The Best Place to Buy Used Books
By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin
Physical bookstores are temporarily closed. The local libraries are closed at the moment. Where do you order your books during this season when we are sheltering inside our homes?
My local newspaper, The Denver Post, had an article about how to buy used books. While the article made a number of suggestions to readers, it did not use the resource I'm going to give you here. Some people buy all of their books (and other things) on Amazon. One of my long-term friends in publishing told me he buys all his books on Amazon. Don't get me wrong. I use Amazon but I don't buy all of my books on this site.
Last night I watched an author interview on YouTube. It was a podcast and I was fascinated with the author and learned about her new book. As I watched, I wrote down the author and the name of her book. I looked at the book on Amazon, read a few pages inside the book, noticed when the book published, the publisher and the length of the book (number of pages). While I found the information on Amazon, it was not where I purchased the book.
Instead I returned to my favorite book purchase place: BookFinder4U.com In seconds, this book searches 130 online bookstores, then ranks the book with the lowest price (including the shipping) at the top of the page. I don't always buy the lowest—but often I do. Many of these low price books are used. I tend to buy a number of used books.
For my search today, the lowest price location was a site I've frequently used: Abe Books. Amazon owns Abe Books but from my experience, the books come quickly and are often in excellent shape. Occasionally a hardcover book is missing the jacket or that jacket is torn. For other books, it looks like it has not been read and is in brand new shape. Yes it is a bit of a gamble but I've had good experiences using this online store. Because I've used Abe Books before, my information is already in the site when I log on the site. With only a few clicks, I purchase my book and it is on the way.
BookFinder4U.com is my best place to buy used books. It is not perfect. Sometimes I search for the book and don't find it. Other times I look for a brand new book and it is too expensive (to me). As consumers, we have many choices where we buy books.
Maybe you have another favorite place to purchase books. Let me know in the comments below.