Best places to buy a book
Last updated: November 5, 2022

Here’s our favorite place to buy a book: IndieBound.

Why: IndieBound points to local independent bookstores where you can order the book you’re searching for. This helps you avoid ordering from Amazon. (See more: IndieBound FAQ.)

In the UK, order from Hive, which is "proud to support an independent bookshop with every single sale we make."

• Use these websites:,

Whatever you do, don’t order books from Amazon. The subsidiary AbeBooks is also owned by Amazon, as is – we recommend avoiding all of them.

Other options

• Order online from well-known bookstores like The Strand (New York City), Tattered Cover (Denver), Mac’s Backs (Cleveland), and Powell’s Books (Portland, OR).

• The Seminary Co-op, in Chicago, is the country’s first not-for-profit bookstore whose mission is bookselling (actually two bookstores, the Seminary Co-op and 57th Street Books). You can join the co-op for free. Read more about the Seminary Co-op in director Jeff Deutsch’s new book, In Praise of Good Bookstores., for new books, allows shoppers to direct a commission toward a specific indie bookstore (for example, NYC’s 192 Books).

Better World Books, online seller of new and used books with a community-oriented mission.

Half Price Books, which says it’s “America’s largest family-owned bookstore with more than 120 stores across the country.” See also this profile in Axios (July 28, 2022).

ThriftBooks, which claims to be “the world’s largest online independent used book seller.” finds used, rare, and out-of-print books at independent bookstores.

viaLibri is “the world’s largest search engine for old, rare, and second-hand books.”, “a First Nations family owned business, who is passionate about Indigenous education.” Based in Canada.

Audio books, which “makes it possible for you to buy audiobooks through your local bookstore.”

Whatever you do, don’t get your audio books from Audible, which owned by Amazon.

Where to get free books

• If you don’t need to own the book, check your local library: searches libraries worldwide. In the New York area, you can search the New York Public Library at

The Internet Archive “offers over 20,000,000 freely downloadable books and texts. There is also a collection of 2.3 million modern eBooks that may be borrowed by anyone with a free account.”

Project Gutenberg offers over 60,000 free ebooks, all available via web browser. Founder Michael Hart created the first-ever ebook in 1971.

Standard Ebooks has a library of free public-domain books with carefully edited texts.