Book Buying Addicts Anonymous discussion

Poll: Fave Bookstore/Website

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message 1: by Mo (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:34AM) (new)

Mo | 30 comments Mod
My favorite way to acquire books is through Although I must admit that I love most the instant gratification of walking into a bookstore and buying what I want right then rather than waiting a week or so for the book of my choice to arrive. Overall though, is my favorite because it helps me to save money. What is your favorite bookstore, book website or other means of acquiring books?

message 2: by Jeni (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:34AM) (new)

Jeni | 2 comments I love Barnes & Noble, and I've noticed that if you buy books online, they can be WAY cheaper than if you go into the store. I bought a book that was $26 in the store, and only $5 on the Barnes & Noble website. If you buy at least $25 worth of books, shipping is free. I don't like waiting for books to come either, but it only took 3 days to get to me, so I figured that was alright. You can also find used books on their website which helps with the cost (free shipping isn't an option for these).

message 3: by Brittanie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:36AM) (new)

Brittanie (cloudsonfire) I mostly use Amazon since I keep a wish list on there anyway and you can get nearly brand new books for a mere fraction of the cost including the shipping.

message 4: by Patrick (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:38AM) (new)

Patrick I'm with Mo on the wonderful instant gratification feeling regarding walking into a bookstore, especially one dealing in used books. I admire and applaud your discipline in waiting to order the book online vice purchasing it immediately...haven't quite mastered that trick myself yet, so I try to stay away from the bookstore chains these days.

Out here in LA and Orange County nearly all of our libraries have bookstores where you can find some great books for $1 or less, and sometimes buy ten books or more for only a dollar. The selection is limited and the inventory turns over infrequently but it still makes for great exploring if you have the time. The best discoveries for me come at the LA Central Library's monthly sale and down in south Orange County's libraries. We also have some very pleasant used bookstores interspersed throughout the area (although in the last few months two of the best in LA announced shut-down plans and one in OC lost its lease). However, I'm on a very limited budget these days and don't want to be tempted to pick up a bunch of books from the better used bookstores when they are going for between $6 to $10 each. But I frequently develop a craving for book exploration and possession, and the library sales fill that need.

My used book store picks for this area:

- OC: Book Baron, Bookman, and Village Book Exchnage (San Clemente), Saddleback College Library

- Long Beach: Once Read Books (just down from LB City College), Acres of Books

- Los Angeles: Brand Bookshop in Glendale

- San Diego: Wahrenbocks downtown

In my opinion, the best bookstore in the country for book exploring is Powell's in Portland, OR (also available online). I found some some superb used bookstores in Boston and Cambridge when I went to school there 15 years ago - my personal favorite being the Ave Victor Hugo near the end of Newbury Street (I wonder if that's still around).

I am just learning about sites like, and plan on checking them out in the future. I am a huge fan of Amazon and Alibris, too.

message 5: by Caitlin (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:40AM) (new)

Caitlin | 2 comments My favorite way to feed my book addiction is by frequenting several used bookstores in the area.

Cal's Bookstore
Bogbean Books & Music
The new library has a used bookstore (in which I've already found a few good items)

I love special book sales at the local schools (esp. Shasta College and Simpson University).

I like buying books from sales rather than websites because I fall in love with books that I wouldn't have thought of by searching a website for something specific. I ALWAYS find some book I can't live without but never would have considered otherwise.

message 6: by Patrick (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:41AM) (new)

Patrick I agree with you 100% Caitlin. Searching through used book sales is the most fun way to find really interesting books that I would never have thought about buying. And when you walk out the door you'll have spent a LOT less than if you were to go to a regular used bookstore or a chain store.

Where is Red Bluff? How large is your town if it is supporting more than one good used bookstore? I'm always amazed at the number of really good and large used bookstores in some of the small towns I've been in, where as in some of the larger cities I've been in there are very few quality used bookstores, per capita.

message 7: by Melanie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:41AM) (new)

Melanie | 5 comments I switch off from Amazon to Barnes & Noble. All depends on my ability to wait. :)

I also like to check out small local book stores. There's one in Baltimore that is a mix of new and used.

