Book Buying

How do you all go about buying books? Where do you most regularly get books from? Do you spend hours perusing old secondhand book stores, or do you spend a few minutes clicking mouse buttons?

I tend to get books from a number of different sources. Some I prefer to others, however the method which I get the most enjoyment from is the one that I do the least.

I get some books from local auctions. My father inhabits the local auction scene and has been known to pick up the odd six or seven boxes of books for me, usually for 25p a box or something silly. This is obviously cheap, but the quality and type of books can be quite random. It can be interesting searching through the boxes to see whether there is anything of interest or value, but in general my least favourite method.

My favourite method book buying is secondhand book stores. I can spend hours lost in the pleasure of leafing through musty old tomes. I will hopefully be checking out a few of this type of shop on Friday when I go to London. I have plotted a route from the station to the restaurant that should take me past six or so bookshops. I will just have to be careful not to get too engrossed in them and be late for my meeting. That would not be ideal. Although this type of book buying, along with visiting book fairs, is my favourite method, it is not the method that I use the most.

As much as I would like to have the time to buy secondhand editions of books with character from real shops I tend to end up buying most of my books from Amazon purely because of the convenience. The pressures of work tend to mean that I have little time for visiting bookshops and being able to get the books I want online is just too tempting. I actually really love the Amazon wish list as I enjoy adding all of the books that I want to get as I discover a new author or read a review about something. The ability to buy books with one click is also useful, but extremely dangerous in my opinion. I should really disable it, if that is possible. The recommendations that Amazon provide can also be quite useful in pointing you to other books by the same author or stories in a similar to what you have just ordered.

So what is your favourite method of book buying? Comments please.