Ugh – a day late! Sorry about that! I have been fighting a stomach bug that’s supposed to last 24 hours, but I am on my second day of not feeling so hot.
Last week I talked about the importance of using your local public library to find books for use in the classroom. I know that we just have to have our own books too…we can’t resist. So, if you need to add to your collection, update your library, or just begin one, here are some ideas:
1. Library Sales
Check out the local library sales – especially if they have a dollar a bag sale. My library does and I always score a ton of great deals. It’s sad, but the library discards are rarely picked up in the classroom. There’s a reason they were discarded. Try to find books that have been donated to bring back to you classroom. Plus, your donation supports the library.
2. Yard/Garage Sales
I’m always stunned when people sell children’s book for a quarter at sales. They paid many times that! Pick up some gently used books by planning to spend a few dollars over the summer. A budget of $20 will net you 80 books if you can find them for 25 cents. I also can’t believe how many times people just tell me to have things for free or a big discount when I sheepishly tell them I’m a teacher and that’s why I’m buying out their book collection!
3. Ask Parents for Unused Books
Parents sometimes love to get rid of books, especially at the end of the year when their children are interested in more challenging books. Make a little announcement as part of your open house spheal or put a little blurb in your newsletter.
4. Use Scholastic
Scholastic is a great way to get cheap books. You can use bonus points or receive reward coupons for parents ordering online. I also really like their wish list function. If parents are aware of it, they will sometimes buy an extra book for the classroom. Be sure to put some choices on your wish list.
5. Thrift Shops
I love ‘em! I do! There are some beautiful thrift stores in my area and, though they are a little more expensive than garage sales, there is often a much bigger selection of books. I have a great one nearby that alphabetizes their chapter books by author. I can easily grab a few from a popular series. Plus, Goodwill has discounts for college students on Tuesdays and I qualify now!
6. The Teacher Discard Pile
You know, that pile that builds up somewhere in your building of all the unwanted stuff! I can’t tell you how many times I have scored some pretty awesome books from that pile. Especially books for my leveled library. Teachers in my build(s) tend to get rid of multiple copies and books from old reading series. They are perfect to put a level sticker on and tuck into books boxes. Don’t be afraid of the pile! But don’t take too much from it either!
Are there any other sources for inexpensive books?