Whether you’re a mom trying to feed your youngsters’ literary appetites or an aunt looking for a worthwhile gift, assembling a steady supply of kids’ books can pose a challenge for your budget. Here are a few places to save money and help you add to the personal library of your future LearnVester.
Your Local Library
We know, we know, but it works! While libraries might be slow to stock your current New York Times bestsellers or the latest journal in modern medicine, they are a great resource for children’s book classics. You’re almost guaranteed to find a copy of that Beverly Cleary book you once loved or the complete Narnia series, as well as a good selection of picture books for the youngest readers. Of course, you can’t keep them, but the library can save your wallet a ton on the titles that don’t turn into your child’s favorites.
Another great way to score favorite titles? Find a store that will supply your books for cheap—many used book stores have a children's section. Before you buy, be sure no errant crayon marks or torn pages ruin your reading experience. If you’re looking for an unusual or especially artistic book, perhaps as a present, you can search out an independent bookseller for more unique titles. Try IndieBound to find a seller in your area.
Take to the Net
Chances are you already use sites like Amazon, Half.com, and eBay to find your own books, so why not use these resources for children’s titles? Getting them gently used can score you a great deal. Check for deals where you’ve already found them before, and try new sites like BookCloseOuts and KidSurplus for more.
Children’s Book Clubs
Get great reads delivered right to your doorstep, at a discount. Early Moments offers fun and expert-selected packages for kids, including a Dr. Seuss mailing. Also, try the Children’s Book-of-the-Month Club. These clubs offer cost-efficient options to keep the books coming, and you can monitor your membership online.
Take a chance at BookCrossing, which lets you leave a book you love for someone else to read, and come across new titles serendipitously. The journaling aspect of the program can also help your child see what a difference sharing a book can make. Not only is it free, it makes reading a real-life adventure.