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    Books & Reading, Home Education, Mother's Education

    Meet Abe Books: The Used Book Buyer’s Best Friend

    June 29, 2016 by Brandy Vencel

    [dropcap]I[/dropcap] am often asked where I buy my books. The full answer is: lots of places. My city has a huge warehouse of a used bookstore that I like to frequent when I can. I can find wonderful deals there, but it does require a lot of time for me to dig through the piles and find what I need. In addition to this, you all know that I adore Amazon*. But my other go-to that I don’t mention very often is AbeBooks*. Today, I thought you two should meet.

    I love AbeBooks, so I recorded a video that explains my favorite used book buying hack: creating a want, and letting the site shop FOR me.

    It’s school planning season, which means it’s also book buying season, making this is a great time to discuss where and how to buy books. As I explain in the video below, when I shop for school books, I usually have two tabs open: one for Amazon and the other for AbeBooks. I compare prices and quality and then add whichever site wins to my cart — I usually check out with a big collection from both sites.

    One of my favorite hacks is creating a want on AbeBooks, and so I recorded a quick video that explains briefly how to do it.

    Once you watch it, I can answer any questions you may have in the comments.

    Oh! One other book buying tip: it is usually worth it to pay the extra dollar for better quality. Just sayin’.

    *Note: These links are affiliate links.


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  • Reply Melissa July 4, 2016 at 9:26 am

    This was very helpful Brandy! I’ve never shopped through AbeBooks, though I’d heard of it before. I love the ‘want’ feature! I typically either buy from Amazon or Better World Books, which I love, but that want feature would be super helpful in finding books needed in the future. Thanks!

  • Reply Erika July 3, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    Thanks for the introduction! I’ll need to get the book buying started over this next year, so this is timely info for me. I’m curious, do you use kindle books at all? If so, in what context, for school read alouds in the younger years, for extra read alouds, for older students reading on their own and if so when do you begin them on electronic books? My oldest is 5 this fall and ready to start reading instruction, so I’m looking ahead to starting Ambleside Yr 1 in January 2018. My preference is certainly physical books, but I know many Ambleside selections are available on kindle. I also know that I don’t want to hand any electronic reads to my young readers, but being on this end of things, I wonder at what point that changes.

  • Reply Catie June 30, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Thank you! I haven’t purchased books from Abe before. I LOVE the “Want” thing! Thanks again for your always practical help!

    (also, I can’t believe you have over 2,000 emails in your inbox!!!! Eek! You poor woman!) 🙂

    • Reply Brandy Vencel June 30, 2016 at 10:07 am

      Ha. There’s a story about that. So Mystie saw my inbox once and said, “That’s not an inbox; that’s a filing cabinet!” I think she thought I’d clean it up, but instead I was okay with that. 😉

  • Reply Nelleke June 29, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    I use to find the cheapest prices including shipping and exchange. AbeBooks and Amazon are usually well represented in the vendors I order from. I have to say that I was quite impressed with the service I got from AbeBooks sellers this year. I had the quickest shipping confirmation from them, and all arrived in good time (compared with Book Depository,, and Amazon.).
    I agree with you about quality. I usually try to get hardcover for my school books, since I have several children coming up. It costs a little more, but not as much more as you might expect when you’re buying used.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel June 29, 2016 at 4:33 pm

      I will have to check out that website, Nelleke! 🙂 And I agree: Abe’s shipping has been quite good lately!

    • Reply Bethany June 30, 2016 at 12:05 pm

      Yes, me too ( I think)! Did you mean Thrift Books, eBay and even Etsy are other good options that don’t pop up with Book Finder. Abe Books usually is in my top picks as well though. I agree with buying hardcover and paying a little extra for “very good” or “like new” books as well. 🙂

  • Reply Leah June 29, 2016 at 11:20 am

    Thank you! This is so cool. Abebooks is my go to place as well…just wish they would accept amazon gift cards as they are owned by the same parent company. Love avoiding the 3.99 shipping!

    • Reply Nelleke June 29, 2016 at 3:56 pm

      Ha…in Canada it’s $6.49 shipping, so be thankful! 🙂

      • Reply Brandy Vencel June 29, 2016 at 4:25 pm

        WOW! That is a tough one to swallow, I bet!

        • Reply Carla July 1, 2016 at 8:17 am

          It is, but there is a surprising number of books with prices under $1.00.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel June 29, 2016 at 9:06 pm

      I didn’t realize they had the same parent company, Leah! Oh my — accepting Amazon gift cards would be so great! ♥

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