For new releases there is nothing better, IMHO, than a bookstore. I love walking into a Barnes&Noble, Borders, BooksAMillion, WaldenBooks, or B.Dalton and browse to see what might be new that I hadn't heard of. Another very important reason for the new book store, though, is the chance to reward the author for his/her labors. If the author doesn't make money, the books may stop. If the publishers don't make money, the books definitely WILL stop. So I am a huge proponent of buying new.
My greatest pleasure, though, truly comes from entering a used bookstore, not for the savings I might get but for the hugely increased chance of finding something from out of the past. While there are a few dozen excellent writers creating thrillers today, there are hundreds in the past who wrote them and gave them to the world to enjoy.
Look in the phone book under Books, Used to see what you may have in your area.
Look on the web at www.superpages.com or www.yellowpages.com for those in nearby communities that might be within driving distance.
Finally, go to the web to look for booksellers online. Many individual stores have their own websites. There are also several terrific book search sites that you should investigate.
Amazon and Barnes&Noble each have excellent new book selections as well as used books.
ABE Books, Alibris, and Biblio are the top three search engines. I have contributed a fair amount of money to their continued success over the years and still go to them regularly.
BookFinder is another highly valued site as it is an aggregator for these other sites. It is usually my very first stop when I want to find out how to get a book. It is also a great source for learning what other books an author wrote.
If you are ordering online, you have to worry about shipping. Most sites now make it easy to see how much the book truly is (cost + shipping) but some don't, so look carefully. Finding an old book for $10 may be a treat but if the book is located in South Africa and the shipping costs $22, well, the deal stops being so wonderful.
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