If I lived in Portland, I'd be broke; Powells is wonderful

message 8: by Savannah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:41AM) (new)

Savannah (tigermilk) | 3 comments I'm a Portland girl - I buy all of my books at the huge Powell's store. I usually hole myself up in a corner of one of the rooms and start reading whatever book I am going to purchase that day.

message 9: by Caitlin (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:41AM) (new)

Caitlin | 2 comments In response to your queries, Patrick, Red Bluff is small and lame (especially in the bookstore department), so most of my shopping is done in nearby Redding. There are several used bookstores in Redding that I haven't even visited yet, but intend to once the cash is available. I've found that it is nearly impossible to walk into a used bookstore and not buy at least a few books, because 1) They're books, 2) It's usually a great deal, and 3) Who knows how long it will be there?

And like I said, special sales at schools are extra fun, because it's usually an even better deal, and there are always little gems that were passed over by someone else (the same in a store, but it's somehow more exciting in an open, jumbled setting, I think). At the last such sale, I ended up with 15 or 16 great books, and some of my friends (who beat me to the sale) came away with even better things.

message 10: by Patrick (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:42AM) (new)

Patrick Right on to Melanie and Savannah...Powell's in Portland is just amazing...for those not familiar, it's worth taking a short trip there just to see that set-up...the Powell's website doesn't really do it justice...

Powell's City of Books is a three story builing in downtown Portland, Oregon with rows and rows of new and used books all mised in together. What is so unique is the wide variety of specialized subjects and the vast number of books. The atmosphere is incredibly pleasant, and you just know that everone else in there is a serious reader. You frequently see exactly what Savannah described: teenagers and 20 somethings holed up in some corner of the store reading intensely (the older readers tends to use the on site coffee shop). That's neat to see, if you're from out of town. No matter what your taste in reading, you can find books you've never known about in that field at Powell's...

Powell's also operates other used bookstores throughout the city's neighborhoods, plus specialty bookstores on travel and technical books at other locations. My favorite satellite store is the one in the Hawthorne district, across from the Baghdad Theater. Always good discoveries there...

one last neat item for any book addict who hasn't visited Portland, OR...the Portland airport (PDX) is likely the only airport in the country where you will find a USED BOOKSTORE in the shopping area along with all the other shopping outlets available for you to spend your money at while waiting for your flight...the bookstore is another Powell's outlet, of course...

Portland has many other great used bookstores as well...the readers who live there are really fortunate...

message 11: by Savannah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:43AM) (new)

Savannah (tigermilk) | 3 comments The Hawthorne store is really nice but cramped! The downtown location has so many floors and rooms - it's just lovely.

I bring anyone visiting from out of town to Powell's and just watch them gather stacks of books they want to buy.

message 12: by Julie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:45AM) (new)

message 13: by Kate (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:45AM) (new)

Kate (katiebobus) | 12 comments
Half Price Books

message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

the strand on 12th/broadway(nyc) for cheap and rare books

st. marks books on 9th/3rd(nyc) for serious academic books to borrow the junk books i love reading but hate buying

blackwell's on charing cross road in west end(london) for great collection of art and literature books

henry sotheran on sackville off piccadilly(london) for drooling over 1st editions and fantastically rare books

message 15: by Ashley (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:56AM) (new)

Ashley (readerandwriter) My favorite bookstore is Borders...I practically know where everything is. I also like That's where i can get the lesbian romance novels I like to read.

message 16: by Patricia (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:57AM) (new)

Patricia Elzie-Tuttle (theinfophile) (theinfophile) | 3 comments I miss Cody's on Telegraph! They're the ones who helped my find my English-Elvish dictionary. I have a little moment every time I pass the building in which Cody's operated.

message 17: by Bethany (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:17PM) (new)

Bethany (bethcrawleyuk) I refuse to pay full price for books...I read far too many to pay full price. If I did, I'd be in the poor house. :)

I'm a addict, and I frequent all the used book stores in my area...

message 18: by Bronwen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:18PM) (new)

Bronwen | 6 comments I use and Amazon because they have a recommended list that often leads me to new authors, and a bargain books section. Barnes and Noble because I have a member card for that bookstore, and I like their site. I also use Abe books when I'm looking for an out of print book. I also find books at our local used book store Tammy's bookworm, and our local library (I work there and get the new books first because I catalog them ... hah.) I live in a small town and the nearest new book store is a 2 hour drive, so as much as I like browsing through a bookstore, I don't get to do it too often. Everyone in my family knows that whenever we travel that we have to stop at the bookstores. I really appreciate the online stores but I have often ordered books I wouldn't have bought from a store.

message 19: by Kimberley (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:24PM) (new)

Kimberley | 6 comments amazon by far the best

message 20: by Reza (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:24PM) (new)

Reza | 5 comments In the Cincinnati area, it would have to be Joseph Beth. Then Borders, B&N, Amazon and

message 21: by Conrad (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:24PM) (new)

Conrad | 2 comments Although there's nothing all that special about it besides the unusually competent staff, I have to give a shout-out to the tiny Womrath Bookshop in Bronxville, NY, where I worked for a couple years. Their stock contains some surprises and they can get nearly everything within a day.

