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Thursday, April 1, 2021

Forgotten Realms Book Buying Guide

When it comes to collecting scores of Forgotten Realms novels, or simply acquiring a few in physical form, they are often hard to find. My first suggestion is always check your local used bookstore as any in stock are likely affordable. If you are like me, and your local used stores have one or two Forgotten Realms novels--you don't already have--every Shieldmeet or so, you will likely want to look further afield, into the world wide web. Today I'll briefly explain and link the plethora of websites I use to scavenge for Forgotten Realms novels.

This is not recommended starting places for those interested, though that is an article I will be posting soon

Abe Books is a great website for finding books at decent prices. Somewhat like eBay, Abe Books is limited, unsurprisingly, to book sales. They have quite a collection worldwide, with shipping and quality being front-and-center, though generally stock photos are used in place of pictures of the actual items. This is where I often search for rarer Realms novels, as they tend to not be hundreds of dollars like they are on Amazon, for example.

Alibris is pretty similar to Abe Books in setup, allowing you to search all over the world for cheaper to more expensive books.

Amazon is also similar, though I find searching for used books, especially ones with multiple variations, I am more likely to get a different version from what I ordered on Amazon. As far as rarer Realms novels go, they are insanely overpriced on Amazon typically, so for older books with more in circulation, this is not a bad option. Also if you are looking for books still in print, which these days is really only Drizzt and The Sundering, this is one of the best options for new books.

Barnes & Noble is only good for looking for new Realms novels, and their prices are often on par with Amazon, so if you have B&N membership, the free shipping (which is pretty swift) may on some cases beat out Amazon's Prime shipping.

Better World Books is a great used-book seller, with many deals running often. It really depends on the series to know if there are going to be any available at any given time, but I always make sure to check here when buying books. They also seem to have a decent selection of Realms books in languages besides English.

Biblio is a comprehensive online bookseller, often having some rarer finds, at similar prices to Abe Books, though the selection seems to be more sparse. 

Book Depository is better for new books, similar to B&N and Amazon. Based out of the UK, shipping is free worldwide but a little slow if you are outside of the UK. Since their market is worldwide, you can find books in languages besides English. Also often the go-to place if you want a book in English but with a different cover from the US version; since Forgotten Realms books always tend to have the same cover regardless of country, there is little reason to use the site in this case, but it never hurts to check.

Book Outlet is similar to the other used book stores, and I find it most comparable to Thrift Books or Better World Books. It is often sparse on the selection, but if it has the book, it's almost always a steal.

eBay is my go-to place for Forgotten Realms finds. You often get a picture of the actual item for sale, and often the prices are quite low. You also have auctions in some cases, and for buying books in bulk with random lots of FR novels, this is a great place to get a collection started, or to even buy a whole series with one purchase.

Goodwill has a bidding system online. There are very rarely any Forgotten Realms novels at any given time, but if there are, they are often at the prices you would expect to find in-store, that is: insanely cheap.

Half Price Books run great physical locations, but sadly I am not near one anymore. They do sell a lot of their stock online though, and often at a good price.

IndieBound lists products for many smaller bookstores, and often links the websites to the locations closest to you, many of which offer shipping. I have not actually used this to order any Forgotten Realms novels, but I have been able to find a few at good prices, even some hard to find books.

Indigo is a Canadian bookseller. While the cursory searches I have done for Forgotten Realms books shows very little online beyond Drizzt (some of which were quite pricey while others were really good deals). If you have one near you, FR books don't seem too uncommon at the actual locations. 

ThriftBooks: many of the FR novels I've bought on eBay, were sold by Thrift Books. You can also use their website for other finds, and often they have the best deals on books, be they rare or common.

I hope this list helps some of you. Which is your favorite site to use? Do you use any I have not listed? Amarast!


You can track my current progress here.

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