Where to buy your books?
If you buy SF and Fantasy regularly, you should buy them from an independent genre bookstore specialising in SF and fantasy.
These bookstores have a lot of advantages over the big chain stores:
- They love SF and Fantasy and usually have a vast knowledge of the field.
- Generally they have more titles in the field in their shops than the chain stores – and a lot of them carries used books as well.
- You get great personal service, whether you come to their physical stores or order via their websites or e-mail.
- If you want a book, they do not have in stock, they will try and get it for you.
- Also, if you are a book collector like me and prefer First Editions and First Printings, they will try to get you exactly that.
- They also have special events, where you can get your books signed by the author at no extra cost.
Apart from all these advantages, you also help keeping the independent stores alive in these days of Amazon and other hazards. Amazon is not a bad thing per se, but if you have special interests, you will not want Amazon to be the only place to buy.
So – keep the independent SF and Fantasy stores alive, and do them and yourself a favour.
Links to independent SF and Fantasy bookstores.
If you live close to an independent bookstore – check it out. If not, here are some links:
Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction Bookstore – Minneapolis, USA
As many of you are already aware, Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction Bookstore and Uncle Edgar’s Mystery Bookstore were burnt to the ground by rioters in the early hours of Saturday, May 30, 2020.
This was completely uncalled for, and it fills me with sadness.
The owner, Don Blyly is still looking for a site to rebuild the bookstore. You can help him by donating to this GoFundMe: https://gofund.me/62ee60cb.
Hopefully he will succeed in starting up again in a new location. I wish him the best of luck and hope that the text below will soon be relevant again.
Uncle Hugo’s is the oldest still existing SF and Fantasy bookstore in the USA – it opened in 1974.
I have been ordering and buying from them for more than 25 years – first by snail mail, later by e-mail. They always give excellent service. They are helpful and willing to help with your special needs. They also have special events with authors where you can order signed and personalised books.
Hopefully Uncle Hugo’s will exist for many years, so I can keep on buying books from them.
Borderlands – San Francisco, USA
Borderlands opened in 1997. They ran into problems in 2015, when San Francisco voted an increase in minimum wage. Because books in the USA comes with a price printed on the cover, they could not change the price on their new books, but as they were making a very little profit already, a rise in wages would bankrupt them.
They had a new and interesting idea: You could buy a sponsorship for $100 a year. This sponsorship would give you certain benefits, but they had to get 300 sponsorships a year to keep the shop open. It worked like a dream, and they got their minimum number of sponsors for last year – and also for 2017.
I first became aware of Borderlands in 2015, when I read my first book written by Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant. I became so hooked on her writing that I bought and read 23 of her books in 2015. She is also a filk singer and an artist as well. I asked her where I could buy her CDs, some of her drawings and generally her books. She suggested Borderlands. I now have nearly all her books in signed and personalised editions thanks to her and Borderlands – and CDs and drawings as well.
From Borderlands I also get excellent service. They have many events with authors, where you can order signed and personalised books. Borderlands are also very helpful and willing to help you with your special needs.
Hopefully, they will keep getting the sponsors they need and stay open for many years.
I am a Danish pensioner living in Malmö, Sweden. In 2002 I moved here from Copenhagen, Denmark. My collections took up so much space, and apartments in the center of Copenhagen were too expensive. Luckily, at that time reasonably priced apartments could still be found in Malmö – so I moved. Malmö is a lovely city, so I decided to stay – and it only takes twenty minutes to get to Copenhagen.
Fantask – Copenhagen, Denmark
Fantask is the oldest still existing SF and Fantasy bookstore in the World – it opened in 1971 and is still going strong. They also carry a big selection of comics.
I was a regular customer from 1971 until 2002, when I moved to Sweden. Fantask is the place, where I started to build my collection. Usually I dropped by for a chat nearly every day and talking with Morten, Rolf and Søren gave me many good pointers on lots of things – and they became my friends as well.
Science Fiction Bokhandeln – Malmö, Sweden
Science Fiction Bokhandeln moved to a much bigger store and a super central location on the main pedestrian street in Malmö in the summer of 2016.
The store is actually part of an SF and Fantasy chain – they have a store in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö.
People are very friendly, and if you find yourself in Malmö, you should definitely drop by – it is a beautiful store.
How to find a book you need – and which books to want
If you cannot find the book you need in any of the special bookstores, that you usually buy from, you should try this:
This is the best way to find used, out-of-print books on the net. Here you will find approximately 150 million books – yes, that is right 150 million.
You can use different search criteria to home in on a manageable number of the book you want – edition, new, used, hardcover, softcover, signed etc.
When you find the book that meets your criteria, you click on it and can see the sellers full description – and you can buy it with another click.
The whole world of books at your disposal with a couple of clicks.
This site has cost me a lot of money, but it has also gotten me a lot of books I dearly wanted, but never thought I would get.
Locus Magazine – The Magazine of the Science Fiction and Fantasy field
I have been a subscriber to Locus for nearly 40 years. If you are serious about SF and Fantasy, Locus is a must. It lists all new books, most upcoming books in advance, news about the business side of the field, author interviews, reviews of new books, yearly lists of recommended reading, important awards, convention news with pictures and much more.
The above link takes you to Locus Online, where you can get an idea of, what the magazine is all about. You can subscribe to the magazine in either digital or printed form. The digital version is cheaper and will reach you faster.
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