Ethical Book Search

Find a book from a responsible book seller for delivery in the UK

About Ethical Book Search

You would prefer not to spend your money on a company that avoids paying taxes, or treats the people who work for them badly, or is damaging the environment.

I want to make it as easy as possible for you to buy your books from a reasonably ethical supplier.

We search Better World Books, Blackwell's, Books Etc., Bookshop, ebooks, Foyles, Hive, Oxfam, The Guardian Bookshop and World of Books for the book you want.

These booksellers are not perfect but they have much better records than many of their competitors. They have all scored well in Ethical Consumer's Product Guide which surveys the social and environmental records of these companies or they are B-Corporations which are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. Most of these booksellers also appear in Ethical Revolution's top 10 ethical booksellers.

Better World Books is a certified B-Corporation based in the US and sells both new and second hand books. It is a for-profit social enterprise and is committed to supporting literacy. Every time you purchase a book from Better World Books they donate a book to someone in need and they also give grants to non-profits and libraries for literacy projects. They scored very highly in Ethical Consumer's guide to book sellers

Blackwell's is a UK based academic book seller with around 40 stores in addition to it's online operation. It appeared in Ethical Revolution's top 10 ethical book sellers and scored reasonably well in Ethical Consumer's guide to book sellers.

BOOKS etc is a UK online business that is based in Aldershot, Hampshire. It was rated highly in in Ethical Revolution's top 10 ethical book sellers and scored reasonably well in Ethical Consumer's guide to book sellers.

Bookshop

Bookshop.org is an online bookshop and is a B-Corp with a mission to financially support local, independent bookshops. They give away over 75% of their profit margin to bookshops, publications, authors and others who make up the thriving, inspirational culture around books and you can choose to donate all the profit from the purchase of your book to your local bookshop.

ebooks is an independent ebook retailer that was rated very highly in the Ethical Consumer's guide to book sellers.

Foyles has 7 bookshops across the UK and is now owned by Waterstones. It is listed in Ethical Revolution's top 10 ethical book sellers and the Ethical consumer's guide to book sellers.

Hive is a UK based online book store which provides some support to independent high street book stores. It was rated highly in in Ethical Revolution's top 10 ethical book sellers and scored reasonably well in Ethical Consumer's guide to book sellers.

Oxfam is a charity dedicated to ending poverty across the world.

The Guardian Bookshop is the online bookshop for The Guardian and The Observer. It is listed in Ethical Revolution's top 10 ethical book sellers and the Ethical consumer's guide to book sellers.

World of Books is based in Sussex and sells second-hand books. They have a particular focus on sustainability and the circular economy. It is a certified B-Corporation, which commits the company to these goals. It scored very highly in Ethical Consumer's guide to book sellers.

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How is this site different from AbeBooks?

AbeBooks is a subsiduary of Amazon. Amazon and its subsiduaries AbeBooks, Audible and Book Depository scored zero, the lowest possible score, in Ethical Consumer's Product Guide which surveys the social and environmental records of companies.

Making use of this site to find the book you want to buy means that you are not contributing to AbeBooks or Amazon.

Will I have to pay more than buying from Amazon?

No.

Choosing the best deal for a new book from the more responsible book sellers that we search is generally the same price or less than it is on Amazon.

We picked 50 books at random from those that were searched for on this site in September 2020 and compared them with Amazon's prices. We found that:

You can see full details of our survey here.

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Other options for buying books

You could also try these book sellers who all accept online orders and deliver nationwide:

Your local bookshop can probably order this book for you if you contact them. The Booksellers Association's local bookshop search can help you find a bookshop near you.

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Alternatives to buying books

If you live in the UK your local library may well have (or be able to order) the book that you want to read. Use gov.uk's search tool to find the online catalogue for your local library.

For older literature Project Gutenberg is worth a look. It is a library of over 60,000 free eBooks, with focus on older works for which U.S. copyright has expired.

There is also the Open Library which is dedicated to make the world's literature accessible to everyone. It provides access to many books to read and borrow online.

You can also use Bookmooch, a book swapping service, which matches you up with people who want books that you are happy to give away and people who have books that you want to read.

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How is this site paid for?

Many of the links to book sellers on this site are affiliate links which means that I will earn a small commission if you follow one of them and then buy a book from that book seller. This money supports the costs of running this site and I do not allow this to determine which book sellers I list.

If you want to avoid being tracked you can still use Ethical Book Search, just switch affiliate links off.

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