My favorites to shop at are the Strand (though I almost never make it there) and the Union Square B&N, which makes up for being owned by Barnes & Noble by having short lines, even around Christmas, and also by having a lot of books. Book Court in Brooklyn is excellent, a great find if you live around here.

There used to be a great bookshop in the middle of Ukiah, California that was absolutely heavenly. I can't remember what it's called - maybe State Street Books? - but I think it closed recently.

I order probably 60% of my books used through Amazon zShops.

message 22: by Madelyn (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:24PM) (new)

Madelyn | 3 comments I'm totally surprised by the compliments for Womrath... I always wander in and end up leaving feeling sad and poor.

I'm absolutely addicted to the Strand - I always go with a book in mind, which I can't actually find, then leave with ten other books that end up being way cooler. I bought a really ridiculous(ly wonderful) translation of Mann's Magic Mountain there for fifty cents. That's probably where I've bought the greatest volume of the books I own; also, all the street sellers in front of the Bobst on Washington Square are totally over-priced, but the selection makes me hot.

I think longingly of the Blackwell's in Oxford... that place is absolutely staggering. The philosophy and psychology sections actually span more than five shelves; I can't name another non-school bookstore I've ever walked into with the same selection. I may or may not have spent hundreds of American dollars there...

message 23: by Madelyn (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:24PM) (new)

Madelyn | 3 comments Also: the best bookstore in Michigan is by far Argos Books; if you're ever in Grand Rapids, this little place will warm your heart and make you sneeze. The Shaman Drum bookstore in Ann Arbor has about the coolest ("hip") selection I've ever seen.

message 24: by Lavina (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:24PM) (new)

Lavina (lavina_l) Brooklyn's BookCourt is excellent, in large part because it's convenient to me. It's small (though it's expanding soon!), but it usually has what I want (and it very often has what I didn't know I wanted until I got there and couldn't find what I was looking for, so started looking randomly instead). And the staff is great. Sometimes it puts books out a day before the on-sale date.

Community Bookstore down the street from BookCourt is good for used books. I'll go there if I'm in the mood for browsing the piles and piles of unorganized books. Also, new books are 10 percent off the cover price, so it's easy to justify not wanting to wait for Amazon.

I also love the Housing Works Bookstore on Crosby Street, and, of course, Strand.

There was a great used bookstore I went to in Madison, WI, this spring. I can't remember what it was called, but I got a really nice hardcover edition of Kafka's The Castle there for $6. There was a great bookstore I'd go to in Berkeley, CA, too -- but I can't remember what it was called, either. When I lived in Sacramento, I'd go to Tower Books on Broadway which is sadly not there anymore.

I actually order a large number of my books from It's not so good for instant gratification because books are usually sent via media mail, but it's a good way for me to find the exact edition I'm looking for (super important to me). What's nice about not getting my books right away is that packages will arrive and I won't remember what I ordered, so it's like a nice surprise. Like someone (me) knew what I'd been wanting and sent it to me.

Oh! I almost forgot the Harvard Book Store in Boston. Fantastic.

message 25: by Laura (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:25PM) (new)

Laura (laurastamps) I love my local Barnes & Noble store. I have a member discount card, and even though I think it costs $25 to renew it every year I end up saving over $100+ every year. It's funny....when I first got it I didn't think it would be worth it, so I kept track of all the money I saved each time I bought books, and that's how I know it is $100+ in savings. Ha!...I'm such a book addict!

I love urban fantasy series, and I'm always looking for new ones. So when I find one I like I go back and buy all the books in the series, so I can read them in order. B&N is really good about sending email coupons every week and sometimes in the mail, and I use them all too.

