Looking for some alternatives to Amazon for books? I’ve got your back!
When it comes to online book shopping, Amazon tends to be the go-to platform for many of us. After all, it’s familiar, convenient, and has loads of books to choose from. But, fellow book lovers, it’s time to broaden our horizons.
So in this post, I’ll give you 5 alternatives to Amazon for books. Including buying ebooks, audiobooks, and physical books. So it doesn’t matter if you use an e-reader or read in multiple formats. I have you covered.
Plus, at the end, I’ll talk about an alternative to Amazon’s book-tracking social media platform, Goodreads.
Want to skip the post? Check out my video:
5 Best Alternatives to Amazon for books
As an avid reader, I’ve done some digging (and using) and found five alternatives to Amazon that might change how you buy books online and offline in 2023. Each platform brings something unique to the table, and they’re all worthy contenders.
In the following alternatives to Amazon for books, you’ll find websites that cater to audiobooks, ebooks, and physical books. Starting with…
1. Libro.fm: For audiobook lovers
Do you love the feeling of diving into a good story while going about your daily chores? Libro.fm has got you covered.
This platform is a game-changer for audiobook enthusiasts, and it:
- Supports local, independent bookstores.
- Pays publishers fair rates.
- Gives you DRM-free (or ‘cage-free’) audiobooks.
- Allows you to buy audiobooks and credit bundles from anywhere in the world.
Let’s go into these in a little more detail.
Why Libro.fm is a great alternative to Amazon
Libro.fm is more than just an alternative to Amazon’s audiobook platform Audible. It’s a platform that champions independent bookstores.
When you purchase an audiobook from Libro.fm, a portion of the sale benefits the local bookstore of your choice. It’s heartwarming to know that as you explore new worlds through books, you also contribute to the survival of independent bookstores.
Libro.fm also prides itself on paying publishers fair rates and positively impacting its community. But what truly sets it apart is its commitment to DRM-free (Digital Rights Management-free) or ‘cage-free’ audiobooks.
While audiobooks from platforms like Audible come with listening restrictions, Libro.fm ensures you can listen to your audiobooks anytime, anywhere, on any device. For audiobook lovers like us, this freedom is priceless.
Despite being a US-based company, Libro.fm extends its services globally, allowing anyone to buy audiobooks and credit bundles from anywhere. Though its monthly recurring membership option is currently limited to customers in the U.S. and Canada, they aim to expand this service in the future.
With Libro.fm, you don’t just listen to stories; you also become part of a story that supports local businesses and fair trade. Isn’t that great?
2. Better World Books: For the eco-conscious reader
Better World Books might be your perfect match if you love a good book haul but also want to be kind to the environment and your wallet.
This platform offers:
- An impressive selection of new and used books.
- Affordable prices.
- Free shipping worldwide.
Let’s go into this in a little more detail.
Why Better World Books is a great alternative to Amazon
Whether you’re seeking the latest bestseller or an obscure title, this site offers an impressive range of new and used books priced quite affordably. You can indulge in your book-buying passion without worrying about the dent in your wallet.
One of the standout features of Better World Books is their commitment to sustainability and social responsibility. With every book you purchase, they donate one to someone in need through their Book for Book™ initiative. Over the years, this initiative has donated millions of books to non-profit organizations worldwide.
Better World Books is also dedicated to environmental sustainability. They ensure that used books get a new lease on life and don’t end up in landfill. Any book that can’t be resold is recycled. As someone who cares deeply about the environment, I genuinely appreciate this approach to responsible bookselling.
What’s more, Better World Books offers free shipping worldwide, so book lovers from almost any corner of the world can partake in their mission of sustainable reading.
3. Bookshop.org: For supporters of independent bookstores
Ever wanted to support your local bookshop while enjoying the convenience of online shopping? Enter Bookshop.org, a unique platform that financially supports local, independent bookshops.
By shopping here, you:
- Help independent bookshops thrive.
- Can select a specific bookstore to support with each purchase.
- Contribute to a platform that gives back to local stores and supports literary culture.
So how does this work?
Why Bookshop.org is a great alternative to Amazon
Bookshop.org is not just another online bookstore – it’s a mission-driven platform focused on supporting independent bookstores.
When you purchase a book from Bookshop.org, a substantial portion of the sales goes back to independent bookshops.
Here’s how it works:
- You can choose to support a specific bookstore. In this case, 30% of your order’s cover price goes to the selected store.
- If you don’t select a specific bookstore, 10% of your order’s cover price is added to an earnings pool evenly distributed among independent bookstores monthly.
The platform blends the convenience of online shopping with the experience of supporting local, independent bookshops, offering us the best of both worlds. It’s available in the U.S. and the UK, but who knows? Maybe it’s set to expand to more countries soon!
Bonus: I’ve set up my own page on Bookshop.org, where I’ve curated a list of some of my favorite reads. Do check it out!
4. World of Books: For second-hand book enthusiasts
World of Books is your destination if you’re all about giving pre-loved literature a second chance.
- Provides a huge selection of used books at affordable prices.
- Buys unwanted or surplus titles directly from charities.
- Gives used books a new life, adding a layer of social responsibility.
Why World of Books is a great alternative to Amazon
If you’re a bargain hunter like me, you’ll love World of Books. Unlike Amazon, which mainly deals in new books, World of Books specializes in used books.
