My thoughts on how to build better, more robust, more maintainable, more humane, and greener software.

Buying used books on BookFinder, without feeding Amazon

Reading time: 2 minutes

BookFinder is a great resource to buy used paper books all over the world, but a number of results on the site are Amazon-owned businesses. Why encourage Amazon's destructive business practices while trying to give books a second life?

Used books are great…

Despite using a Kobo as my eReader, I still enjoy reading paper books from time to time. However, printed books are made out of dead trees and I’d rather rescue a second hand book than create demand for a new one.

BookFinder is a great resource to find used books and compare prices (including shipping to any country, and in any currency), it has become my first step when looking for a book.

… But Amazon is not

The problem is that BookFinder is owned by Amazon and many of the search results on the site promote Amazon-owned businesses.

Amazon is a notorious union buster1 2, forces its employees to work in unsafe conditions3 4, routinely burns millions of useable but returned items5, knowingly sells counterfeit goods6… Not a business I’d like to enable. Besides, Jeff Bezos has already been to space once; no need to help send him again.

Spotting Amazon businesses on BookFinder

I have inventoried every Amazon-owned site I could find on BookFinder and created a Userscript to easily spot these businesses amongst the search results. It’s now easy to buy used books without giving Amazon any business!

Here is what it looks like (click to enlarge):


Amazon results are still clickable, but they’re clearly marked and easy to avoid.

Source code and future plans

The source code is public and available on my GitHub:

To use it, you’ll need Tampermonkey for Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Edge, Opera.

You can then add the script from here:

In the future, I might turn this into a standalone Firefox and Chrome extension. But the userscript works just as well.


I hope this script will be useful, and that you’ll consider buying used books instead of new ones. Most of the books I purchased this way were actually new and I couldn’t tell they were second hand.

Fairly recent books are available too, the one featured in the screenshots was first published in Februray 2023 and has been available used since April 2023.