Avoiding Amazon? The 5 best alternatives to the online bookseller giants

We run down the best places around the web to get your favourite reads

Caroline Mortimer
Monday 17 August 2015 12:29 BST
We reveal the best alternatives for online book buying
We reveal the best alternatives for online book buying

Amazon has been the subject of renewed criticism after an expose of its employment practices in the New York Times.

In the nearly 6,000 word piece, the newspaper claimed workers in its Pennsylvania warehouse were forced to work in temperatures in the high 30s - with no air conditioning - until a newspaper reported on it.

One former employee said she was put on a performance-improvement plan after she lost her stillborn child “to make sure [her] focus stayed on [her] job".

Amazon has previously been accused of treating its UK warehouse staff “like cattle”.

Here are some of the online outlets where people who have decided not to shop at Amazon are getting their books:

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

  • Hive.co.uk- Hive is an online network of 360 independent bookstores nationwide. It sells all the latest bestsellers, prize winners and ebooks, as well as DVDs, music and stationery. A per cent of the profits go back into your nearest independent bookshop every time you make a purchase, or you can select your “favourite” bookshop to benefit instead.

  • Wordery.com- Founded in 2012, Wordery is one of the fastest growing independent online booksellers. The company, which was created by British book wholesaler Betrams and former Book Depository IT Director Will Jones as an alternative to Amazon, says it currently has a range of over 9 million different titles and serves 5 million customers. It offers free worldwide delivery.

  • Bookbutler.co.uk- Bookbutler is a price comparison website which aims to compare over 55,000 titles being sold by online retailers (including Amazon and its subsidiary ABE Books). It's a comparator so it does not sell the books itself but it does give you a range of non-Amazon options and the chance to see whether the behemoth is actually the cheapest option after all.

  • Blackwells- Blackwells is primarily an academic and non-fiction bookseller but has also ventured out in recent years with bestsellers, children’s books and others. It even sells Fifty Shades of Grey and a Taylor Swift colouring book called “Colour Me Swiftly”.

  • TheWorks, Waterstones, Foyles and other high street brands- Major high street brands have expanded and updated their online offers in recent years to compete with Amazon. Many have similar prices to it, though shipping often makes it more pricey, and include offers you don’t get in store. There are also click and collect options.


Failing that, you could always go and find an actual bricks and mortar store to buy your books from.

H/t Reddit

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