My husband like Amazon and buys a lot of books that way.

message 26: by Jeff (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:25PM) (new)

Jeff Tigchelaar | 1 comments Madelyn, you have got to be kidding. I'm reading through these, thinking Yeah, the Strand, of course, and Blackwells, inarguably, but I'll bet no one knows the little hideout in Eastown, G.R... So how did you find Argos? I used to live in Michigan and would bike to Argos and trade books for credit (I still have $1 there) and visit the kitty. I'm glad you know it and love it too...

message 27: by Kim (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:43PM) (new)

Kim (kimbers81) My favorite places to go where I live, are Barnes and Noble and of course Borders. Down the road there a used book store called Lassleys Book Exchange that I visit from time to time. Thats a good place to go to stock up on books and not have to go into debt cause they do store credit there. You get credit when you bring in books youve already read and that credit goes towards your purchases. I like everyone else prefer instant gradification and like to go to the bookstores as well. But I do use QPB.COM quality paperback books. I prefer paperback to hardcover cause they fit easier into my purse. Its a site where you can choose to be billed later after recieving books.

message 28: by Mindy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:43PM) (new)

Mindy | 1 comments My two favorites are in Denver, The Tattered Cover downtown and Murder by the Book.

message 29: by Bernadette (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:44PM) (new)

Bernadette | 3 comments Seth: 1/2 of my family are from Toronto (by way of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland). When I was a kid, my grandmother lived on Rhodes Avenue just off the Danforth and my cousins and I spent summer days there. My cousins now say I'd hate it and have all moved to outlying communities, Port Perry among them. But, I'm a city girl. Living in Downtown L.A. for the past nearly 2 years now and loving it. So I suspect I'd still love Toronto!. I can't wait to visit all these places next time I'm in town. !!!

And Powell's MUST be world famous. Every woman in a bookclub I used to belong to raves about it!

message 30: by Laura (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:44PM) (new)

Laura Powell's definitely should be at the top of any bookworm's "Top 10 things to see before I die" list! I make it a point to stop in every time I'm in Portland, even if I'm not actively buying. And, when you go, be sure to check out the Rare Books Room!

I hail from Alaska and have always been impressed by the number of independent booksellers, although that group has been slowly dwindling ever since Barnes & Noble and Borders showed up in the "big city" a few years ago. Of course, Title Wave is the best (they have a website and ship too) for used books, and I always start there first for school books, since I can usually pick up gently used copies for 10-20% less than on campus bookstore or at Barnes and Noble. Outside of Anchorage, the Old Inlet Bookshop in Homer is a definite must-see! The owner is always picking up great "new" finds - his collection of rare and out-of-print books tops anything I've seen in Anchorage or the lower 48 states. No website, but he will ship.

message 31: by Danielle (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:45PM) (new)

Danielle Because I spend WAAAAYYY too much money on books, I've made a rule for myself that I will ONLY purchase books from used bookstores. I never use or any other online book source or any large chains like Barnes & Noble unless I received a gift card as a present. On top of that, I'm all about supporting local "Mom & Pop" type shops. Why give my money to these huge corporate chains? $25 does mean nearly as much to them as it means to some locals down the street.

My favorite book store is in Denton, TX in this huge 3 story building. To be honest I'm not entirely sure what the name of the store is...I've heard it called The Purple Book Store, Recycled or even the Opera House book store. It's located in this old purple building that used to be an opera house (the opera house sign is still on the building). I think the actual name is Recycled but I can't be sure. Best place they give a pretty decent price when you're selling old CDs. I took about 10 CDs there last week and got $50. Try getting that at CD Warehouse!!

message 32: by Armando (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:45PM) (new)

Armando Alvarez | 9 comments i remember when i visited denver i was looking for a souvenir gift but when i saw the tattered cover i had to go in. very cozy with the lived in feeling. instead of getting the hat i wanted i got several books by jean m auel. stayed for 4 hours before i had to go back to the hotel. lol

message 33: by Stephanie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:58PM) (new)

Stephanie | 5 comments I try to buy from independent booksellers as much as possible. Sadly, they are becoming as rare as hen's teeth.

I nearly slit my wrists when A Common Reader went out of business. I still crave their catalogues, which arrived in my mailbox every other day. (Maybe that's why they went broke!)

