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15 Best Online Bookstores for Cheap New and Used Books

15 Best Online Bookstores for Cheap New and Used Books

Between their very public fight with Hachette over book pricing and all of their futuristic but also kind of creepy side projects (think delivery drones), there are a number of reasons why you might be looking to buy books from a site that’s not Amazon. If you don’t have a local bookstore or if you need a specific title (like a textbook), the web is your best bet. There are a zillion sites offering cheap books online, and if you’re not sure where to start, you’re in the right place. We’ve looked all over and found 15 of the best online bookstores where you can find deals on new books, used books, textbooks, and more.

1. Powell’s Books

powells-books

    Best for: Independent presses, new authors
    Why it’s great: Powells.com is the online arm of the beloved bricks-and-mortar Portland shop, and even though it’s online, it’s still got the feel of what may be the world’s coolest neighborhood bookstore. In addition to a wide range of new and used books, you can find extra goodies on their blog, which offers everything from the staffers’ picks to playlists of the tunes authors listen to while they write.
    Bonus: Orders of $50 and up ship for free, everything else ships for a flat $3.99 in the US. Their sales, which are staff-curated by theme, will help you find deals on books that’ll broaden your literary palate.

    2. Better World Books

    Better World Books

      Best for: eBooks, popular fiction and nonfiction
      Why it’s great: “Better World” isn’t just a name — for every purchase made on BetterWorldBooks.com, a book is donated to someone in need (over 13 million to date!). These online booksellers also partner with libraries and college campuses to collect used books, many of which are donated to literacy nonprofits around the world. In addition to all of their reusing and recycling, you can also go paperless — Better World Books is one of the only discount sites that offers eBooks. Need it now? You can opt for eDelivery — any physical book can be scanned and sent to you in a digital format in as little as two hours.
      Bonus: Free shipping worldwide — and they pay for carbon offsets to minimize the eco-footprint of all those books traveling around the globe.

      3. BookMooch

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      Book Mooch

        Best for: Non-English language books, popular fiction
        Why it’s great: BookMooch.com is basically free. Once you sign up, you enter a list of the books you have that you’d like to give away, and make a wish list of the books you’d like to get. When someone requests one of your books, you ship it to them (that’s the only cost involved), earning you one point. You can then use your point to request a book from someone else. BookMooch is an international community, so it’s an especially good resource for tracking down books that aren’t available in the US or that are in a language other than English.
        Bonus: Just want to clean out your bookcase? You can also donate the points you earn to various charities that partner with the site.

        4. Skyo

        Skyo

          Best for: Textbooks, digital textbooks
          Why it’s great: Based near Coastal Carolina University, Skyo.com is primarily devoted to helping you save money on textbooks. Their rental program lets you choose your rental period, and even extend the due date if you need the text just a little bit longer. In addition to the usual ISBN search, you can also search by school to easily find textbooks that are required for courses at your college or university.
          Bonus: Tired of lugging around heavy texts? Skyo also lets you rent digital textbooks with 24/7 tech support.

          5. Thrift Books

          Thrift Books

            Best for: Popular books, kids’ books
            Why it’s great: Washington-based ThriftBooks.com has a commitment to helping the environment, partnering with libraries and other vendors to ensure that used books wind up in good hands rather than in the trash. Any items they receive that they can’t sell go directly to a recycling plant. Their prices are extremely low, and they also offer three-book deals that let you get extra savings on sets of books from bestselling authors.
            Bonus: For every additional book you buy from the same seller, you get an additional 50 cents off. Free shipping on any order in the US!

            6. Alibris

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            Alibris

              Best for: Hard-to-find titles, textbooks
              Why it’s great: In addition to its own book buying-and-selling operations, Alibris.com also connects a large network of independent sellers. This means that if you simply have to have a particular rare book — whether it’s a signed copy, a first edition, or it’s just been out of print for years, you’re likely to find it here. Alibris has also recently gotten into the textbook rental game. They allow you to return rentals for a full refund within 21 days (convenient for those who have trouble committing to a class schedule), and so long as you keep the book in reasonable condition, they allow written notes and highlighting.
              Bonus: Many items ship for free, and if you sign up for their newsletter, you get loads of coupons.