They firmly believe that books shouldn’t just be read once or owned by a single person. Instead, they should continue their journey, passing from reader to reader and sharing their stories repeatedly.
The affordability factor here is a significant win, especially compared to Amazon’s prices for new books. Yet, World of Books doesn’t compromise on variety. Whether you’re into crime fiction, autobiographies, classics, or bestsellers, there’s a high chance you’ll find what you’re looking for.
But World of Books doesn’t just focus on selling affordable books. It also supports charities by purchasing unwanted or surplus books directly from them. So while expanding your personal library, you’re also contributing to a worthy cause.
Compared to Amazon’s business-centric model, World of Books adds a commendable layer of social responsibility that makes the book-buying process more meaningful.
5. Libby: Your digital library card
Last but not least, meet Libby, the platform that is all about promoting local libraries by offering free digital content.
With Libby (created by Overdrive), you can:
- Borrow ebooks, audiobooks, and even magazines from your local library for free.
- Access your content across devices, keeping your progress synced.
- Send your library books directly to your Kindle (for U.S. Kindle users).
With this app, you can borrow ebooks, audiobooks, and even magazines from your local library – all for free!
Yes, you read that right. You can indulge in a myriad of digital content without spending a dime while simultaneously supporting your local library.
Libby lets you access content across multiple devices, seamlessly syncing bookmarks, notes, and progress. You can conveniently switch between devices without ever losing your place.
If you’re a Kindle user based in the U.S., you can send your borrowed library books directly to your Kindle through Libby. And with availability in 78 countries worldwide, the chances are that your local library is right there with Libby, ready to lend you your next read.
Honorable mention: Your local indie bookstore and second-hand book thrifting
Before I wrap this up, I’d like to mention two more book-buying options that are close to my heart: local indie bookstores and thrifting second-hand books.
Shop at your local indie bookstore/independent booksellers
Nothing can truly replicate the magic of stepping into a local indie bookstore or small business. The cozy ambiance, the smell of books, the friendly staff who share your love for reading, and the sense of community are things that digital platforms cannot entirely emulate.
Local indie bookstores often stock titles from lesser-known authors, indie publishers, and diverse genres, giving you a treasure trove of unique finds.
Plus, you’re supporting a local business, contributing to your community’s economic health, and preserving the rich culture and tradition of independent bookselling.
Thrift for second-hand books
Second-hand book thrifting is another book-buying option that combines sustainability, affordability, and the thrill of the hunt.
From charity shops to garage sales to second-hand book markets, there’s a certain charm in browsing through a pre-loved selection of books, not knowing what gem you might stumble upon.
Thrifting for second-hand books not only gives these books a new life, but it also is a more sustainable choice as it reduces demand for new books and saves them from ending up in landfill.
Plus, you never know – you might find a rare edition or out-of-print book in that unexpected corner!
So, next time you’re on a book hunt, don’t forget to consider these options. Your local indie bookstore and second-hand book thrifting might hold your next favorite read!
Alternatives to Goodreads for tracking books: The StoryGraph
In addition to exploring great alternatives for buying books, many of us book lovers are searching for alternative platforms for tracking our reading progress and discovering new books.
While Goodreads has long been a go-to resource, a newer platform in the reading community has been making waves: The StoryGraph.
The StoryGraph offers a refreshing change for those looking for a more personalized and user-friendly way to track their reading.
What makes The StoryGraph different?
There’s plenty to love about The StoryGraph. Here are some features that set it apart:
- Customized recommendations: The StoryGraph gives book recommendations based on your reading preferences. To provide tailored suggestions, it asks for details about the types of books you enjoy, such as mood, pace, and genres. So far, they’re better than Goodreads (in my opinion).
- In-depth book statistics: The platform offers detailed tracking statistics, which is a book lover’s dream. You can analyze your reading habits based on the books’ moods, pace, page number, fiction vs. non-fiction ratio, and more.
- Detailed book reviews: When writing a review on The StoryGraph, you can specify the book’s mood, pace, and trigger warnings. This helps give more insight into the book for future readers. You can also give .5 star ratings – bonus!
- Reading challenges: The StoryGraph allows you to set up custom reading challenges, adding more fun to your reading journey. These include reading goals, page goals, and hours goals.
- Buddy reads: If you find a book you like the look of but would like to share the experience with someone else, The StoryGraph allows you to set up buddy reads with friends or strangers, almost like your own book club.
If you want to see a side-by-side comparison of Goodreads and The StoryGraph, be sure to check out my video, where I delve into the details of both platforms.
Share your Amazon alternatives
So there you have it – five alternatives to Amazon for your book-buying needs in 2023.
Each platform offers something unique and valuable. Whether it’s supporting local businesses, providing affordable options, or championing sustainability and social impact, they all offer book-buying avenues that could align better with your values, needs, or budget.
This isn’t about shunning Amazon. Instead, it’s about exploring more book-buying avenues. Whether you’re an audiobook junkie, an eco-conscious reader, a supporter of local businesses, or just looking to cut costs on your reading habit, there’s a platform out there for you.
So, why not step out of your comfort zone and try these alternatives?
I’d love to hear about your experiences. Which of these platforms resonates with you the most, and why?
Do you know of other book-buying platforms that deserve mention? Let’s continue this conversation in the comments.
This post contains affiliate links. I might get a commission if you purchase a book using one of the links above.