Among my favorite "real" bookstores:

- The Montclair Book Seller - Montclair, NJ
- The Pickwick Bookshop - Nyack, NY
- The Chatham Book Seller - Madison, NJ
- Wonderland Books - Hickory, NC
- Baldwin's Book Barn - West Chester, PA
- Cape Fear Book & Supply Co - Wilmington, NC
- Skyline Books & Records - New York City
- Alabaster Books - New York City
- The Strand - New York City
- The Community Book Store - Brooklyn, NY
- The Reader's Corner - Montford, NC
- The Captain's Bookshelf - Asheville, NC
- Downtown Books and News - Asheville, NC

There is a bi-annual book sale in Montclair, NJ that is sponsored by the College Women's Fund. It takes place in April and November every year, and is held at the Technopulp Building on 26 Park Street, across from the YMCA. Paperbacks are 50 cents, hardbacks a dollar...regardless if they are in print or not. I have seen fistfights break out at this book sale (a police officer was finally installed.) I, myself, have viciously pinched several children as a means to get them out of my way. I have snagged so many priceless books at that sale, and frequently emerged bruised, bloody, and battered from my foragings there. Every injury was worth it.

Oh, I also use frequently, as it is an online means to buy books from independent booksellers.

message 34: by Kathleen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:58PM) (new)

Kathleen Garber (callista83) | 1 comments >I refuse to pay full price for books...I read >far too many to pay full price. If I did, I'd be >in the poor house. :)

Well I'm in the poor house anyways but I too would never pay full price. I use BookMooch ( I've recently starting using Title Trader ( but I really prefer library book sales.

message 35: by Rachael (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:01PM) (new)

Rachael | 23 comments My favorite store and website is Barnes and Noble. :D

message 36: by [deleted user] (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:02PM) (new)

A good one too is I usually find they are cheaper than amazon.

I like to go to Barnes & Noble, Borders, or Half Price Books. I like the instant gratification thing of walking in and leaving with the book. I usually am too impatient to buy online.

message 37: by Laura (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:04PM) (new)

Laura I like Amazon too, but Barnes & Noble is still my favorite; I just find their interface easier to use.

Perhaps it's already come up in a thread, but can anyone recommend a website where I can sell or even donate a collection of cheap paperback romances? sounds like a possibility . . .

message 38: by Karin (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:02PM) (new)

Karin | 13 comments Reza, I live in the Cincinnati area too and love the bookstores you mentioned. I also like Books-a-Million located in West Chester. I also go to library book sales (Middletown Public Library and West Chester Public Library). They usually sell all the books you can fit into a brown grocery bag for $3. They even provide the bags. I come out with way too many books and have nowhere to put them, but I love it.

message 39: by Rob (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:03PM) (new)

Rob (rob_kvidt) | 3 comments My vote is Munro's Books in Victoria, British Columbia. It's located in a neo-classical building that dates back to 1909 with 24 foot ceilings. I love going there and then having tea next door at Murchie's. It's become a yearly stop when I visit family in the area.

message 40: by Sally (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:03PM) (new)

Sally Being the good book addict that I am, Goodreads has been fantastic for learning about new books to read that I might not have discovered otherwise.I love reading multiple reviews by everyday people. I prefer to own my books versus borrowing them from the library. Books are like friends. I want them around forever!
I always look through bargain books at retail bookstores. I also have found many great books at thrift stores and used bookstores.
There is a small bookstore in my town that I try to support. So, if I find a book I want and I am willing to wait for it, I will have them order it.
That being said, anytime I make the 1 3/4 hour drive to the nearest Borders, I will absoultely come out of there with books.
I use Amazon a lot, too.

message 41: by Lawriter (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:18PM) (new)

Lawriter | 8 comments I recently bought Stephen J. Cannell's book right through this web site:

Good site, it has videos, webisodes, excerpts....

message 42: by Marts (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:18PM) (new)

Marts  (Thinker) (thinkersutopia) | 32 comments I like Barnes and Noble
but usually when Im buying I have someone order for me

message 43: by pop (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:18PM) (new)

pop Cannel is a good writer, but frankly I wish he would go back to making television shows. At least he knew what people wanted to see.

message 44: by Xysea (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:18PM) (new)

Xysea  (xysea) is great if I already know what I want, but nothing beats browsing an actual used book store, flea market or yard sale.

The prices are great and I can sit there and look and look until I find something interesting. lol

But, strangely enough, my favorite place to get books lately has been either Goodwill or the Salvation Army. The one near my house is a big warehouse one, and it gets books from the region and not just my town. So, I can peruse books from Tampa, Orange Park, etc, when I go there. Often, they have what I want - and if not? Well, then I will resort to the used book store.

The prices are great, too. $1.00 for a paperback, $2.00 for a hardback book. Most are recent books - I found Middlesex there, and quite a few others I'd been looking for.

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