Advertising
Advertising

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

      Advertising

      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

            Advertising

            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

                  Advertising

                  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

                        Advertising

                        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.

                                More by this author

                                smooth hair 15 Easy Ways to Get Silky, Smooth Hair best online bookstores cheap books 15 Best Online Bookstores for Cheap New and Used Books reasons to rethink fast fashion 8 Reasons to Rethink Fast Fashion 10 Things You Suffered Through That Your Kids Will Never Understand outstanding baby names for boys girls unisex Get Inspired by These 25 Unique and Outstanding Baby Names

                                Trending in Money

                                1 25 Killer Sites For Free Online Education 2 How to Develop a Millionaire Mindset in 6 Simple Steps 3 5 Books You Must Read if You Want to Be a Millionaire in Your 20’s 4 20 Better Money Habits to Help You Increase Your Savings 5 50 Businesses You Can Start In Your Spare Time

                                Read Next

                                Advertising
                                Advertising
                                Advertising

                                Last Updated on July 4, 2019

                                25 Killer Sites For Free Online Education

                                25 Killer Sites For Free Online Education

                                Whether you’re five or ninety five, the internet has a lot to offer. Particularly when the topic is education, the resources on the internet are endless.

                                Best of all, many high quality sites are completely free. From history to coding, excellent free online education awaits on the following 25 sites.

                                1. Coursera

                                Untitled copy

                                  Coursera is a website that partners with universities and organizations around the world. This brings a wide variety of topics and perspectives to one searchable database.

                                  Coursera is a powerful tool for free online education, and includes courses from many top universities, museums and trusts. This gives the site an extremely wide range of in-depth courses.

                                  Coursera is extremely useful if you’re looking to study many different topics, or want courses from different schools and groups.

                                  2. Khan Academy

                                  Untitled 2 copy

                                    Partnering with many post secondary schools, Khan Academy offers a useable, well organized interface. Also curating many courses from around the web, Khan Academy offers impressive depth on many different subjects.

                                    Among the more well known educational sites, Khan Academy is also incredibly useable, which may make it easier to keep learning goals.

                                    3. Open Culture Online Courses

                                    Untitled111 copy

                                      If you are struggling to find exactly the material you are looking for, try Open Culture’s listing of free online education courses. The page highlights 1000 lectures, videos and podcasts from universities around the world. The site features a lot of material found only on universities private sites, all in easy to browse categories. This means you can find hundreds of university courses, without having to visit and search each university’s own site.

                                      Open Culture’s list features courses from England, Australia, Wales and many state universities around the United States. A very helpful resource for finding many courses in one area of study.

                                      4. Udemy 

                                      Untitled 4 copy

                                        Udemy’s free courses are similar in concept to Coursera’s but additionally allows users to build custom courses from lessons.

                                        Working with many top professors and schools, the site mixes the customizable platform of other sites with a heavy emphasis on top quality content. This is another site however, that mixes free and paid content.

                                        Advertising

                                        5. Academic Earth

                                        Untitled 5 copy

                                          Another site with courses from many different schools is Academic Earth. Much like the three sites above, Academic Earth brings together top notch courses from many different sources, and focuses on offering a wide variety of subjects.

                                          Academic Earth lists courses by subject and school, so it might be easier to find what you’re looking for.

                                          6. edX

                                          Untitled 6 copy

                                            Another great option for free online education is edX. Also bringing together courses from many different schools, the site has impressive, quality information for everyone. edX covers a great range of topics.

                                            7. Alison

                                            Untitled 7 copy

                                              Unlike the previous sites on this lists, Alison is a free education site offering certification in some areas. Alison offers courses mainly in business, technology, and health, but also includes language learning courses.

                                              It’s a great option if users need certification for their learning as Alison also offers school curriculum courses.

                                              8. iTunesU Free Courses

                                              Untitled 8 copy

                                                A very convenient place for free online education is iTunesU, because it integrates seamlessly with your iPod, or any app-ready Apple mobile device. On iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, users download the iTunesU app.

                                                Desktop users can access  iTunesU on the upper right hand corner of the iTunes Store. iTunesU is also convenient because the store is categorized much like iTunes.

                                                Users can search learning materials in many different ways, including genre and topic. However, courses are often a mix of free podcasts or videos, and paid content.

                                                ITunesU does include courses on a pretty wide scope of topics, but does not integrate with Android, Google or Windows mobile devices.

                                                9. Stanford Online

                                                Untitled 9 copy

                                                  Your hub for all the online offerings from Stanford University, Stanford Online offers self-paced and session based courses. While Coursera features some courses from Stanford, many classes are only available via other hosts. Some courses require iTunes, but most are completed in your web browser.

                                                  Advertising

                                                  Stanford Online is a great site for high quality courses, though the topics are somewhat limited compared to sites partnered with more than one school.

                                                  10. Harvard Extension

                                                  Untitled 10 copy

                                                    Like Stanford Online, Harvard Extension features free online education courses from Harvard only. This is another excellent source for top notch course material, though the course variety is less rich than multi-school sites.

                                                    Additionally, Harvard Extension allows you to search for courses by professional certificate. This makes it much easier if your online education goal includes certification.

                                                    11. Open Yale Courses

                                                    Untitled 11 copy

                                                      Open Yale Courses echoes Harvard Extension and Stanford Online, in that it offers only courses from Yale. While the site is similarly limited to topics taught at the school, Open Yale Courses offers a lot of videos of actual campus lectures. The availability of videos makes the site a great option if you’re looking for quality courses, but learn better by watching than by reading.

