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6 Inexpensive Ways to Build a Home Library

Explore these budget-friendly ideas for growing your child's home library.
on February 22, 2018

Kids need books in the house to enjoy and grow their reading skills. Building a library for your child doesn’t have to be expensive though. Here are six ideas for locating high-quality books at bargain prices.

1. Library Book Sales

Many public libraries hold quarterly or bi-annual book sales. Books can come from purged library collections or donated books from the public.

The children’s books are usually the best deal during the multiple day sales. Often you will find books for kids that are $0.25 or $0.50 each. And, there will usually be a stuff bag option for just a few dollars.

My son purchased twenty-five of The Boxcar Children books for $3 at our last library sale. You can’t beat $0.12 a book!

2. Scholastic Book Club

Your child’s school probably sends home Scholastic Book Club flyers. This is another economical way to acquire popular and newly released titles at deeply discounted prices. You will even find books with audio CDs that accompany some of the books.

Your child’s teacher also receives bonus points when you order. Those points can be used to purchase books and supplies for the classroom.

If you homeschool your children, you can also create an account to purchase from the flyers.

3. Resale Shops

Often people will purge books from their personal libraries and donate them to charity shops. We have found many books at our local Goodwill and Salvation Army.

When I shop at resale shops for used clothing for my kids, I can almost always find a few books to add to our collection too. In fact, on one visit, I found ten Dr. Seuss books.

4. Yard Sales

One of my favorite places to find great books for kids is at yard sales. When scouring newspaper and online postings, look for ads that have items related to children. Many of them will even tell you the related ages of items for sale.

Spring and early summer are the best times to find lots of kid-related yard sales. I especially like early summer when retiring teachers have sales to clear their collections accumulated over their careers.

5. Online Resources

Other useful tools are online resources for finding specific books you may be looking to add to your personal library.

Sites such as eBay and Amazon allow you to type in a specific book you are seeking in the search bar. They then list the prices from a variety of sellers. Often, you will find books for less than half of the retail price. Just keep in mind, there is generally a shipping fee and you want to look at a seller’s rating before making a purchase.

6. Little Free Libraries

Now, you can’t get cheaper than free. Little Free Libraries are scattered around the world in communities such as a family’s front yard, a public playground, and even at banks. 

You can visit the Little Free Library website to find small miniature libraries in your neighborhood. Then, you simply leave one of your old books in the box and take another one you want to enjoy. You can complete this cycle over and over again to find new treasures.

Add some books to your child’s library that don’t break the bank. Your kids will love having a personal library to read from each day.

Connect with Jodie at Growing Book by Book.

Featured Photo Credit: © Inti St Clair/Getty Images

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In the Raise a Reader blog, get advice, tips, and resources from our expert contributors on helping your child read at every age and stage. Each week, find book recommendations, literacy activities, and more to spark your reader's interests.

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