Where and how to buy books on the Internet

For some people including me, reading is like breathing. This statement may seem a bit exaggerated, and it is: since the air is free and is everywhere, and to read books you have to buy them and they are not always easy to find. If you have to explain everything…

But since humans discovered the Internet reading has become easier, because finding books from your couch, using your tablet, and buy them, and take them home, is the best invention in how people choose, buy and bring what’s bought.

I got used to complain, years ago, about how difficult it was to obtain an up-to-date, high-quality academic bibliography in a small town with a limited bibliographical offer, like mine. Here some books are treasures that must be trapped immediately, on pain of losing them irremediably and until further notice.

Online bookstores changed that sucks condition forever. If you have the money and an adequate postal system, everything is possible: the book of our whim will come from anywhere in the world where you are. For those who are still thinking a lot about daring, I share these simple tips, the result of my personal experience.

Choose the book

The biggest problem of an avid reader or an obsessive researcher is not being able to buy the book but knowing which is the ideal book, the one we were looking for, and the one that will help us go one step further. Personally, I really enjoy the bibliographies of works that are already in my hands: they are my best shopping lists. The taste of a specialized researcher is one of the best tools to access a select list, already filtered and, most of the time, previously consulted by someone with more criteria than one. 

Online bookstores work best when you know in advance which work you are looking for. Even so, it is always possible to use the search engines of each store. The comments of other buyers are also an invaluable guide, especially when some of them take the trouble to recommend other works of better quality or similar size. When I have doubts about the contents of a book, it is usually the previous buyers who help me to clear it.

It is also convenient to use a tool which allows us to see the table of contents of the work and some internal pages, as well as Google Books, where, if we are lucky, there is a preview of the book, when we walk looking for a deeper assessment.

Locate the best copy at the best price

Once we know our future acquisition, part of the fun is finding the best offer. The market for used books opens up thanks to the virtual bookstores that bring together smaller bookstores through the same website.

I have the habit of preferring books in hard paste, hopefully not belonging to the collection of a library and in the best possible state (wow, that if I have to pay so much money in transport that at least the book is in very good condition). According to my experience as a buyer, the description of the sellers is the fundamental guide that the buyer has. Personally I tend to recommend Booksruns since it is one of the few quality services that provide many options, not only purchase options but also rental options. Imagine you can rent books online. Not only that, I can also increase my book purchase budget by selling old books that are not needed anymore, all in one platform!