Best Online Bookstores

21 Companies

558 Real Customer Reviews

4.5
Average User Rating

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7.6

Overall Score

  • 35 categories
  • 60 day return policy
  • No cost

Better World Books

  • 35 categories
  • 60 day return policy
  • No cost

6.7

Overall Score

27 User Reviews

24 days ago

  • Largest Online Bookstore Selection
  • Consistently Low Prices
  • Environmentally-Conscious Practices

Amazon Bookstore

  • Largest Online Bookstore Selection
  • Consistently Low Prices
  • Environmentally-Conscious Practices

6.1

Overall Score

17 User Reviews

25 days ago

  • Excellent Annual Membership Benefits
  • Large Selection Both Online & In Stores
  • Detailed Information About Each Title

Barnes & Noble

  • Excellent Annual Membership Benefits
  • Large Selection Both Online & In Stores
  • Detailed Information About Each Title
  • Great Selection of Print Books
  • Extensive Collection of Rare Books
  • Active Online Community

AbeBooks

  • Great Selection of Print Books
  • Extensive Collection of Rare Books
  • Active Online Community
  • Extensive Selection of Ebooks & Audio Books
  • Free & Discounted Book Sections
  • Study Cards Feature for Students

iBooks

  • Extensive Selection of Ebooks & Audio Books
  • Free & Discounted Book Sections
  • Study Cards Feature for Students
  • Personalized Book Recommendations Feature
  • Money Back Guarantee for Returned Items
  • Environmentally-Conscious Practices

Powell's Books

  • Personalized Book Recommendations Feature
  • Money Back Guarantee for Returned Items
  • Environmentally-Conscious Practices
  • 33 Main categories
  • 60 day return policy
  • No cost

Thrift Books

  • 33 Main categories
  • 60 day return policy
  • No cost
  • Excellent Annual Membership Benefits
  • Extensive Online Selection
  • Supports Troops Through Charitable Programs

Books-a-Million

  • Excellent Annual Membership Benefits
  • Extensive Online Selection
  • Supports Troops Through Charitable Programs
  • 34 categories
  • 30 day return policy
  • No cost

The Book Depository

  • 34 categories
  • 30 day return policy
  • No cost
  • Can resale books
  • Loyalty program
  • Annual fee of $119.95

Chegg

  • Can resale books
  • Loyalty program
  • Annual fee of $119.95
  • 35 categories
  • 60 day return policy
  • No cost

Better World Books started with three Notre Dame students who began selling their textbooks for a profit. What may have started small, however, definitely isn’t small anymore. Since its founding in 2002, this company has made a large impact. Although the founders initially sold textbooks for a profit, profits aren’t necessarily the main goal for Better World Books now. In fact, their ultimate goal is to improve literacy around the world. So far, the company has converted more than 250 million books into over $24 million in funding for literacy and education. In the process they have also saved 250 million books from landfills. Better World Books has also partnered with 3,100 libraries and 8,100 college campuses around the US. But they are more than a factory for donating books and money toward literacy; they are of course an online bookstore as well. All books ship worldwide for free, and every order shipped is carbon balanced with certified offsets, making this company also environmentally friendly.

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  • Largest Online Bookstore Selection
  • Consistently Low Prices
  • Environmentally-Conscious Practices

This online shopping powerhouse has staked its claim on a large portion of the book market for a reason: our review research found Amazon to offer the largest selection of books, combined with the lowest prices, of all the online bookstores we reviewed.

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  • Excellent Annual Membership Benefits
  • Large Selection Both Online & In Stores
  • Detailed Information About Each Title

Barnes & Noble is one of the oldest bookstores in America; the store that would later become the first Barnes & Noble was opened in 1886. Barnes & Noble rose to success during the golden age of bookstores - which, yes, was also the age before ereaders existed. To its credit, in addition to its robust online bookstore, Barnes & Noble is one of the only major US retail booksellers with brick-and-mortar locations still standing (at about one-third the size of Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million is a very distant second).

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  • Great Selection of Print Books
  • Extensive Collection of Rare Books
  • Active Online Community

AbeBooks has been in business since 1996. In addition to new and used print books, AbeBooks also offers rare, autographed, out-of-print and first edition books.

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  • Extensive Selection of Ebooks & Audio Books
  • Free & Discounted Book Sections
  • Study Cards Feature for Students

iBooks is Apple's online bookstore in iTunes. Although it doesn't carry print, it does offer over two million ebooks and audio books.

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  • Personalized Book Recommendations Feature
  • Money Back Guarantee for Returned Items
  • Environmentally-Conscious Practices

Founded in 1971, Powell's Books is a Portland, Oregon-based chain of bookstores that now offers online purchasing.

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  • 33 Main categories
  • 60 day return policy
  • No cost

Thrift Books is an online bookstore, yes, but it also stands out as an advocate for literacy and resourcefulness.

Founded in 2003, the company offers a library of seven million books. Primarily, they offer used books, but their inventory also includes audio CDs, cards, and maps. Even their used books expand beyond just paperbacks and hardcovers; on their site you can search from a long list of formats, including options like board books and spiral-bound books. They sell all of them for a great price.

Their motto? “Read more, spend less.” Since their start, they have salvaged millions of pounds of books yearly. Truly, they are passionate about their cause.

Based in Kirkland, Washington, this company strives to please the customer, but even more so, they strive to promote reading and make the most of every book. 

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  • Excellent Annual Membership Benefits
  • Extensive Online Selection
  • Supports Troops Through Charitable Programs

Books-a-Million was founded in 1917 and began selling books online in 1998. It's one of the few remaining major US booksellers that still has brick-and-mortar locations.  

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  • 34 categories
  • 30 day return policy
  • No cost

The Book Depository is based out of the United Kingdom but delivers books to customers around the world. Their headquarters are in Slough, UK, and they ship all of their books out of their office in Gloucester. Founded in 2004, this company has more than one million customers worldwide. They are a rapidly growing business.

Ultimately, the goal for the Book Depository is to make as many books as possible available to everyone. This is summed up by their slogan, “All books available to all.” Even for titles that are more difficult to find, they try their best to locate them for customers. For titles that aren’t necessarily available on their own site, they provide links to AbeBooks, an organization that specializes in providing books that are rare or hard to find. AbeBooks itself has titles from more than 13,500 sellers.

It’s obvious, then, that the Book Depository truly cares about giving people around the world access to whatever book they are trying to find. 

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  • Can resale books
  • Loyalty program
  • Annual fee of $119.95

Chegg has established itself as a student resource, intended to be a place where all students could go to find textbooks and to get help getting through the courses for those books. Through Chegg, you can rent, buy, and even sell back textbooks. According to Chegg, about five million students use their services every year.

The company was created in 2005 and is based out of Santa Clara, California. Primarily, they handle all things textbook, but they have the occasional other type of book in their library as well, so as a potential customer, you can search through their inventory to see if they carry the book you need. 

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