I just have to take a moment to sing high praises of Abe Books. They've been on the internet scene for ages so you've probably come across them before but I just wanted to remind everyone how brilliant they are, especially if you're after anything vaguely obscure.
|Selection from feature on '30 Old Books Worth Buying for the Cover Alone'|
I'm just gushing right now because I've managed to pick up two books that are really useful for my research for less than £15 combined, including postage. One of them I've referenced at the British Library but the other I've not been able to see because there was some problem when I tried to order it up. Now, because of this wonderful online shop, I can have both volumes of this pair, dating to 1910 and 1911, at home to consult at my leisure.
|Selection from feature on 'Britain in Pictures'|
So, hurrah for Abe Books! I urge you to check them as your first port of call when you're shopping online. You can get books, many out of print or obscure, for an absolute song more often than not. You can also pick up massively expensive, rare antiques if you fancy it and have money to spare... Even if you don't, it's lovely looking through the frequent compilations they feature on the site. I love that they have a bit of a wicked sense of humour too, with themes such as 'Depressing Russian Literature'.
The other great thing about the site is that it brings together a collection of lots of independent sellers, rather than being one massive superstore, so you're supporting little guys by buying from there. Of course, it still doesn't beat the pleasure of browsing through a real-world second-hand bookshop, inhaling the unmistakable smell of old books and stumbling accidentally across hidden delights... But then again, I doubt I would have found those two specific books I was after if I'd just been browsing in a local bookshop so, for that purpose, it is practically unbeatable.
Note! This is not an affiliate or sponsored post, despite sounding like a total sales pitch! I'm not benefitting at all from promoting Abe Books. I just think they're awesome, pure and simple. And when I'm not at work these days, I'm holed up at home with my thesis writing so I'm going just a wee bit book crazy...