              7. The Strand

              The Strand

                Best for: New books, rare and out-of-print books
                Why it’s great: NYC mainstay The Strand boasts 18 miles of books, all of which you can search on StrandBooks.com. They’re picky about what they buy, so even used books are in good (if not better than good) condition. Even new books aren’t full price, and their staff picks give you the scoop on what New York’s hipster literati recommend. It’s not the same as browsing through their stacks IRL, but it’s close.
                Bonus: You can pre-order books that haven’t come out yet (signed copies, in some cases) — and they’re all discounted, too.

                8. AbeBooks

                AbeBooks

                  Best for: Collectible and unusual books
                  Why it’s great: AbeBooks.com is another site that combines its own operation with a number of independent sellers. The site is easy to search, but clicking around gives you the feel of a virtual independent bookstore. There’s a page where you can see photos and read the bios of all of the cats who live in the indie shops that sell via AbeBooks. They also have a number of click-worthy curated lists, from the Best New Books to Funniest Books According to the British.
                  Bonus: The “Weird Book Room” is amazing — it’s like stumbling into an extremely bizarre library. You can check out titles like Jurassic Towel Origami, Your Three-Year-Old: Friend or Enemy, and many more legitimately out-there titles. And oh yeah — many of the books on the site ship for free.

                  9. Half

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                  Half from eBay

                    Best for: Textbooks
                    Why it’s great: Owned by eBay, Half.com is sort of like an all “buy it now,” media-only version of the popular auction site (no bidding here). They have all kinds of books (as well as music, games, and movies), but textbooks are especially easy to find here. You can choose to rent or buy textbooks. If you buy, when your semester’s over you can sell that Chem 101 textbook and get some cash back.
                    Bonus: For textbook rentals, you pick how long you need the book (30 to 125 days), and return shipping is free.

                    10. Biblio

                    Biblio

                      Best for: Niche topics, rare books
                      Why it’s great: Biblio.com styles itself as one-stop shopping for true bibliophiles, with carefully curated collections from independent booksellers. Many are dealers who focus on specific niche interests, antiquarian books, and rare books, and in addition to searching for titles and authors, you can also browse by seller. Check the “Exclusive Specials” section for deals from the different indie shops!
                      Bonus: Your purchase helps do good! All shipping is offset with carbon credits. The company also has a nonprofit arm, BiblioWorks, which uses the site’s profits to build libraries in rural communities in South America.

                      11. PaperBack Swap

                      Paperback Swap

                        Best for: Bestsellers, new books
                        Why it’s great: Trading site PaperBackSwap.com lets you exchange books for free with other members — you list what you’ve got, ship it to someone when it gets requested, and earn a credit. You can use your credit to request a book from someone else, or as a coupon to get a brand new book at a discounted price.
                        Bonus: You get two credits just for signing up, so your first two books are completely free!

                        12. Books A Million

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                        Books A Million

                          Best for: New books, eBooks
                          Why it’s great: The online arm of this retail chain, BooksAMillion.com boasts discounts on new and bestselling books, as well as pre-orders. If you’re addicted to your eReader, they’ve also got great prices on loads of eBooks — plus pre-orders, too, so you can have that hot read on your device the moment it comes out.
                          Bonus: This site is generous with the coupon codes, helping you get even more savings.

                          13. Daedalus Books

                          Daedalus Books

                            Best for: Classic books, last year’s bestsellers
                            Why it’s great: DaedalusBooks.com brings you a curated collection of books that are remaindered by publishers — new books that went unsold. Sure, some books don’t sell because they’re not that good, but these folks are picky. If you’re looking for that one title you’ve always meant to read, they’ve probably got it.
                            Bonus: The prices are crazy cheap, and if you sign up for their email list you can take an additional 10% off your order.

                            14. BookRenter

                            BookRenter

                              Best for: Textbooks
                              Why it’s great: BookRenter.com does one thing, and it does it well — textbook rentals. It offers loads of options, including plenty of extensions and the opportunity to buy the book (with the cost of your rental going toward the purchase price) if you decide that you really do need it for more than just that one class. If you do return your book, they make it super easy, with printable shipping labels and several drop-off options.
                              Bonus: With free shipping both ways, all you pay is the cost of your rental.

