It’s no secret that Amazon has become the go-to source for buying books in recent years. And the same goes for Audible and audiobooks. But what if you’re looking for Amazon alternatives for books and audiobooks? Here are a few places you can try.
Affiliate Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend stuff I love and would recommend to a friend.
Why avoid Amazon and other large e-commerce sites for buying books
When it comes to buying books, there are a lot of reasons to avoid Amazon and other large e-commerce sites. For one thing, the environmental impact of all those packages being shipped around the world at lightning speed.
Do we really need to have the next book at our door in 1-2 days when we already have a “to-read” pile about yay high?
But perhaps the most compelling reason to avoid Amazon when buying books or to search for Amazon alternatives for books is that they’re putting independent bookstores out of business. These mom-and-pop shops are an important part of our cultural landscape, and they play a vital role in supporting local authors and promoting literacy.
So next time you’re looking for a new book, why not head to your local bookstore instead – or try one of these cool Amazon alternatives for books and audiobooks where you can support local bookstores even if you’re not able to physically shop there in person.
Thriftbooks (Used books)
Shopping for used books instead of new ones is a great idea. I’m not here to tell you how to live your life, but I would recommend checking to see if the book you want is available in a used condition that you’re comfortable with before buying a new book.
Thriftbooks is a wonderful place to shop for used books, especially if you don’t have any local used book shops or the local half-price books is getting a little wacky with their pricing. (It happens!)
They have a pretty big inventory and sell books of all kinds for all ages. Seriously, check them out. They are definitely my go-to for book shopping. Five out of five stars. Check out Thriftbooks with my link and get a free book when you spend $30 on the site.
Bookshop.org (New books)
Bookshop.org is a site that I only realized existed this year. Yeah, I’m behind the times. Bookshop.org is an Amazon alternative for books that sells new volumes, but you can choose a local bookstore to receive a cut of the money you spend on the site. This. Is. Huge. I love this concept so much.
The pricing is generally comparable to the pricing on Amazon. I love to check out Bookshop.org when I’m looking for a book I cannot find on Thriftbooks or when I’m pre-ordering books that have yet to be released. Recently, I ordered two pre-released books there: Intersectional Environmentalist and Heal Your Way Forward.
Bookshop.org does a pretty good job of sorting books into trending categories so that you can easily find what you’re looking for. I’m loving the shopping experience here. I will say that sometimes there are limited book reviews available on the site, so I’d recommend heading to Amazon or Goodreads to take a look at reviews before buying if you aren’t sure about the book yet. Just remember to head back to Bookshop.org to make the purchase!
Here’s the one for you audiobook fiends!
I love audiobooks. I used to be one of those people who swore that “real books” are a better experience. That argument holds some weight (in my opinion) still, but when I stopped making time to read physical books because of work, being a parent, running a business, and all of that… I just stopped reading, point blank period.
Not ideal. So, audiobooks help fill in my need for absorbing knowledge and listening to stories. And I new get those audiobooks from Libro.fm, since similarly to Bookshop.org, sales on their platform support local and independent bookshops.
And again – I cannot overstate the importance of that. You can make a small impact with your dollars on this site and avoid giving all of your audiobook budget to Amazon through Audible.
By the way, the cost of membership on Libro.fm is very similar to the cost of an Audible subscription. So for sure check it out if you already have Audible and you’d like to start spending your money to support a local bookstore.
That’s all, folks. There are definitely other Amazon alternatives for books and audiobooks, but these are the places that I personally recommend and shop from any time I’m looking to add books to my library or shop for books for my kids. It’s great to be able to shop and support local even if I can’t get out that day. We’re a one-car family and I have a chronic illness, so it can be difficult for me to physically go to places I don’t need to be at.
What are your favorite Amazon alternatives for books or audiobooks? Are you thinking of switching over to one of these platforms to buy books from now that you know you can support a local shop of your choice? I’m super curious to know, so drop me a comment below if you have time to. Happy book shopping!