#LetsDiscuss2023 #6 – Buying Print Books – #DiscussionSunday

Recently, The Book Depository announced that it will soon be closing their virtual doors, which made me think:

Where will I buy print books now?


These are my personal opinions. I do not expect anyone to agree with anything here, and in fact, I’m certain that many will disagree and/or even hate many of the things I’ve written below. Sorry about that, but you are always welcome to express your own opinions – be they contrary or comparable – in the comments section. So, with that out of the way… let the controversy begin!

What made me think about this topic?

As noted above, I recently got this notification from Book Depository (UK):

My Thoughts… (aside from lots of swearing and crying)

How does this effect me?

My Blog:

Well, I’ve been an affiliate with Book Depository for a very long time. In fact, of all the affiliate programs, it was the first one that I actually cashed in on, and I’ve earned more from them over the years than I have from Amazon. Okay, so we’re not talking big bucks here. I’m coming close to 10 years of blogging and I don’t think I’ve earned the equivalent of even $100 from all the affiliate programs combined, over all this time. So, although I’m not going to starve because of this sites closure (I never depended on that income anyway), having a little “free” money is always nice.


This is a terrible blow for me. As most of my readers know, there are essentially no libraries where I live that have any decent selection of books in English. Furthermore, bookstores – both ones with new books and the ones with used books – also don’t have a very good selection in English. Even the free public libraries aren’t all that great for finding books in English. Plus, there are essentially NO independent bookstores here, and the two chains (yes, only two) that we do have are WAY over priced, and again, their choice of English fiction is horrible. That is one of the reasons why I keep blogging – so I can get ARCs of new books from NetGalley and Edelweiss. But when it comes to books that I’ve been denied or those that have already been published, the Book Depository has been my #1 go-to place to buy books. Mind you, if I’m looking for a very old book or a classic, I still try Better World Books first.

More importantly, a few years ago I decided that my TBR list on Goodreads was just unmanageable. So, I decided that I’d take ALL the books from there that I didn’t yet own, and put them into Book Depository wish lists. This was very convenient because I could put together lists with all sorts of titles, like first publication year, and if they were for a special reading challenge. Only when I bought a book would I add it to my Goodreads TBR, along with the ARCs I’d already downloaded. Now I don’t know exactly what to do about this, and I can only hope that another online site (no, not Amazon, thank-you-very-much) will have a nice wish list feature that I can use instead, but so far, I can’t see one. In the meanwhile, I downloaded all my wish lists and put them into an Excel sheet. What a PAIN!

I also appreciated that I could get UK books at or near the UK release date, as well as US books at or near the US release date. That means, I didn’t have to wait until a book was available in one or the other side of the pond, wherever it was released first, I’d get that one! Also, I truly appreciated that Book Depository had no additional shipping costs, and their prices always seemed very reasonable. This is truly very bad news for me, as well as for many others, I’m sure.

So, what now?

I see that the Blackwell’s site in the UK has prices that include shipping so I’ll probably start looking at their site more closely (yes, I am an affiliate with them as well), but so far… the prices aren’t so great (I’ll keep looking). Also, regarding US released books that come out later in the UK, this might be a problem. Obviously, I’ll still use Better World Books for my used older items and classics. But NO, I’m not going to go back to Amazon. I try to keep my Kindle for my ARCs, and shipping books from Amazon is outrageously expensive. Yes, I know that some time ago Amazon actually took over Book Depository in 2011, but that acquisition was so transparent, I never felt it happen.

In the meanwhile I’m going to buy a bunch of books from them that I’ve been wanting to buy for a while. (My credit card isn’t going to be too happy about this.) Plus, I guess I’ll have to take my wish list with me on all my trips abroad, along with a list of shops to visit, particularly when I go to the UK, which is easily once a year. That means I’ll probably have to take fewer clothes, so I can have room for all the books I want to buy (and plan an extended trip to Hay-on-Wye)!

And, what about you?

