Where do you buy your books from?

It’s interesting, because people always talk about the “death” of the book. That books are being replaced by eReaders and other electronic formats and soon no one will buy physical copies. But spending time with other readers and actively participating in the book blogging community makes me think this is all crap. From what I can see, the book is just as popular as ever. When you scroll through the booklr tag on Tumblr, no one is taking photos of their eReaders, it’s all photos of gorgeous book hauls. People are passionate about books and reading and that’s never going to change.

Which got me thinking… I live in a small town that has a couple of book stores that I never use. So while book buying is still alive and well, I think book stores will disappear before the book ever does.

Why? Because even though I have book stores in my town, I don’t buy my books there. A book from an Australian bookseller can cost anywhere between $15 to $25. As such, I buy all my books online, where they are cheaper. Or from my local Big W where books are around $10 to $14.

Where do you buy your books from? Online or from a local store? Are book stores dying out?

About Jodie @ Words Read & Written

Book blogger & aspiring author.
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25 Responses to Where do you buy your books from?

  1. Julie says:

    I get a lot of books from http://www.paperbackswap.com these days. It’s fairly inexpensive – you list books you are willing to make available to other members and you ship them as people request them. You earn credits based on books you send to others. Then you can use credits to get almost free books in return! They just started a membership program, so there is a small charge, but still less expensive than purchasing through a book store.

    Although, I still go to the book store pretty regularly, just so I can walk through it all…I love the atmosphere, the smells, the sights of all those interesting looking books…


  2. I live not to far from a city with a few nice bookstore, though there is only one where I go to from time to time, especially for artbooks, cook books and such. I may go there like a few times a year, because it’s not so close either. I buy 90% of my books online but I read a lot in English and English bookstores are mostly in Paris, where I don’t live anymore. I don’t mind reading books in French, but for example, all my research books are in English and finding them in bookstores in France is basically impossible. Without online shopping I wouldn’t be able to work on my academic projects. I think that some large bookstores may still remain, and I love perusing their shelves, but it also depends on what kind of books you want to read. Another example is how Science Fiction aisles aren’t always so large in France and I read a lot of them. Even when I lived in the Paris area, I sometimes pulled hair out when a teenager to find what I wanted to get.


  3. Hollie says:

    I buy mine at Amazon for my kindle, or check them out with my kindle through the library. Otherwise, I’ll get actual books from the library. I love the feel of a real book, but often I find that I can get it much cheaper online. I would go ahead and buy the real book at a higher cost but for me, once I decide I want something I want it RIGHT NOW so ordering online lets me read the book immediately. I’d kill for a used book store here, but I live out in the boonies of Kansas so the options are limited. There is not a book store at all, much less a cool vintage one. When I win the lottery I’m opening a bookstore/bar, though!


  4. I love reading from an actual book too. But the only book store in my area is about 45 minutes away. Unless I have a coupon or gift card, I’ll make the drive. Otherwise, I’ll just have it shipped to me from Barnes and Noble or Amazon.


  5. J guenther says:

    Bookstores are an endangered species. At Christmas, I bought books at a local store. People give me books, always welcome. And I hang out at the library a lot, reading. Haven’t been to Amazon for books in a while. I wish there were good ways to buy direct from authors, but there’s so much junk out there, it’s hard to find quality.


  6. Paul J Gies says:

    I use Amazon… And the second hand store. And the local Farmington ME bookstore. And Buns & Noodle. Books A Million was okay till I learned that the owners support conservative causes in the U.S. and feature conservative “social commentary.”


  7. shari says:

    I actually get my books from book sales, used book stores and thrift stores with occasional trips to Barnes and noble and yes, sometimes Amazon.


    • Kindle. Smashwords. Indie authors selling at writers clubs. Comic book and scifi cons. Indie bookstores. And at a nice used bookstore (Bookbuyers in Mountain View, CA). I do not make it into the bigger chain stores, but I like indie. I like supporting the little guy.


  8. Cody Brown says:

    I am a big proponent of libraries, personally. The majority of my reading material lately comes from one of the two libraries within driving distance. But when I do feel like owning a book, I typically go to a bookstore. I live in an area where “nearby” is anywhere within thirty minutes of driving, so it is a bit of a trek to get to the nearest bookstore, but I love going there. The only time I ever buy books online is when I am looking for something specific and I’ve already searched for it everywhere else.
    Oh, antique stores are good for finding rare or unusual books, too. And as an added bonus, they also have a bunch of other fascinating things to distract me with.


  9. Melissa says:

    I usually get my books from the library, amazon and my local bookstore. There are a couple of bookstores on the same street with my local library, so it’s not to hard to find something to read. Although you can get more updated books, like A Tale for a Time Being online as opposed to in the library or the bookstore. What I find here in the Caribbean is that the stores don’t always buy the best books, and that they are usually 6 months to a year behind when they do buy so by the time they have what I want, I’m no longer interested in reading it, because I’ve either got it already through Amazon or found something else…how’s it on your end? Do they stock up better? Or are the reading options catered more to children, or academics or ???


