A Short Explanation…
There are so many great websites out there that can help us avid readers and book collectors—those with what Nicholas Basbanes would call “a gentle madness”—to research books, share books, buy more books, and trade books. While this “list” is not intended by any means to be an exhaustive list—such would be impossible, as more and more businesses appear on-line—it is a beginning attempt to list major sites that help us find our way to our reading pleasure. I started a query about this a long-time ago, so I am incorporating many of the suggestions gleaned there also.
I have tried to break down the web-site in a very general way into categories, recognizing that many overlap in function, and do more than one thing. As always, I welcome suggestions, though as I have stated, this can hardly cover everything, and to try to post links to every used bookstore on-line is not feasible, though certainly some have been listed. (In that same vein, I have not linked to major author’s websites either. I figured one can always find those quite easily simply by doing a search for them.) This list is only intended as a starting place and I acknowledge that it will reflect the compiler’s own idiosyncrasies and biases. In general I’ve let the titles of the websites “speak” for themselves, but when the title seems ambiguous or there is other pertinent information, I’ve added some comments, but tried not to overburden the list with too much of it.
As of posting date all web addresses were active, and had not been sold or changed to other content. Please let all of us know, though, if that status changes, so the list can be updated as necessary. Some sites that were suggested previously have since disappeared or no longer appear to be related to books, which is another reason why they may not be listed here.
For those interested in recommendations for actual bookstores to visit in person, check out this post on “Favourite Brick and Mortar Bookstore” for some recommendations. Other resources for actual bookstores include: American Book Trade Directory [updated annually], Used Book Lovers’ Guide Series [edited by David S. Siegel], Bookstore Tourism [by Larry Portzline], The [Insert State Name] Bookstore Book [by Carole March] are just a few places to begin.
I'd love future suggestions. Would you please include the URL in addition to the website's name, when doing so. Saves me the step of finding the URL...
With thanks and happy shopping and researching!