Buying a book on Amazon is incomparably easy: Search for the title, a few clicks, and ideally the book will be delivered to your door the next day. Still, there are a few reasons to get your reading material in other ways. Frequent criticism of the online retail giant concerns, for example, the increasing delivery traffic and packaging waste, questionable working conditions and the destruction of new goods when returned. In addition, Amazon dominates the online book trade with a market share of over 90 percent, so that more and more bookshops are disappearing.
If you’d rather not buy books from Amazon, there are many good alternatives available to you without having to forego convenience. Often you can even save money!
1. Buy from your local bookseller
There are many good reasons to read a book more often. By buying it at the bookstore around the corner, you support the local trade without paying extra. Due to the fixed book prices, the book costs just as much in the smallest shop as in the large online retailer. If the book you want is not in stock, you can almost always pre-order it and pick it up the next day.
Thanks to the genialokal partnership , the chances that you will get your book right away are even greater. Buy online, pick up on site: The online platform brings together the range of over 600 bookshops across Germany, so that there is often someone close by who is currently selling the book.
2. Sustainable, ecological and social book trade
Planting trees instead of consuming trees: ecolibri is also an online bookstore, but at the same time pursues ecological goals with its range. The sustainable and fair trader invests surpluses in tree planting, so that as a result more trees are replanted than are lost through sold books. Shipping is fast and free within Germany. The value creation of the company based in Germany takes place on site.
buch7 is another online bookstore that says it invests 75 percent of its profits in social, cultural or ecological projects. Buch7 can also keep up with the retail giant in terms of price, shipping costs and delivery conditions.
3. Buy used books
Using second-hand books ensures that forests are not cut down in the first place and prevents further resources from being wasted. Modern second-hand bookshops do not only consist of shelves in which yellowed treasures are waiting to be discovered, but often also have a website with an online search function. A specific book can also be bought here. Flea markets are also a common place to browse for used books. Some dealers have specialized in certain topics, so that the search for the right book can be narrowed down.
The Booklooker platform combines trading in new and used books from private and commercial sellers on a virtual marketplace and offers a large selection of books and audio books as well as games, films and music. Used books in particular can often be bought here at bargain prices, but they are still in good condition.
4. Swap books instead of buying them
Instead of always piling up new books on your own shelf, the book exchange is a good and inexpensive idea to get hold of new reading material and still lead a minimalist everyday life without unnecessary ballast. Just ask friends, roommates or acquaintances for a specific book. Maybe you can swap it for another and thus strengthen your neighborly contacts . Then you have someone to talk to about your reading. In online file sharing networks with many providers, the hit rate is of course even higher. In addition to books, you can also give away, receive and exchange other items for free.
Perhaps there is a gift shelf or a book box in your area , the concept of which is that visitors bring their own books that are no longer needed and take them with them. In the book exchange box category of the Zero Waste Map, you can find public bookcases and enter any missing locations yourself. Gift shops or the local give box can also be found in the Zero Waste Map and often have their own book department.
5. Borrow books
Do you really have to own books? After all, they are often only used for a very short period of time. Libraries usually also offer a wide range of current books. If a certain book is not available in your library or is currently on loan, there is often the option of reserving it in another branch or having it delivered from there. Since public libraries are used for general education and are maintained by cities or towns, they are free or very inexpensive to use.
A book that you will likely pick up again and again and that is really worth owning:
How do you bypass Amazon when you want a specific book? We look forward to further suggestions from you in a comment!