Discussion – Amazon vs physical book shops


I can’t possibly be the only person torn between ordering books on Amazon, or buying from a physical book shop.

Approximately 75% of my books come from a physical book shop. My local shop is Waterstones in Brighton, UK and it’s my absolute favourite place in the universe. I live in fear that physical book shops will one day disappear completely, so I try to do my bit to prevent that from happening.

amazon vs physical shops

But sometimes, I just have to buy online, for the following reasons:

Waterstones rarely stocks hardcover books

For reasons detailed in my ‘mismatched series’ discussion post, I buy all books that are part of a series in hardcover edition. Unfortunately, Waterstones usually only stocks the paperback version of the book, unless it’s a new release, and even then sometimes they wait until the paperback comes out 😦

Because of this, most of my series are bought online.

The price difference is too big to ignore

I don’t usually care about a price difference of a few pounds. I don’t scour the internet in search of the cheapest price. I’m willing to shell out a few extra quid to support my local book shop.

But sometimes, the price difference is too big to ignore. If a book costs £ 9.99 in the book shop, but I see a deal for £ 2 online, I’ll often cave and order it from the Internet. I know, I know, not good! But when we’re nearing the end of the month, I have to watch the funds a little more. (I know, I could just stop being books completely but that is a willpower I do not yet possess.)

Amazon vs everything else

I have a Kindle used mostly for NetGalley books, but sometimes I do buy Kindle books from Amazon. I don’t know why, but I try to avoid buying from Amazon even when buying online.

I was the last person in the world to find out that Bookdepository.com is also owned by Amazon. Since finding out, I buy everything from Wordery.com. They are fast and the free bookmarks are adorable. Plus, I feel a lot better supporting a company like Wordery than Amazon.

let's chat

How do you buy your books? Do you prefer ordering online or buying in a physical shop?

If you’re an international book blogger, how do you get your books?

Wordery vs Bookdepository?

Was I really the last person to know that Bookdepository is owned by Amazon?


11 thoughts on “Discussion – Amazon vs physical book shops

  1. I try to buy books from my local used bookstore because I love going the bookstore and browsing. Sometimes it’s hard to not buy a book online when it’s 3 dollars online vs 10 at the used bookstore. I’m a broke person right now so it’s hard to pass up a good deal.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oooooohhhhhhh. I loooveeeee the Waterstones in Brighton. It’s one of my favourite ones!
    To be quite honest, I buy pretty much all my books from local charity shops and if not, usually from Amazon. Me and my partner really don’t have a lot of money to spend on luxuary items, so if a book is not under £5 then I’m probably not going to be buying it! I do love Waterstones but most of the time I just can’t afford their books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, it’s such a lovely store! And five floors, incredible! I just wish they could lower their prices sometimes 😦 At least £7.99 for a paperback!


  3. Ideally I would always shop in physical bookshops but as you highlighted, sometimes the price difference is just too big! Also, I live in a really small place so my nearest bookshop is at least half an hour away which means I don’t always get a chance to go plus I buy books as I read so if I want a new book soon (usually when I have finished a book unexpectedly quickly!) it’s much easier to use my Amazon prime and get the book delivered the next day than to have to wait, bookless, until the next time I get the chance to visit an actual book shop!


  4. I didn’t know Book Depository was under Amazon either!

    I usually get my books from fairs or bookshops or online from a website that doesn’t take ages to ship here. Since I’m all the way in Romania, it takes a while for stuff to get here :’) and it costs a fortune.


  5. I love going in Waterstones, but I do usually end up buying most of my books online, due to the huge price difference. I always feel bad for not supporting physical book shops, but I only have so much money to spend on books, so it really does make all the difference getting them a couple of pounds cheaper, either as physical books off Amazon or Ebay, or in ebook format.
    I also love second hand bookshops though, and there’s a pretty decent discount bookshop near me that often has some great bargains in it. Plus I often buy new or bestselling books in Tesco or Asda, where it’s about £4 for a book.
    Great post! 🙂


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