                                                      12. UC Berkeley Class Central

                                                      Untitled 12 copy

                                                        Much like the other schools on this list, UC Berkeley has a variety of free online education options. The school has slightly fewer courses than the schools above, but includes some supplementary lectures, webcasts and RSS Feeds, making it easy to keep up with the topics you choose.

                                                        13. MIT OpenCourseWare

                                                        Untitled 13 copy

                                                          Similarly, MIT offers a variety of free courses. The school has a comparable number of courses to the schools above, plus includes very in-depth course materials on the subjects available. MIT also offers free RSS feeds, a convenient way to continue learning.

                                                          14. Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative

                                                          Untitled 14 copy

                                                            Carnegie Mellon’s free online education site is comparable with the other school’s on this list, however, Open Learning Initiative also covers a smaller range of topics. But for the topics that are covered impressive, in-depth material is available.

                                                            15. Codecademy

                                                            Untitled 15 copy

                                                              Codecademy is a website dedicated specifically to teaching coding. Where other coding sites follow an example/practice session workflow, Codecademy includes a live practice window. This means you can practice coding while still viewing the lesson material.

                                                              The courses at Codecademy are well written and easy to follow and the website is organized very nicely. Codecademy features a centralized dashboard where you can monitor your progress, plus organizes lessons into complete modules. This lets you learn an entire language without needing to pick the next course manually.

                                                              Advertising

                                                              16. Code

                                                              Untitled 16 copy

                                                                Code is another website focused on coding and app writing. A site with high quality courses, Code also features learning options for kids.

                                                                In addition to kid friendly courses, Code offers free online education classes on a wide variety of technology topics. These classes include app writing, robotics and Javascript.

                                                                Most of the courses are also geared in a such a way that they can be useful in a classroom setting. This makes Code a great resource for harder to find coding topics, as well as various learning settings.

                                                                17. University of London Podcasts

                                                                Untitled 17 copy

                                                                  The podcast page on the University of London website is another great source for free education. While the courses are limited to podcasts, the site features podcasts from it’s own campus, as well as eleven universities in and around London. This gives learners a wide base of topics and lectures, but still ensures in-depth material.

                                                                  18. University of Oxford Podcasts

                                                                  Untitled 18 copy

                                                                    Similar to the University of London, the University of Oxford features many different podcasts. Most are public lecture series or lectures from visiting professors, with several different recordings available.

                                                                    The advantage to this particular site is that podcasts are organized into series, making it easy to subscribe to multiple lectures on one topic. Another good site for thoroughly in-depth lectures.

                                                                    19. BBC Podcasts

                                                                    Untitled 19 copy

                                                                      For the more casual learner, the BBC offers a wide variety of podcasts on many different topics. Most podcasts are updated weekly, and focus on everything from finance, to sports, to current events.

                                                                      Through the World Service line of podcasts, there are also many in different languages. The focus of these podcasts are less in-depth and theory based, which may be more accessible to the average person.

                                                                      20. TED-Ed

                                                                      Untitled 20 copy

                                                                        Another great destination for more general learning is TED-Ed. From the same people that brought you the all encompassing, motivational web series, comes a site chocked full of educational videos. Most include impressive animation, and all are ten minutes long or less.

                                                                        Not only is TED-Ed an excellent site for the curious, it also includes supplemental materials and quizzes on the videos. This makes the site extremely useful in formal education settings, as well as in entertaining ways to brush up on new discoveries and topics.

                                                                        Advertising

                                                                        21. LessonPaths

                                                                        Untitled 21 copy

                                                                          LessonPaths is another great tool for those looking for a more usable and convenient way to access learning material. On this site, users create link playlists of their favorite learning materials from other sites. Users then rank these collections, making it easy to find many different high quality, accessible sources on a given topic.

                                                                          22. Memrise

                                                                          Untitled 22 copy

                                                                            Another impressive free online education site offering ease of use and convenience is Memrise. Available both on desktop and as an app, Memrise is a particularly powerful tool if you are studying a language. The site encompasses many other topics as well, though some of the course material is user generated content.

                                                                            Part of what makes Memrise special is their integration of games into the learning materials, mixing learning with entertainment.

                                                                            23. National Geographic Kids

                                                                            Untitled 23 copy

                                                                              The kids site for National Geographic is another site that makes free online education applicable for younger users. For those looking for kid friendly education, a large variety of games, puzzles, videos and photos keeps kids interested on this site.

                                                                              National Geographic Kids doesn’t organize learning into courses, making materials available by topic and medium instead. This makes National Geographic Kids a good option for those looking for a more casual learning environment.

                                                                              24. Fun Brain

                                                                              Untitled 24 copy

                                                                                Fun Brain is another good option for kids who want to learn online, but focuses on games and fun puzzles. Particularly focused on math and reading, Fun Brain’s game based approach can be valuable if the child in question struggles to pay attention.

                                                                                Fun Brain offers rewards and challenges as well, and is another site aimed at a casual learning experience for kids K-8.

                                                                                25. Whyville

                                                                                Untitled 25 copy 2

                                                                                  Similar to the sites for kids free online education is Whyville a destination for preteen online learning. The site includes a variety of social features, with a focus on learning materials geared for young teens.

                                                                                  Whyville also mixes in educational games, to make the site a well rounded option for kids too old for simple games, but too young for heavy reading based material.

                                                                                  More About Online Learning

                                                                                  Featured photo credit: Dai KE via unsplash.com

                                                                                  Read Next