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.

We 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, Hive, The Guardian Bookshop, WHSmith 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:

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.

BOOKS etc is a UK online business that is based in Aldershot, Hampshire.

Bookshop

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

Hive is a UK based online book store that shares it's profies with independent high street book stores.

The Guardian Bookshop is the online bookshop for The Guardian and The Observer.

WHSmith is a UK based chain of newsagents

World of Books is based in Sussex and sells second-hand books. They have a particular focus on sustainability and the circular economy.

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Why shouldn't I just by my books from Amazon?

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.

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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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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.

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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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Is there an Ethical Book Search browser extension that I can install?

No, but we can recommend the Amazon Alternatives extension which is available for Chrome and Firefox. This extension helps you buy stuff that you find on Amazon's website from other stores.

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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 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.

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