                              15. Magers & Quinn Booksellers

                              Magers & Quinn

                                Best for: Nonfiction, up-and-coming authors
                                Why it’s great: MagersAndQuinn.com offers deeply discounted new and used titles, with the quirky charm of the actual Twin Cities shop. It’s an especially great resource for readers looking to dig deep into nonfiction, with an extensive selection on topics like science, current events, and urban studies. Their staff picks are a terrific way to discover new books and authors you haven’t heard of yet.
                                Bonus: Are you a writer? Check out the selection in the “Loft Bookshelf” for a wide range of excellent books on the craft of writing.

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                                Published on May 7, 2019

                                How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

                                How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

                                When it comes to stocks, I bet you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing.

                                Everyone who’s not a financial expert has been there. I’ve been there. But, time is passing and you need to be crystal clear with how you’re investing for your retirement.

                                Otherwise, it’s back to work until you can afford not to. So, how can you invest for retirement when you’re not a financial expert?

                                You take the time to learn the fundamentals well. If you do, you can grow your wealth and retire happy. The best part is that you don’t need to be a financial expert to make smart investment decisions.

                                Here’s how to invest for retirement the smart and stress-free way:

                                1. Know Clearly Why You Invest

                                Odds are you already know why should invest for retirement.

                                But, maybe you know the wrong reasons. It’s time you get clear on why you’d like to retire. Here are some questions to help you get started:

                                • Will you spend more time with your family?
                                • What does retirement mean to you?
                                • Are you looking to launch that business you’ve been holding off for years?

                                Everyone wants to retire but not for the same reasons. Once you’re clear for why retirement is important for you, you’ll focus on making it happen.

                                Investing in the stock market allows you to take advantage of compound interest.[1] All this means is that your money earns money on top of its interest. A reason why investment in the stock market is one of the best ways to plan for retirement.

                                2. Figure out When to Invest

                                “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”– Chinese Proverb

                                It’s true if you’d had started investing when you were 10 years old, you’d have a lot more money than you do today.

                                The reality is that most people don’t start investing until it’s too late. So, if you’re currently waiting for the perfect time to start an investment, it would be today. Open your calendar and block out 2 to 3 hours to choose how you’ll invest for retirement.

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                                A quick way to get a snapshot of where you stand is to use Personal Capital. Input all your personal information and spend some time setting your retirement goals. Once completed, you’ll know where you stand with your retirement.

                                Having a savings account for retirement isn’t planning for retirement. Why? Your money loses value when you factor in US inflation.[2]

                                3. Evaluate Your Risk Tolerance to Create the Perfect Portfolio

                                Investing your money well depends on your emotions.

                                Why?

                                Because when the market drops most people panic and withdraw their money. On average, the US stock market yields an annual 6% to 7% ROI (return on your investment.) But, this won’t happen if you’re worried about short-term loses.

                                Before you invest your next dollar, know your risk tolerance.[3] Your risk tolerance determines the number of risky and safe investments you’d have.

                                Regardless of your investing style, you need to view investing for retirement as a long term game. Know that some years you’ll lose money but recoup this in the long-term.

                                Avoid watching market-related new. Also, create a double authentication to log in your investment account. This way you’re less likely to withdraw your money.

                                4. Open a Reliable Retirement Account

                                Depending on your circumstance, you may need to open a new brokerage account. This is the account is where you’ll invest your money.

                                If you’re currently working for a company, odds are that they offer a 410K investing account. If so, here’s where you’ll invest most of your money. The only problem with this is that you’re limited to the stock options that are available.

                                You do have the option to open a separate IRA (individual retirement account.) Here are some of the best brokers:

                                1. Vanguard
                                2. TD Ameritrade
                                3. Charles Schwab

                                5. Challenge Yourself to Invest Consistently

                                Committing to invest for retirement is hard, but continuing to do so is harder.

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                                Once you’ve started investment for your retirement, you run at risk from stopping. Often you’ll want to contribute less, so you’d have more money in your pocket.

                                That’s why it’s important that you create a budget that allows you to invest each month. If you’re working for a company, you can set a percentage for the amount you’d like to contribute each month. Most people by default contribute 1% but aim to contribute 10% to 15%.

                                Be the judge for how much you can afford to contribute after covering important expenses. To stay motivated, use Personal Capital to view your net worth.

                                A benefit to contributing money to your retirement account is not taxed. For example, if you earn $100 and invest 10%, you’d contribute $10, then get taxed on the remaining $90. As of 2019, the most you’re able to contribute towards your 401K is 19K but this can change.

