Amazon Alternatives | Where Else To Buy Books

Looking for alternatives to Amazon and not sure where to start? Check out these great spots to buy books that won’t feel cumbersome and won’t blow your budget.

This post is part of a growing series on Amazon Alternatives: How and Why to Break Up With Amazon.

Did you know that having books in a home can be a significant indicator of success for children? We don’t buy a lot of books, but our boys have a decent collection of books in our little home library. We have a stash of books from our local library that I’m constantly refreshing (for free!). I also buy books as gifts for almost all the friend birthday parties our boys attend. 

There are many places from which to buy books, but I suspect most of us (including me) default to Amazon to buy books because it’s easy. As I discussed, however, in the introduction to my Amazon Alternatives series, it might be time to diversify our shopping habits.

As I set out in 2019 to buy nothing from Amazon, I chose to start with the low-hanging fruit: books. 

Amazon Alternatives | Where Else To Buy Books

Better World Books

I’ve been shopping from Better World Books for our boys for a little over a year. They have a great selection of used books and also offer new books. I typically choose used options because it reduces waste and saves money, though I’ve purchased new books through Better World Books when the book I wanted was not available used. 

You can read all about Better World Books in this post I wrote some time ago. In short, they accept used book donations and use profits to support literacy programs around the world, a boon for our environment and communities in need around the globe.

Better Works Books doesn’t have 2-day shipping like Amazon. Fast shipping is convenient, but it’s not the most energy efficient method for transporting our online orders. I don’t generally need books quickly but for the occasional birthday party gift when I forget to order a gift ahead of time. 

Because I always buy books for our boys’ friends’ birthdays, I ordered about a dozen books at the beginning of the year from Better World Books and now I don’t have to worry about last minute gift shopping.

Related Post: Great Picture Books Gift For Kids


IndieBound is the easiest way to support your local bookstore without leaving your couch. IndieBound connects thousands of local bookstores so you can search for a book through a single site and then purchase that book online from a local bookstore in your area. 

IndieBound also compiles lists of recommendations from local bookstores so you can see the same books that show up on the popular shelves of the local shops around the the country. I love that this is nearly as easy to use as Amazon but directly supports my local community. 

There are several other online book outlets as well as any brick-and-mortar shop in your area, the big box bookstores that remain, and many more options. However, Better World Books and IndieBound are my two favorite options that don’t feel more expensive and materially less convenient than Amazon.

Connecting Through Books

Books help us connect to our neighbors and communities in so many ways. They share perspectives of others and engage our creative minds to think about our world in new ways. We connect through book clubs and discussing favorite shared reads. By using companies like IndieBound and Better World Books, we can also connect with and support other in our community and around the world in ways Amazon doesn’t foster. In fact, that sense of community is one of the main reasons independent bookstores continue to thrive despite Amazon’s growth

Where do you buy your books? Do you have a favorite local bookstore in your community? If so, be sure to share what you love about it in the comments!

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  1. I’d also recommend paperbackswap.com if you’re just looking for something to read. It’s as the URL suggests a place to mail off your used books and get someone else’s.

  2. Thanks for the suggestions! I also like thriftbooks.com (and they usually have free shipping if you spend at least $10), and even eBay.

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