amazon when buying books online, be aware that the company also owns a handful of other online booksellers. AbeBooks, Book Depository, and Goodreads are all part of the Amazon ecosystem, though each has a slightly different approach to selling books that makes them worth browsing if your reading needs go beyond the bestseller lists. AbeBooks, which is based in Vancouver, Canada, specializes in rare and used books, plus manuscripts, collectibles, and art, though they also sell new titles and bestsellers. Goodreads places an emphasis on social networking, allowing customers to connect with one another, recommend books, and create virtual bookshelves. U.K.-based Book Depository specializes in new releases in English, Spanish, French, and other European languages, and touts free shipping worldwide.


Related: The Bestselling Book on Amazon Every Year Since 1995