Miscellaneous

Where to buy cheap books internationally

I’ve been reading mostly in English for the past two years, yet I live in Spain. So here are two websites where you can order books from all over the world without spending a ridiculous amount of money on shipping.

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1. The Book Depository

This is a pretty obvious one. I think everyone who orders books online has at least heard of this site. The books come at relatively normal prices, although sometimes you can find some real bargains. But the great thing is that there is free delivery worldwide. YES, WORLDWIDE. Do you know how frustrating it is to order books when you live on the Canary Islands? You find a book that costs 2€ and get all excited about it – and then there’s 15€ of shipping. Ugh.

The books don’t have the fastest shipping, and sometimes the items get delayed for some reason. But I’m a pretty patient person when it comes to that, and I know how many stops books make on their way to a small island at the end of the world. So I really don’t mind. Usually a book takes between 1 and 4 weeks to get here, depending on how many holidays are happening at the time and how lucky you are.

I was recently very impressed with something that happened. I ordered Percy Jackson and the Greek Heroes, and because the website was having some trouble getting the book, I had to wait longer than usual for it to be shipped. I honestly didn’t mind, I wasn’t in a hurry. But when they finally fixed the problem, they sent me an apology e-mail with a 10% discount code on my next order. HOW NICE IS THAT?

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2. AbeBooks

AbeBooks is my favourite shopping site in the entire world. It basically unites independent bookshops worldwide – so when you search for, let’s say, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, you will find every bookshop that owns that book. You can sort the results by total price, so the book plus shipping to your country, and once you’ve ordered, the bookshop gets an update from the website with your order. Each independent shop then sends their books out separately. You basically support independent bookshops while still ordering from home all comfy.

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What I love about this site is that pretty much all the books are second-hand, so they’re really cheap, but because they’re sold by bookshops they’re in very good condition. Every item has a description of its condition, so if a book happens to be in pretty bad shape, you will know exactly what is wrong with it. This site is also fantastic for finding books that are out of print. I just recently ordered the three Shadow World books by Jane Johnson – I’m not sure if they’re actually out of print, but no one seems to have even heard about them and they’re hard as hell to find. So if you’re having trouble finding a specific book, have a look around.

I can’t speak for every single country in the world, but ordering books from the UK and having them delivered to Spain is as cheap as it gets on this site. Most books I’ve bought are around 2-3€ and the shipping is 3€. I have no idea how that’s even possible, but it somehow works. And I love it.

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Every bookshop on AbeBooks has an average rating, so if you’re not sure whether you should trust it, just look at that and at how many people have bought from that shop. I personally haven’t been disappointed yet by any of my orders, they all arrived in perfect condition (some better than I would have ever imagined), and the shipping has always been rather quick. The only negative thing I can say about this site is that there are rarely any new books – obviously, AbeBooks focuses mostly on second-hand books, so you won’t find anything released in the last year or so. But who knows, maybe you’re lucky.

 

I hope some of you find this helpful, and if you’ve been desperate to find a place to order books internationally you can now stop crying in a corner. And honestly, even if you’re not an international buyer, these are still great places to shop.

‘Till next time and happy reading!

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