Tea & Talk – Buying Books Online vs In a Store!

I’ve seen talks online recently asking if people prefer to buy books online or go into the wide world of stores filled with books. I started thinking (dangerous…) because buying from a bookstore has always been the option for me when I’m mainly not looking for specific book! As online I know what I’m looking for etc AND when I go to a bookstore I’m more likely going to overspend as everything is so god damn pretty.

However, I wanted to sit and really think about this, and I think this topic has become more apparent since I’ve heard Amazon have opened up their own actual bookstores… interesting. You can tell me in the comments which one you prefer and why! Look at me getting all SERIOUS and talking about TOPICS.

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So, the internet is a powerful thing, giving us book readers an opportunity to look at EVERYTHING that is out there. But what really are the pros and cons of buying our lovely books on the internet. How much does buying books on the internet impact our bookstores?


  • Obviously the fact that it is CHEAPER (cheap cheaps), if it is without some extortionate shipping costs! This is due to the internets not having to pay for rent and all that boring adult stuff.
  • For the laziness in us, we can sit in our pyjamas, pizza box by our side and order whatever we want. With good old amazon prime giving us it THE NEXT DAY?! What… So I don’t even have to wash or move or see anyone until it gets here, apart from the delivery man. SAD!
  • You will find more independent/indie authors online (if you’re willing to search enough), amazon stock books which are by less known authors, they might be hard to find but with sheer determination you can do it! (INSPIRATIONAL)
  • If you are buying a book that is non-fiction (maybe something personal) and you do not want people to see you buy this in person as it will be shear embarrassment, you have the comfort of ordering the book online and feel better in doing so.
  • Easily see reviews from previous readers and there a hella lot of them bad boys! Which makes you more likely to choose a book and TRUST that it is going to be god damn good!
  • People with e-books don’t even have to wait for their delivery as it gets downloaded to their device asap. Now that is Speedy Gonzalez quick!
  • You can buy books which might not necessarily be available within your country, therefore me being in rainy England I could order some books from the US that I could definitely not get hold of here.

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  • You really need to trust who you are buying from,  some stores on Amazon sell books that are ‘like new’ which could mean anything from one person to the next. This makes it incredibly difficult to know EXACTLY what you are buying sometimes. It’s like buying a painting from Red in Animal Crossing and not knowing if it was real or fake… anyone know of that pesky fox, dammit!


  • To put it simply, it’s just not as fun. For me, personally I love to walk around the book store, pick up a book and have a nosy through there before I decide to spend my hard earned cash on it.
  • If you are not happy with your book, returning it is ALOT more difficult online. You have stuff to print off and sometimes fees to pay to send it back which is seriously NOT OKAY. Therefore, some will stick with being unhappy and sad with their purchase.
  • Shipping costs for books are high sometimes! With them being quite a heavy item you have to pay someone to bring your pride of joy to you.
  • I just don’t like it, I can’t see the book, How does it feel in my hands? Who knows. I trust reviews and love reading them, it’s a good way to know honestly what people think and what you may think too. However I normally read reviews, and then go find the book in a bookstore and buy it there… I need to see my future baby!
  • I feel sad for bookstores if I buy a book online. Literally have not bought books online for ageeeeeeeeeees, and I intend not to. The last book I actually purchased online, I went to the bookstore a couple of days later and they had a special edition hardback of it… GR8.

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Bookstores, whether they are independent or chains, I think they bring something really special to book shopping (lurking). Making us feel like we are in our own little bubble searching for words to entertain our lives for the next week (or day). However shopping at a bookstore can come at a more increased price.

Wonderful Waterstones

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  • You can actually see what you’re going to buy, look at the cover yourself and in one of the bookstores near me some of the books have little handwritten reviews that make it all that more personal.
  • You would possibly pick up a book that you would have not seen if you had searched online. I know I look at a cover and if it’s mega lovely, I will pick that bad boy up and read the blurb, if I like the sound of it. In my bag it goes see you later money!
  • They give you a sense of community, bookstores hold events such as readings, author signings etc. Which means you can meet new people who like to be anti social and read too! It’s always great to meet people who are very similar to you as who doesn’t like to talk about books they’ve read?!
  • The experience, I have yet to hate an experience I have had in a book store. The look and feel of it is something I don’t feel in any other type of store. Assistants are always willing to help with any questions you may have, which is something you cannot find online straight away.
  • I read an article by an author that asked people to buy books from stores rather than Online, if a new author sells 5 copies of their book to a store. 5 of their friends buy it, the store has to order more… therefore thinking right lets get 5 more in quickly!! Some people then buy those and so on. After awhile if said author brings out another book, they will look back and see they have sold 20 of that book therefore think WOW let’s get loads of her new book in and even promote it if we can! Whereas online they might think… hmmmm we sold 3, better only get 3 in next time. As the thinking is processed by a computer.
  • Sometimes, nothing compares to actual human interaction.


  • More expensive, books cost more due to rent prices etc etc. Therefore you will have to sacrifice this to buy a book in an actual store!
  • Less reviews, even if some book stores have written reviews they are nothing compared to what you can find online! And with online having a wider range of reviews, it makes it easier to make a decision.
  • Less stock, a bookstore can not stock as many books as say… Amazon. The popular books may be sold out and the less known books may not be stocked all the time, if at all.
  • Some people may not want to travel down to their bookstore to grab a book, having to pay for travel to get there and pay for all that other boring stuff. It becomes more of an expense for the consumer.
  • You might just not like talking to people (which is totally fine)

SO, looking into bookstores and online I think there is obviously good things and bad about both of these options. However, Amazon now is opening bookstores? Is this because they KNOW that we readers love the thought of wandering around bookshelves thinking we are Belle from Beauty and the Beast?

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Personally, I think nothing beats wandering around a bookstore. Maybe I’m looking for a certain book and it’s not there. But I will most certainly ask if it can be ordered in for me and while I’m wandering round I may walk out with a book I may not have even knew existed, but it has that wonderful paper smell.

If you want to buy online, but not support huge companies etc. Here are some recommendations for websites that you can order from instead! (Not promoting here or anything just abit of help)

  • Hive – These guys support a local bookshop of YOUR choice with every order. I think that’s pretty amazing.
  • Wodery – Stocks over 9 million different titles and ships worldwide! Hell yeah!
  • Book Butler – This site compares book prices over 51 online stores!
  • Powells – World’s largest independent book store! The website is super cool and has that authentic feel about it!
  • Better World Books – For every purchase, a book is donated to somebody in need. These guys partner with libraries and colleges too! Amazing! Also, free shipping worldwide!

However, if you love Amazon then by all means carry on ordering from there! Who is here to judge? NOT ME.

There you have it folks! Let me know what your opinion is or where you just like to buy your books from! Thankyou so much for reading!

Peace out!

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