  10. Jon C says:

    I feel lucky because I live in a big city (San Francisco) which has some great bookstores–Green Apple Books is down the street from me and has an incredible selection of both new and used titles, so that’s been my usual place to go. My wife and I are both book nerds (she’s former B&N clerk) so we’ll pretty much go out of our way to find good bookstores wherever we go.
    Years ago however, when I lived in midwestern MA, I’d take day drives to some of my favorite stores and spend the entire day browsing. That was always fun to do, even when I had to drive 40-50 miles to get there. 😉
    I will occasionally order online, but that’s usually for used items I can’t find elsewhere, or are only available as an import.


  11. Toni says:

    To be honest, I’ve purchased books everywhere, even where I don’t expect to: garage sales, Amazon, book stores, used bookstores, conventions, Goodwill, even the dollar store where everything is a dollar.


  12. athling2001 says:

    It depends. Paperbackswap or Amazon mostly.


  13. I get books from all sorts of places. I tend to read books first from the library or on Kindle, because that’s cheaper (and in the case of the library, free), but if I really like the book, I usually buy it and add it to my collection. I usually get the book from the cheapest source available (like Amazon) but if I really love the book, sometimes I’ll wait and watch for a really pretty copy. I also love to buy books when I travel. I recently got a copy of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice in Italian while in an amazing bookstore in Venice. I also love to visit this cozy bookstore a few towns over that has books of all kinds and two cats who roam the store. However, I do think that with the rise of online booksellers, many ho-hum bookstores with no charm (like B&N and now-out-of-business Borders) will die out. Books won’t, though, and hopefully my local favorite bookstores that really add something to my book-buying experience won’t either.


  14. debb lavoie says:

    I buy them from Amazon, B&N, Abebooks and Ebay. Standing still and looking for books it painful for me but I still love a hardcover book.


  15. Ashutosh says:

    Couple of years ago, I started reading ebooks and around two years ago, I shifted completely to the e format. Key reason was the sheer convenience afforded by this format (portability, I can buy whenever I want, dont have to worry about storing physical books etc.).

    I do miss the touch and feel of physical books at time, but the feeling is not strong enough to revert back to them.

    BTW, I enjoy your blog a lot.



  16. Liza Barrett says:

    I love GOING to bookstores. It’s relaxing. So while I do often prefer to buy online because of cost, sometimes I just go to the local B&N and buy a book or two as a comfort purchase.


  17. Tricia says:

    I like both ebooks and physical copies of books. I have somewhere around 150 actual physical books, which I have acquired from numerous places, I try and spread a little money everywhere. I have two local used book stores that I get stuff from occasionally, but I mainly use websites like thriftbooks.com and bookoutlet.com to get a majority of my physical copy purchases. It’s hard to beat $3-$5 books shipped right to your house. But I use my ereader a ton too. I have over 1,000 books on there, which is also really nice because I carry my kindle everywhere with me so I always have a book on hand. Also I couldn’t imagine where I would actually store that many books if I had them all in physical form lol. #bookwormproblems.


  18. Crystal says:

    I will always be a fan of an actual (paperback or hardcopy) book because I just love being able to take it anywhere without worrying about it getting lost or damaged. Also, its easier on my eyes. In the past year or two most of my books have been purchased online, but I do prefer going to a bookstore when I can (when I’m not lazy). I hope bookstores stay around–the one in my area is pretty popular 🙂


  19. Kathryn says:

    I love books! There is nothing like holding a book as you read through the pages. I like to spread my book purchases around. When possible I get new releases at my local book stores. I don’t like waiting for online orders when I know I can get it on the day it comes out.
    But if I’m after older books, or a full series I shop online. Its so awesome having books just arrive in the mail. Its something I look forward to! I’ve always wanted to own my own book store but as you say people aren’t shopping there as much as they use to, Maybe if I mix it with a cafe or something it would work 🙂

    Great post!


  20. Kassie says:

    It is so funny how everyone thought books would die out, but now it’s almost fashionable to have them. Which is ironic because my local library got rid of 80% of their books and went digital. It broke my heart because it was a magical place when I was growing up, and now it’s empty and barren with computers. That trend was definitely misjudged.


  21. Sam says:

    It makes me sad to say I agree with you. I buy a lot of my books from second-hand stores or library book sales. A book doesn’t deteriorate with age so I don’t mind buying them used. For more recent releases, I’ll go to the library, but I’m usually content waiting.


  22. Kathleen says:

    I do buy some books from bookstores, but I also buy them online. If I happen to see some at a thrift store, then I will buy them there. I love the real book, I don’t prefer online books. I value the paper and words on it. I like tangible things….this includes the real book.


  23. jay says:

    I work in Myanmar and they have a vibrant publishing industry, but sad to say that most of the books are in local language. Along Pansodan street, booksellers ply their trade – second-hand books and re-copies. Most of the books with Myanmar subject I bought here. When I am able to travel, I make sure to visit a “decent” bookstore and replenish my inventory of books.
    I prefer hard copies from e-books, so i think there will always be a market for people like me or us.


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