There is something to be said about physically walking into a bookstore, the aroma of paper and ink wafting from the shelves, feeling the hard copies in your hands.
Buuuut shopping online is a guilty pleasure, as well.
There is a tingling bliss every time I find a package on my steps.
The book fairy has come again!
What did I order this time?
We have created the ultimate online-book-buying guide!
Every one of the websites below has their perks, as well as their downfalls. Perhaps you are buying a new book, or a limited edition, or a signed edition, or one that has been out for a while- there is always an option to shop-smart!
♥ Inexpensive (& I quote, “read-iculously low prices)
♥ Free shipping on orders $35+
♥ Plentitude of children’s books
♥ Option to buy a “Scratch & Dent Copy” for an even lower price
♦ Limited options
♦ Potentially damaged
I have purchased numerous books from bookoutlet.com. While most have arrived in near perfect condition, others have been not so perfect (see example below). Regardless, you really cannot beat their prices.
♥ Plethora of books– you will most likely find what you’re looking for here
♥ Textbooks– ability to buy/sell used textbooks
♥ Membership options (for $25/yr. members will receive numerous coupons, free shipping, & easy check-out)
♥ NOOK (e-reader)
♦ Can be expensive
♦ Zero dunnage (books move freely within the cardboard box)
♦ Zero waterproofing (books are not plastic wrapped)
♦ Limited local/small-time authors
I don’t buy books from barnesandnoble.com often. Nonetheless, they send me ENDLESS coupons. Just recently, my temptation got the best of me and I purchased two books: Force of Nature by Jane Harper (a signed-copy) and The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine.
Needless to say, I was psyched for my signed copy to arrive. I mean LOOK at this beauty…
Since there is a serious lack of dunnage, I found that BOTH books were damaged upon delivery (see below). I mean COME ON! Barnes & Noble is a MAJOR book seller… they should have figured out protective packaging by now. *smh*
♥ Great way to find new & interesting books that you most likely wouldn’t have picked off the shelf
♥ Fun packaging! Everyone loves surprises, right?!
♥ To state the obvious- no more judging books based off of the cover
♥ Inexpensive (£7.99)
♦May have already read the book
♦ Shipping cost/time- (the company is based in England and shipping takes 7-12 days for US and 21 days for Canada)
♦ Only paperback options (preference)
So far, I have ordered three books from Blind Date with a Book (see below). I had not read or heard of any of them; even my predictions were wrong! I highly recommend this company & will definitely buy from them again!
BOOK OF THE MONTH
LIT JOY CRATE
THE BOOKWORM BOX
…to name a few
♥ Glut of book subscription companies to choose from (i.e. Book of the Month, Lit Joy Crate, Owl Crate, The Bookworm Box, The Bookish Box, etc.)
♥ Surprise element
♥ Some come with book accessories (bookmarks, canvas totes, etc.)
♥ Options to ‘skip’ a month
♦ Don’t always get to choose what you are getting
♦ Can get pricey
♦ May have already read the book
Book of the Month is my preferred book subscription box; I highly recommend it. On the first of every month, BOTM announces the five novels that you get to choose from. You also have the option to add a second (or third, or fourth – I have no self control) novel for $9.99.
I have to say, this company dominates the world of packaging techniques. Not only do the books arrive plastic-wrapped, there is a cardboard insert within the plastic to prevent dents when the books shifts during shipment.
♥ Picture this: it is basically a Target with less food and more books. Need I say more?
♥ Plethora of book accessories that you didn’t know you needed
♥ Plum Points reward system (a.k.a. free stuff)
♥ Aesthetically pleasing, easy to use website
♥ Decent prices
♦ If you live outside of Canada, shipping is painfully expensive
*I do not have any first-hand experience with this company, although I have heard endless great things about the company from my bookstagram/book blogging pals.*
♥ Anything & everything that you need
♥ Option to buy used books
♥ Option to buy paperback or hardcover
♥ Great prices
♥ Shipping options
♦ Potentially damaged during shipping
♦ Returns can be finicky (depending on the company that the book actually came from)
I love Amazon. It’s hard to beat the consistency of their shipping. With just one click, I can [usually] find and buy books that I cannot find elsewhere, and the prices are hard to beat!
Did you know that Amazon has started to open brick & mortar stores? Check out my experience HERE.