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.
We want to make it as easy as possible for you to buy your books from a reasonably ethical supplier.
These booksellers are not perfect but they have much better records than many of their competitors. They:
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.
Blackwell's is a UK based academic book seller with around 40 stores in addition to it's global online sales.
Bookshop.org is an online bookshop and is a B-Corporation 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 sells worldwide
Foyles has 7 bookshops across the UK and is now owned by Waterstones.
Hive is a UK based online bookseller that shares it's profits with independent high street bookshops.
The Guardian Bookshop is the online bookshop for The Guardian and The Observer.
The Works is an online retailer of value gifts, arts, crafts, toys, books and stationery.
A large chain of bookshops that also sells online.
WHSmith is a UK based chain of newsagents
Amazon has a very poor track record when it comes to behaving responsibly and buying books from them is damaging to our society and to authors.
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.
AbeBooks is a subsidiary of Amazon. Amazon and its subsidiaries AbeBooks, Audible and Book Depository scored zero, the lowest possible score, in Ethical Consumer's Offer 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.
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.
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.
We haven't created one but we can recommend the Amazon Alternatives extension which is available for Chrome and Firefox. This extension will show you alternative places to buy, including links to Ethical Book Search, when you browse books on Amazon's site.
We use a variety of sources to try to make sure we have as accurate information as possible about most published books, however sometimes books are missing or the information we have about them is incorrect.
Our preferred source of information about books in Open Library and the information in it is crowd sourced. You can sign up for a free account with Open Library and start contributing to their book catalogue by adding books or updating information about existing books.
If you spot that we are missing a book of have the wrong information about a book then:
Many of the links to book sellers on this site are affiliate links which means that we will earn a small commission if you follow one of them and then buy a book from that book seller. We do not allow affiliate programmes to determine which book sellers we list.
50% of the affiliate revenues that we earn go towards supporting the costs of running this site and we donate the other 50% to organisations supporting literacy and access to books (Room to Read and the Internet Archive).
If you want to avoid being tracked you can still use Ethical Book Search, just switch affiliate links off.
Ethical Book Search is built and maintained by Joel Chippindale and is owned by his company Monkey's Thumb Ltd.