If you’re anything like me, you have a serious book problem. You can’t see a book shop without nipping in and, worse perhaps, coming out with a brand new carrier bag by your side.
If you spend a lot of money on books, you’ll want to know where you should buy them. Not just because you don’t want to spend more money than you have to, but also because you want the most convenient shopping method possible.
Waterstone’s name is synonymous to books in the UK, and certainly you can walk into any of their franchises and expect a wide selection of books.
Their policies mean they only carry books of a certain calibre, and while that doesn’t ensure that you will like everything you find, it does raise the possibility that you’ll be able to find something to suit you regardless. Waterstone’s also have a website and a Boots style points card that allows you to spend the points in lieu of currency.
On the flip side, Waterstone’s is relatively expensive even when you buy from their website. They have deals on regularly, but the books do carry just about the highest markup you’ll find.
WH Smith’s sell some books, but they are primarily a newsagent’s and a stationery shop. As such, the selection is less varied. The pricing is not significantly different from Waterstone’s, meaning you pay roughly the same amount for a smaller selection.
As you’ll generally be able to find the same books you can buy at WH Smith’s in any Waterstone’s, you may find it easier to go to Waterstone’s instead and take advantage of the wider variety to take your pick.
Amazon.co.uk sells books at a far reduced price and does also have deals on. Additionally, when you select a book you may find a deal offering three books including the one you’re looking at, for a lower price than they would cost if purchased separately.
While you don’t get the satisfaction, or the discovery of new books, that you get browsing the bookshelves in a physical book shop, Amazon will recommend books to you based on what you have looked at, bought, and placed in your wishlist previously. A lot of books come with a product description and you may find you can read the first few chapters on the site.
Additionally, if you buy an Amazon Kindle, you can buy eBooks for much lower prices than the physical book. Many classics are free, and occasionally an author will offer a free electronic version. You will also end up with a small piece of technology that can contain thousands of books and fits in your pocket.
The downside of buying paper books from Amazon is the fact that you have to wait for shipping. The free shipping can take a while, but the faster shipping is quite expensive, so depending on your needs you may not be able to use this option without shelling out extra money.
Usually you will recoup the cash in terms of savings on the books themselves, but it is still not quite as convenient as taking a book home from the shop.
If buying books is high on your list, then you may find that looking into your options is a good idea!