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Reader Question: How Do YOU Stock Up and Save on Children’s Books?

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Children's Books

Check out this question from a reader –

In the fall, I will be starting my teaching career. I am trying to build my classroom library, but I am having trouble finding great deals. In Nashville, they have an amazing store with children’s books for less than $0.50.

Do you know of any other bookstores or websites that have these kinds of deals? If you have any other tips or ideas on how to build up my classroom library, please let me know!

Join The Discussion

Comments 142

  1. cari

    I am also a teacher. I have built up my library from thrift stores, garage sales, and scholastic. I also give classroom incentives when students donate books they no longer want. You might get lucky and have a retiring teacher donate their library to you. Good luck ok worth your new classroom.

  2. ellie

    Live in NY.
    1.There is a school beside our houses, that school always left books, cabints, storage boxes outsides beside the garbages bag. So many people come to pick up things and reuses them.
    2. Check around the bookstores, they always have many books outside for sale.
    3. garage sales, or even stree stalls(I saw some people sales books a few times on the street)
    4. Ask friends, families, etc. Because many people like to buy books to their children when kids were little. And those books mostly become useless after kids grow up, and they needs more rooms to stroage other things too. So kid’s book are always easily to get from families have kids.

  3. V

    My son is in kindergarten. As part of teacher’s appreciation week, one day is designated as bring an age appropriate book for the teacher’s class library. It makes it easier for me because I know exactly what she needs!

  4. denise

    if you teach in a low income area where the school library is in need of books, http://www.paperbackswap.com lets teachers apply for a 500 or 1000 book donation and the people who are members on the website can donate their points to specific schools that are listed and approved for donations on that website. i have donated points to help fund a school. Each time a school has been accepted into the website for book donation “fundraiser of sorts”, the members have always donated points so that each school was funded!!! http://www.paperbackswap.com/donations/schools.php

  5. denise

    some public city libraries also have library book stores which are run by volunteers where extra books donated by the community that were not needed at the library (too many copies) are resold for decent prices and the profit goes straight back into the public library to buy new books for the library that were wanted by but not donated to the library

  6. Maria

    Sunny Delight Book Spree. Collect 20 upc’s and they will send your class 20 grade appropriate books for free. They run it every fall. You can ask students to help collect the labels.

  7. Amy

    We go to library sales and also have a used book store close to us in NC that does $0.25 any book sales one weekend a month. They do have an online store with boxed books by grade with free shipping. Here’s the link: http://fifthstreetbooks.com/boxed-childrens-books.html

  8. Laura

    If you have a local Facebook group, post asking if anyone has any they want to get rid of. I’ve accumulated TONS of books since my oldest son was born and while I feel you can never have too many books, I also lack storage place for all of them, lol. Every now and then I switch out the books in the kids’ rooms and end up getting rid of the ones who don’t really read much. I’m sure I’m not the only one who would be more than happy to donate books to a classroom! Also, I would love it if more teachers kept an Amazon Wishlist of things they can use in their classroom, including books. Sometimes when I have credits or a little extra spending cash but don’t need anything myself, I try to find something to donate. If my kids’ teachers kept Amazon Wishlists, it would make it super easy for me to pop on and ship something right to the school that they could use and I would be glad to do it.

  9. becky

    Library sales, yard sales, goodwill, etc. You can also make a post on Facebook saying you’re trying to start your classroom library and if people have books they’re willing to part with, to please let you know and you’ll pay garage sale prices or donate for free. When i taught school (before staying home) people donated their used books to me and i had a ton for my classroom! Now i homeshool my kids and am using those same books. What a blessing!

  10. Jess

    I’m a teacher and I usually get books from Goodwill or library book sales. I’ve also done Donors Choose projects and have gotten lots of books donated to my classroom. Hope this helps!

  11. Rebeccaperson

    We ask for books for holidays and birthdays in lieu of so many toys. Books last much longer!

  12. Mindi

    Last year in the back if one of the Parenting magazines, that my daughter brought home from school, was a contest to win 100 free books from Scholastic for a classroom. I signed up my daughter’s Kindergarten teacher and we won. Her teacher was very grateful for the almost $600 prize. It was his 2nd year of teaching and being newly married (to a teacher) his budget was thin. Scholastic ended up sending 127 books.

  13. Esther

    I’m an aide in Kindergarten. In my spare time I have an ongoing project when I rehome the unused books in other classrooms. I know which teachers have too many books and which ones need them. I usually level them so they are ready for a new home. We had 2 rooms of book shelves full of books where teachers retired didn’t take them with them and the new teacher didn’t want them so they threw them in the room. Make it known at school you need them.

  14. tracy

    Thriftbooks.com is really awesome!

  15. Alicia

    Better World Books. Free shipping, most books under $4, huge selection. Plus, for every book you buy, they donate a book to Africa or other worthy causes!

  16. NanaMom

    If you are on facebook, look up a page in your local are for online garage sale. In my are there are 3 different pages set up that i search. There is a ton of stuff on there so you have 2 search but, i have got books new & used at very cheap prices for my granddaughters. Also, thete is sometimes stuff listed just as free!!

  17. Tara

    Check out Colins post about the little golden books on sale at World Market. 😊

  18. Susan

    I’m a school volunteer and mom of a voracious reader and I shop my local Scholastic Warehouse sale. They have everything from board books up and the prices can be fantastic! I make myself a promise not to pay more than $3/book. You can register on their website and get a coupon. In our area, there are two to three a year. One year they had books for 10 cents each and I bought enough for 50 children to have a book. http://registration.scholasticbookfairs.com/events/warehouse/

  19. Jen

    I get books from Half price books, their clearance children’s books are usually $0.50 or $1.00. Once upon a child also has books usually between $1.00 and $2.50 a piece. Other than that garage sales, library sales and sales that churches have.

  20. Sara

    Thank you so much everyone for your suggestions! My new third graders and I will been enjoying tons of new (to us) books because of your help and tips! Thank you Collin!

  21. Jennifer

    Goodwill stores regularly sell kids books for around 99 cents, but each week they clear out the oldest books (whatever color tag is on sale that week) for something like 10 for $1.99, making them 19 cents each. Savers stores sell kids books for 99 cents, but have a Buy 4 Get 1 Free deal every day, making them 80 cents each. Rummage sales at places like churches or other large organizations are other great places to buy kids books because they generally don’t have time to individually price the books, so they usually just sell them for a flat rate of 25 or 50 cents each, regardless of the original price.

  22. kstawitz

    We love Goodwill and children consignment sales for books.

    While not as cheap, if you’re looking for specific titles, I would check Thriftbooks.com. You can create a Wish List of books you want and they will e-mail you when they come into inventory, if not currently available. They also have a fantastic loyalty program and free shipping with a low minimum purchase (maybe around $10).

  23. Mom toddler

    Books Parents for toddlers. Please I need to get books for parents in Spanish. I could help where I can get in the US. ILL.

  24. jainiebw

    If you’re looking for cheap books you should check out FifthStreetBooks.com. They sell children’s books on their website for $0.59 and free shipping. I order a box of 2nd grade books every couple weeks and the kids are always excited to see what we get. The books are used but the quality is good. Also, BookSaleFinder.com is a great source for finding local sales and it’s always updating.

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