During Covid-19, lots of physical shops closed down, and the online book buying market skyrocketed. There were good and bad things about that. However, now that most of the restrictions are gone, things are changing once again. What happened to you? Did your favorite shop re-open? Are there new shops you can go to if you want a new or used book? If not, what are you doing now when you want to buy a certain physical book that you can’t get an ARC for, and don’t want to buy for your eReader? Are you using your eReader more because of this? Or maybe this doesn’t bother you at all! Let me know in the comments.

Something to think about, right?

This post is my 6th entry in the 2023 Discussion Challenge & Giveaway, hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight!


35 thoughts on “#LetsDiscuss2023 #6 – Buying Print Books – #DiscussionSunday

    1. Yes, I was wondering about that. But just so you know, Blackwell’s seems to be the only site that doesn’t charge double the price of the book for shipping. All the prices I see include shipping to Israel and they look mostly reasonable.


  1. I’ve never used book depository before, as my print books come from Amazon marketplace sellers. (I almost always buy used, and try to figure out which sellers are closest from their names.) I can understand why that’s not as practical for you, though! The only new bookstore in my area is a Books a Million, and they’re both overpriced and recently closed down their inside coffee shop.

    Unrelated, I’m trying to figure out this “Let’s Discuss” thing: I take it the discussion topics are original to each poster, that there’s no prompt?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve started using the UK site World of Books to buy secondhand, and their prices have been decent. They charge about 2 pounds per book to ship to Switzerland. Not sure how much it would be for you. I found them through AbeBooks – when I find a seller on Abe that seems to have lots of the books I want, I always check to see if they have a site where I can buy directly and cut out the middleman.


  3. I don’t have any suggestions but wanted to wish you good luck finding a book shop that suits you. I’m lucky to have access to independent book shops and chains but have noticed several closures over the past year.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t have a solution, this just reminded me of how complicated it was to get English books when I lived abroad. Whenever someone visited me, I’d ask them to bring me books, I almost didn’t care what genre. But I’m back in the US now so I just use my town library most of the time. I hope you can find a new English-language bookstore!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t use Book Depository often, but I can see how invaluable it was for people wanting English language books overseas, and I know a lot of bloggers have used them in the past for giveaways so they could offer them internationally. I use Amazon, but the P&P isn’t a problem here for them since it’s free if you bundle up enough books to reach their minimum order, currently £25, I think. I’d use a bookshop except there isn’t one in my area! It is a problem that Amazon have such a stranglehold on online book-selling. I’m not an enthusiast for second-hand books since the author gets no money from them – I will go second-hand for classics but not for recent books.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I was sad to learn about Book Depository closing, but since I live in the US, I mainly would use BD to get paperback editions of books only available in hardcover here. I’m so sorry that this is going to be so difficult. It’s eye-opening to realize how hard it is to get English language books, with a good selection and reasonable pricing, if you live abroad. ThriftBooks might be a site to check out — I don’t know about their shipping rates, but they do tend to have a decent selection of used books, and the prices aren’t bad for older books.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I personally detest BD and stopped using them years ago. It’s a company that doesn’t pay its full share of taxes and explores loopholes in postal law so that they don’t pay shipping charges (instead that tab is picked up by postal companies, which, in Australia falls to the taxpayer). But I also realise that the company offers a lifeline to readers who have no other way of getting cheap books. That said, cheap books means someone is missing out on fair compensation… and that’s likely to be the author. I’m in the fortunate position of living in a small city with a good share of independent book stores, yes, the books are expensive (they are up to three times the price of what you would pay on BD) BUT buying them from small businesses means you’re supporting small businesses who pay their taxes and create a community of readers with events and so on. The money you spend circulates in the local community and doesn’t go to a faceless offshore conglomerate that has no ethics / moral compass. I’ve never used Better World Books but I believe they do free shipping and are a socially conscious supplier… there must be others out there you could try?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I do buy sometimes from Better World Books, and since they’re usually used books, the prices are reasonable. But I’ve had some problems with their shipments getting lost in the mail in the past. Lately, though, I’ve gotten everything I’ve ordered (although my post office said they almost sent the last one back). They may have changed their carriers, and so I’ll keep them in mind.


