Investigated – Do you buy books online?

Posted April 27, 2015 by Emily in Investigated / 6 Comments


For the longest time, I only ever brought books in person. Why? Well, because I’m the type of person who takes like 10 minutes figuring out which copy of the book to buy. Hmm, this one has a scratch on the cover. This one has a damaged corner. This one… you get the idea. I cannot buy a book that is in a condition anything less than perfect. My obsession with only buying books in perfect condition (this only applies if I’m buying them new, if they are used, it’s more like I want this and this and this) is the reason why I stayed away from buying books online.

That and the fact that for the longest time Amazon was like the only place I knew that sold books online. And I refused to buy from them with all their publisher controversies and the fact that my sixth grader self believed that by boycotting Amazon, my beloved Barnes & Noble would stay alive, unlike my old love, Borders. But then fast forward a few years, and I’ve found so many other places to buy books online. And that buying online is usually cheaper than buying in store. My favorite places to buy books online are…

Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble is probably my favorite place to buy books online. Only because I know if a book comes in damaged, I can just take it to my local B&N and exchange it for a new copy that is in perfect condition. But I only ever had that once, usually the books come shipping in perfect (or somewhat perfect) condition. Plus, B& is usually cheaper than B&N in store. Their prices can rival Amazon’s. In fact, some books are cheaper on B& than Amazon. Ha! Also, because you get free shipping if you buy more than $25, it’s easy to get my mom to let my buy an extra book since to her, paying the $5 shipping fee is not worth it. Whatever, a happy mom plus an extra book equals a very happy Emily.

Book Outlet

BOOK OUTLET! Oh, how I love you. It’s so cheap in comparison to every where else. Ridiculously cheap! There are two main reasons why Book Outlet is not my favorite place to shop online. One, they only have certain books available. They only have a limited selection and most of the time, not the books I really want. And the second reason is because I find it hard to justify why I shouldn’t buy a book from Book Outlet. Usually, I’m just like “Here’s my money, take it, gimme the books!” That’s what happens when most books are all under $5. At least on B&, I could go uh, $12 is kind of out of my price range (or nah, it’s way cheaper on Book Outlet).

Oh, and I’m not nearly quite as satisfied with the condition of the books I get from Book Outlet. Maybe it’s my mail man, but let’s just say, sometimes the books don’t meet my (very high) standards. -__- But they were super cheap, so whatevs.

Do you buy books online?
Why or why not?
If you do, where do you shop?



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6 responses to “Investigated – Do you buy books online?

  1. Interesting post. I was devastated when Borders went out of business too. But I have a hard time justifying buying a book new for 13 dollars at B&N or other bookstores, when I can get it used on Amazon for 2 or 3 dollars.

    I agree that Amazon is controversial, but I admit that’s where I buy most of my books.

    Interesting post. Thanks for sharing.

  2. We don’t have any local bookstores (other than Walmart and Target), so I tend to buy my books online, almost always from Barnes and Noble, especially if I pre-order when it’s an author/series I love. I totally agree with you re: their prices… that’s another reason I am not too sad about having to purchase from them online. (Plus, with B&N, I get free shipping! :D) Bookoutlet rocks, though. Usually, purchases from there are spur-of-the-moment ones… unless I happen to see one I’ve been a) waiting on or b) a cover different from what’s in my library that I want to add to my collection 🙂 I also love ordering from BO for #rockthedrop or other giveaways, because I’m not out as much, then. 🙂

  3. I do buy books online. I wish I could buy in store more, but I only have two book stores near me, Waterstones, which is delicious but is pretty much always full price, and The Works, which is a discount store, but sometimes you find amazing things. I got the Shiver trilogy for £5 and Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares for £1. We have a store called Easons that sells books and stationary, but they’re usually full price too, and then our supermarkets here sell books (Tesco and Sainsbury’s). They’re usually 2 for £7 but they’re new releases, so when I fancy an impulse purchase that’s where I go, but I feel bad because I’d rather fund a bookstore instead of a grocery shop. When shopping online I mostly use The Book People, I’ll sometimes use Amazon or The Book Depository, and The Works have an online store too. I am so jealous of The Book Outlet, their shipping to the UK is insane though!

    Here’s a post I did on online shopping and the money I spent in 2014 –

  4. I prefer to buy books in person, but I usually use Amazon for practicality purposes (I work full time, so it’s hard to get into town sometimes!). Also Amazon has a much bigger selection of YA books – most book shops in the UK have quite a small YA selection.
    Beth x

  5. I usually buy from Amazon though I have ordered with click and collect from Waterstones if I just can not wait to get the physical copy in my hands. I have noticed that since I got my Kindle for Christmas (I know, late on the bandwagon or what) I have gotten more impatient… haha.
    I totally hear you with pristine copies though. With second hand I don’t mind so much but with new books… They just need to look pretty and perfect 🙂