Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How to Get Cheap Children's Books

My siblings and I all love reading, and we are all good readers. I think this is due to a combination of things. First, my mom, a school teacher, taught each of us to read herself. I remember thinking it was annoying to have to go over "sound cards" over and over until I knew them all backwards and forwards, and being annoyed when my mom wouldn't ever let me guess on any words without sounding them out. I also remember it was nice to spend time with just Mom, even if it was to go over stupid sound cards a hundred times. Second, my dad always read fun "chapter books" to us every night after dinner. My mom gave me the ability to read well, but I think this time with my dad helped inspire a love of reading and discussing books. Talking about the books as we read them also helped teach us reading comprehension, which never occurred to me as a kid, it was just fun.

Third, we always had a bunch of books in the house, big tall shelves with hundreds and hundreds of books. Now that we have little McBaby I want him to love reading too. I am going to make him go over sound cards a hundred times and never guess at new words. Handsome Bryce will get the fun job of reading exciting chapter books. But that leaves the issue of bookshelves filled with books. You guys, kid's books are crazy expensive! I thought about getting book lots on Ebay, but I didn't like not knowing what books I would be getting for $50.

Then one day I checked at DI. Deseret Industries is a second-hand store, and job training program, run buy the LDS church. There are a lot of them in Utah, but they are all over the world. They have all kinds of things there, including children's books. Not just grubby, crusty, sticky books, but nice clean barely used, or even unused books! They are all about 75 cents too! Some of the bigger books or nice board books are $1.50, but on average I spend less than a dollar per book there. And they have good books! Here are the ones I have bought so far:

Dr. Suess books:
The Cat in the Hat
Green Eggs and Ham (someone stuck papers in this book for a project or something, grrrr, but they steamed off.)
Ten Apples up on Top
The Foot Book
The Tooth Book

Golden Books:
The Pokey Little Puppy (One of my favorites)
Scuffy the Tugboat
The Monster at the End of This Book (One of Bryce's favorites)

Other Books:
Arthur's Tooth
Arthur's Birthday
Something Special
Sammy the Seal
Paddington Bear
Manners Time
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

And it only cost about $14 for all of them! I am kind of a snot about second-hand stores because they all have a certain "smell" not really a dirty smell, just a second-hand smell. (I know, it's snotty.) So I have to clean the books with Lysol so they won't get their cooties on my baby. But for such a good deal I can now afford extra cans of Lysol and my baby can read lots of books with me!

I am betting other thrift stores have similar book collections. If you want to get books there you are going to have to be prepared to hunt. There will be no blue-haired, coffee-scented Barnes and Noble employee to look titles up on the computer. But you also won't have to pay for said employee's next dye-job, so that's a plus. Don't be afraid to investigate, happy hunting!

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