                                6. Consider Where to Invest Your Money

                                The most common way to invest your money is in stocks, but it’s not the only way. Here are other ways to invest:

                                Robo Advisors

                                Robo-advisors[4] are fancy algorithms that’ll choose the best investments for you. Sites like Wealthfront make it easy for first-time investors to invest their money. You’d input information about yourself and set your risk tolerance.

                                Then, set your monthly contribution amount and your robo-advisor would do the rest. Robo-advisors charge a fee to manage your money, but less than regular advisors.

                                Bonds

                                Think of bonds as “IOUs” to whomever you buy them from.

                                Essentially, you’re lending money and charging interest. Like stocks, not all bonds are equal. Some will be riskier than others depending on their rating.

                                Here are the different types of bond categories:[5]

                                1. Treasury bonds
                                2. Government bonds
                                3. Corporate bonds
                                4. Foreign bonds
                                5. Mortgage-backed bonds
                                6. Municipal bonds

                                Mutual Funds

                                Picture a group of people dumping all their money in a jar that’s managed by a professional. This is how mutual funds work. The fund manager manages the money looking to earn capital gains (interest.)

                                One of the best types of mutual funds is index funds. Since these funds don’t try to beat the market and instead follow it, they need less research. Because of this they often charge the lowest fees and yield the best long-term results.

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                                Real Estate

                                Yes, buying a home is an investment when done correctly.

                                Imagine buying a home and using it as a rental property. After repairing it, you receive a monthly surplus check of $100 to $200.

                                This may not sound like a lot, but repeat this process enough times and you’d earn a large amount of passive income. That’s why real estate is one of the best investments to not only retire but become wealthy.

                                But, it requires a lot of money to start and you should expect losing money along the way as you learn the process.

                                Savings Accounts

                                Your money can still grow in a savings account. Nowadays most online banks offer a 2% annual return. Although the average inflation is higher your money will be available when you need it.

                                7. Master Disincline to Dodge Short Success

                                Investing for retirement is a long-term strategy. That’s why you need to master delayed gratification. All this means is delaying short-term pleasure for something bigger in the future. Research shows that those who have delayed gratification are more successful.[6]

                                So how can you master delayed gratification?

                                By building your discipline.

                                Think back to what retirement means to you. A clear purpose will help you avoid withdrawing your money during a market downturn. It’ll help you contribute more towards retirement when you’d want to waste it instead.

                                Your journey towards retirement will be long, so reward yourself along the way. Choose a reward that’s relevant and meaningful, so that you reinforce positive behavior. For example, after contributing more towards retirement, treat yourself to dinner.

                                8. Aggressively Invest on This One Investment

                                I’ve mentioned several types of investments but haven’t covered the most important one.

                                It sounds cliche but here’s why you’re your best investment towards retirement. The more you know, the more money you’ll be able to make. The more good habits you adopt, the more secure your retirement will be.

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                                More importantly, investing in yourself is an investment that no one can take away. There’s no market downturn nor tragic circumstance that’ll wipe your knowledge and experience.

                                But, how can you invest yourself?

                                Reading books, blogs, and anything that’ll help you learn new topics daily. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks on your commute to/from work.

                                Save money to buy courses and hire coaches. I used to believe hiring coaches was a waste of money when I could learn the subject alone.

                                But, coaches see your blind spots and hold you accountable. Hiring the right coach will help you achieve your goals faster than you would’ve alone.

                                Retire Happy with Excess Money

                                The key to a secure financial future doesn’t only belong to financial experts.

                                It’s possible for you and I. What if you were able to retire earlier than most people and weren’t a financial planner? What if you were able to focus on what you enjoy doing the most while your money was working hard for you?

                                I know this sounds impossible now, but the truth is you’re capable of taking charge of your retirement. I’m not a financial expert but I’ve learned how to invest my money by reading books and learning from others.

                                Investing your money is scary. So start small and invest a small amount of your money with a robo-advisor. Feel your money drop and rise for a month or two. Then, invest more and keep this up until you’re aggressively saving for retirement.

                                One day, you’ll wake up with a net worth you’re proud of – confident about your retirement. You now know a few strategies you can use to invest in your retirement. Will you take action to retire happy?

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                                Featured photo credit: Matthew Bennett via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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