Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Shared Summer #3

When I think shopping, I think books. The price of books, both hardcovers and softcovers, can get quite expensive. So, let's share some sources we've found for getting those books, and perhaps getting those books cheaper than suggested retail price. Please leave your suggestions--both for online and for "real"--in the comments section.

Let me start off with a suggestion to look at alibris.com I've been using this site for many years and have yet to have a problem with any merchandise ordered. The site is easy to navigate and it sometimes offers some really incredible bargains. Use it once and the site will also send you notices good for further discounts/reduced-free shipping etc..

So readers, your suggestions?


efrex said...

My father, the alleged internet luddite, has bought and sold more books from half.com in six months than I have in six years. Great source for popular material.

The physical store overwhelms me too much for browsing, but the Strand's website (strandbooks.com) has been useful for finding new British releases that haven't yet been published in the States.

tesyaa said...

My daughters have used a book exchange site in which you only pay shipping (and media mail is quite cheap, especially for paperbacks). I can't remember which site they used, but several come up when you google "book swap". When you arrange a swap, the condition is noted, and there is a feedback feature, so you can swap with confidence. They were satisfied with their swaps.

sporadicintelligence said...

If you're not looking for a particular book, and just want differant reading material check out your local library. Most libraries in brooklyn have a box of worn books that they give away for free. In New Jersey they sell older material (books, cassettes, dvds) for 50 cents to a dollar.

Anonymous said...

I've started using my local library in a way that I have not before.

Another GREAT online resource is bigwords.com. It's a compilation site, gathering data from many other sources including Alibris, AbeBooks, Amazon, Half.com and many other independent booksellers. There is also the option of renting books instead of buying them (depending on the title, of course). Books are sold through the bookseller's website, rather than Bigwords directly. The one time I ran into a problem (I had ordered something without realizing that I was the person who had checked the book out of the library), I contacted the independent seller directly (it might have been through Alibris, after linking to Alibris through Bigwords) and just had to pay to mail it back with delivery confirmation.

I don't know if Bigwords sells popular books (never having searched for one on there) though it probably does, but it's one of the best resources I have found yet for academic books. I'm currently writing a dissertation, and this site has been extremely helpful to me, especially when my university's library does not have a book I need and I can't get it through interlibrary loan.

Abba's Rantings said...

all those online sites mentioned above are great, and of course ebay.
best source are libraries discarding deacsesioned books and uwanted donations. i probably got a couple of thousand books this way from my old job. they give them away or sell them for a dollar. JNUL in israel just gave away 24,000 books for free to the general public. they just put them outside for people to take.
other sources are old people who don;t want their books anymore. (or their children who inherit them and don't want them)
and don't dismiss the jewish equivalent of dumpster diving, i.e., shul genizah boxes.

just remember that at some point you might move and you have to shlep all those books.

sima said...

I love to dig through the books at Savers, Goodwill, and any tag/estate sale in the area. Often, very high quality books are less than a dollar. If I'm looking for a particular book to read but I'm not interested in owning it, my local library will get me anything I want for free.