Where to buy books?
I read a lot of books. A lot. Sometimes I toy with the idea of adding up how much I spend on books each year, and then get terrified and realise that I don't really want to know. Having said that, I do try to make good choices about where I buy my books from.
For my own personal reading, I read plenty of e-books and listen to audio books, as they're often cheaper than hard copies (which I still have plenty of). But when I'm reading children's novels, I want to be able to share them with my students, and my favourites I want to save for my own children in the future. Therefore I buy mostly paperbacks. Here's where I shop to make sure I can still pay my bills!
(And of course - you don't have to buy books! Your local or school library will more than likely have anything and everything you could want!)
I first discovered this website when I was at university. There have only been one or two occasions in the last decade where they haven't had a book I've been looking for. 90% of the time, their prices are lower than any other retailer and shipping is free. The only downside is if you need a book quickly - shipping takes about a week, sometimes more, so if you need a book ASAP, you'll need to shop locally.
Full disclosure, I'm a Book Depository affiliate, so if you purchase a book through one of my links I receive a small percentage.
I am passionate about supporting the Australian book industry. Whenever I'm looking for a book and comparing prices, I always check Dymocks. If Book Depository is significantly cheaper than I'll buy from there, but if the difference is only a couple of dollars, I'll go to Dymocks. I love browsing book stores in person (although they also have an online store), and of course it means you end up with a book in your hand by the moment you get home!
If you want good value, your school's Scholastic Book Club is the way to go. I love that they do the hard work for you (and me!) in putting books into appropriate age categories, and they have such amazing deals on both individual books and sets. My cons for book club are; - sometimes they don't tell you a book is a part of a series and it's not book one!
- you're limited in choices to what is in each catalogue
- you have to wait a little while for the books to be delivered to school.
But at the end of the day, I haven't found a cheaper way to buy books, and I've been exposed to lots of new books and authors through them.
It's handy to have an Australian-based website to buy books from. Every so often their prices are cheaper than Book Depository, and they run frequent free-shipping codes if you're on their mailing list. You have the option of express shipping as well if you need a book ASAP.
My favourite school holiday activity is visiting the op shops around my house to find new books for my class library (which sounds kind of lame now that I write it down...). My first year of teaching I just bought every kids book I could find, but found that although I ended up with a whole pile of books for less than $2 each, I also ended up with a stack of books none of my class would read. My op shop tip is to be selective - choose books from well-known authors, or ones that are in near-new condition.
Now I do prefer hard copy for reading books I want to share with my students, there's definitely still a place for e-books and audio books. When I read a class novel, I love having the e-book version up on our TV so they can follow along - it keeps those students with shorter attention spans engaged for longer, and means they can see how I add expression etc. Audio books I mainly use for myself. It's a great way to get extra reading in during the busyness of term! They are also great for students who struggle with reading, allowing them to read the same books as their peers without needing to decode all the words.
If anyone has any other book-buying tips I'd love to read them!