We’ve been talking a lot about books recently on the blog. Beyond The Tiger Mom compared the emphasis on literacy in the East and the West. Jessica wrote a guest post about 9 Ways to Create a Child Who Loves To Read. We’re participating in her 30 day read aloud challenge over on her site, Bookworm Academy – come join us!
The importance of having a house with easy access to reading material in all forms is known. But how can you do this on a minimal budget? New books are just so expensive! If we didn’t do book reviews my children wouldn’t have as many new books as they do. I must say thank you to my own parents for always feeding my reading addiction! That’s one area where I don’t ever recall them saying no I couldn’t have another book (I loved the Scholastic book choices through school).
There are definitely ways to find ways to have books around the house. They may not always be new and shiny, but used books are generally still in good condition. And if you look after your books you may be able to sell them on later so that you can purchase even more books!
Here are 10 ways I’ve saved money on books over the years:
1) A report out last week in the UK said that the ways in which libraries are being used is changing. It’s not just all about books anymore (read why we love our library for things that are offered). But of course, books are still key. And if your library doesn’t have what you’re looking for, ask to see if they have inter-library loans available.
2) Don’t limit yourself to public libraries for your reading and research. University libraries are great places to hag out! Some may charge a small yearly fee or per-book charge if you’re not a student or staff member.
3) Pop up libraries. Have you heard of them? Frances shared how they’ve become popular in Puerto Rico. Libros Libres are a great idea!
4) Facebook can be a great resource. Look for sales and free groups in your area. Sometimes people may be selling or even giving away a single book, or a bundle of them at once.
5) When I was in Japan, I wouldn’t have survived without the International Centre supplying me with books. I could only borrow 4 at a time, and the time limit was 2 weeks. But they were in English. Toyama didn’t have many foreigners, so English language materials weren’t plentiful. When I moved around I’d always check out the local International Centre to see what was available. This could be a great resource for anyone not living in their homeland or looking for books in another language.
6) Some workplaces have a corner in the lunch room or a break room with magazines and books to borrow or read. I find that usually these are adult books – but what a great way for sharing children’s books! It would quickly become popular.
7) Pop-up books swap locations are becoming popular. You may have seen ones around the internet housed in old phone boxes, old mail boxes, etc. Here in Northern Ireland, some of the train stations now have a bookshelf or table where you can leave books you no longer need, and pick up ones that you’re interested in. We’ve found some on local history, geography, and even a game or two!
8) Let your colleagues know that you’re interested in pre-loved books. Just last month Phil was going to take a book to the train station but forgot about it in his backpack. He found it while at work and thought that a co-worker with a child about the same age as Tristan might enjoy it. He did, and now Phil will pass on books this way to be shared as well.
9) I already mentioned it above, but if you have a blog, you will find authors and publishers that will share their books with you. Sometimes ebooks, sometimes physical books. They aren’t totally free this way as it takes your time to do the reviews, but if you’re willing to exchange your time instead of cash, this is a good way to go.
10) Also mentioned above are companies like Scholastic that sell books at a reasonable price through the schools. If you’re homeschooling but know of someone in the school system I’m sure they wouldn’t mind letting your add to their order. These days the schools also use such things as fundraisers so they’ll not argue about having bigger orders.
There are so many more ways to save money on books, but I’ll share those another day. How are some of the ways that you save money on books for yourself and for your kids?