  8. I know exactly what you mean, also living in a non-English speaking countries. We have bookshops in larger cities that offer English books but they are way overpriced. And since Brexit, I haven’t ordered anything in the UK since the shipping is more expensive AND we have to pay extra taxes for anything coming from there. I guess that makes no difference to you since you live in a non-EU country anyway but over here, it is a huge difference and, same as you, I don’t like getting overcharged.

    On the other hand, I do love my paperbacks and still don’t own an e-reader.

    As for lists, I do used Goodreads but not for a wishlist. I was also going to suggest LibraryThing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. When I saw your heading, my first reaction was “who cares”? I pretty well stopped using BD when Amazon took it over (though I do use Amazon for my Kindle).

    But then, before I read your article I remembered where you are and then realised what this will mean for you, and many of my other blogging friends who live in difficult places for book access. I’m glad you have some options, but I am very sorry that you are all losing this service that I also used a lot, before Amazon.

    I avoid using online services for Important lists for this very reason. I just use spreadsheets, but I don’t have a complex wish list as I’m rarely looking for more books to read.

    I don’t think any of the Indie stores I use closed over or since the pandemic. (Though last year we bought an apartment in Melbourne where our two kids and grandchildren are , and I said to my husband that the shopping street (1 minute walk away) had everything but a bookshop. I was surprised really then, my brother, whose FIL coincidentally lives near the same shops, told me that an excellent indie shop had recently closed. Wah! I found another indie store in the large mall area not far from us, and thought I’d use it instead, but when I went there on our Easter trip, it was closing. Another reason for us to keep our base here in my home city a bit longer!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It is something to think about; I find that I have been using my e-reader more than ever and as much as I like this, I still prefer to read paperbacks or hardbacks best and I am frequenting more library book sales to purchase books at a much cheaper rate. That being said, I can go to abebooks.com to order books if and when I have the cash flow for this; of late this has not been so.
    on another note; I don’t know if this experience is mine alone for the way that I chose to do book reviews on my own; I find that what I am reading is enacted as I am out somewhere and I encounter names of the characters in some stores as the associates name tags indicate a familiar name; this happens lots and I at times try not to read their name tags because this is driving me in sane; it is almost as thought I am not meant to be reading since only those chosen ethnic/racial where you are from can read or I am totally wrong and yet I insist. Well good luck with whatever that you choose to do. –take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I don’t really have a huge problem with cash flow, but I hate being overcharged for shipping. I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying about not meant to be reading, but I’ll think about it.


  11. Wow! I’m surprised it’s closing because it’s so widely used! I haven’t bought a physical book in years and read exclusively via Libby or kindle. I’m sorry about your difficulty in acquiring books.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Also, though I stay on Goodreads to follow friends’ reviews and posts on their reading, I prefer the smaller site Librarything. It’s also partly owned by Amazon but I think it offers users more control and choice about how they use it. You can import from Goodreads. I don’t like the LT wishlist feature as it makes it hard to see whether you own a book or it’s just on your wishlist, but there is a Lists section where you can make lists. I haven’t done it but it’s easier to create wishlists and want to read lists of books separately from your library Collections, if you want to have rules about what you add.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. If you let me know when you’re coming to London and send me your wishlist, I may have duplicates of some of them that I can give you – over the years I’ve accumulated a lot of charity shop purchases in very good condition, and if I’m able to get them in the Kindle Daily Deals, I don’t really need the paper books. Plus the quantities are really out of hand!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ve come across quite a few people being very upset by this, generally people wanting English language books in countries where English isn’t the main language. I buy a lot from Amazon, and some from Waterstones which is the biggest chain of physical bookshops here. I stayed overnight in Hay-on-Wye 2 years ago 😀 – well worth a visit!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that’s me! Amazon charges TONS for shipping print books to here. And so far, I’m not thrilled with Waterstones – hard to find something if you don’t know exactly the book you’re looking for. I guess I’ll just have to take more trips to the UK.

      Liked by 1 person

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