There's nothing like the feeling of walking into a bookstore. The smell, the look, the anticipation... it's wonderful. So it's pretty sad that so many are closing down and people are talking about their impending doom. I feel a bit guilty because I'm one of those awful people who just adores bookstores, but mostly browses in them and does the actual shopping online or at department stores. The thing is, they're just SO expensive and it's so hard to justify the prices (to my wallet) when there are amazing bargains to be found online. While I REALLY hope bookstores don't completely disappear, there are heaps of websites that are fabulous for buying books. These are the ones I've been using the most recently:
1. Booko. I only just discovered this and it's my new favourite site. It doesn't actually sell books, but it's an AWESOME tool for buying them. If you know what you want, that is. You just type in the book you're after, and Booko does all the hard work tracking it down for you. Within seconds there's a list of all the places available to buy the book online, complete with prices and shipping to compare, so you know you're getting the best deal. It's amazeballs.
2. Book Depository UK and US. These days, I buy most of my books from one of the Book Depositories. I've listed them together, but they're both worth checking out, coz they do vary in stock and prices a bit (but not too much). Collectively they generally have the greatest prices, plus a fantastic range and FREE SHIPPING worldwide. Love, love, love.
3. Better World Books. I love this site coz it makes you feel good about buying books (on top of your own happiness, of course). It features both new and used books, and proceeds from their sale go towards funding literacy programs around the world. They have decent prices and free shipping worldwide. You can also donate old books, and Better World Books covers all shipping costs AND carbon offsets. Sweet!
4. AbeBooks. This is an online marketplace that brings together the wares of booksellers all over the globe, but you can focus your search/browsing on local stores if you wish. Because of the different sellers, it can be hit and miss regarding prices and shipping rates, but I've mostly had good experiences. It's especially awesome for getting harder-to-find books like
5. Doubleday Australia. The prices on this site are mostly pretty standard, but every now and then they have outstanding deals (for instance, I found Jamie Oliver's 30 Minute Meals for literally half the price it was everywhere else). Buying books here means that you sign up to be part of their "book club", where they send you their catalog and you can buy from that each month. This might bug some people, but it excited the book nerd in me - mainly because it reminded me of the book club catalogs we used to get every month at school. Nostalgia always equals bonus points.