1. I have a reason now! Teaching 7th grade, we have a support period and we drop everything and read for 15 minutes. So many kids don’t have books with them though! I’m going to pick up a few to have in the classroom (there are science “comic” type books) but I’d like some other choices too. Thanks so much for this!

  2. Instead of buying books from Amazon, I like to shop Better World Books online. Most of the books are $3.98 or less, shipping is free, they run sales all the time, AND they donate the proceeds to literacy projects around the world. A complete win-win situation!

    I also haunt yard sales for cheap books, especially if the person is getting ready to close up. You can score some great finds for next to nothing, because no one wants to take anything back into the house. Sometimes people give me the books for FREE!

  3. I don’t travel as much as I used to, but when I was I would buy books off the ‘for sale’ shelf at the library specifically to read on the plane etc. Because I paid next to nothing for it, I would pass it on – leave if the hotel had a library or bookshelf for guests, offer it to someone at the airport. No need to carry it back home! I’ve found so many great books for 25 or 50 cents.

    • This is the best idea, Clare! I love leaving books in hotel lobbies or other places where other travels have left them behind. My husband always thinks I’m a bit bananas. “You bring all these books with and then you want to read other people’s books instead?” They could have better taste than me! 😉

  4. Kim Domingue

    My local Half Price book store will accept some books that you bring in and give you credit towards future purchases. So, if you have books from family, friends, freecycle, etc that aren’t suitable for your classroom, bring them there and see what they’ll accept and build up credit for books they stock that are suitable. Library sales are wonderful. Our library has one twice a year. They sell their books by the inch…..50 cents an inch! My 33 year old son and I have had a standing mother/son date for two decades for the library’s fall sale….
    and celebrate our “scores” with a hamburger afterwards, lol!

  5. Yes yes and yes! I wish these resources were around when I was a kid! I felt perpetually book starved during the school year because we couldn’t afford to buy books and there was no time to go to the library. And in one summer I read every children’s book I could reach, checking out a tower of books taller than me every week, so my brain felt stunted. I’m so glad there are more resources for kids these days.

    • No time to go to the library is one of the saddest phrases I’ve ever heard.

      I second the person who said yard sales. I just picked up a bunch of books for 10 cents each for a friend’s child. Kijiji or a similar online site might also be good, although I haven’t personally tried it. Where I live, the children’s hospital also has an annual book sale that is huge. It fills all the walking spaces of an entire mall, and the books are cheap.

      • I try to be really mindful of this. Not all of my students live in walking distance to the library. And public transportation in the ‘burbs is pretty terrible. The saddest part, though, that doesn’t get talked about enough at all IMHO is the fact that everyone who lives in unincorporated parts of town is ineligible for library cards without paying (due to how tax dollars do/don’t get allocated). The cost? $600. FOR ONE YEAR.

  6. My reason for wanting cheap books, back when I wasn’t such a fan of minimalism, was simply that I wanted a lot of books. The more the merrier! I’ve changed now, but here’s a few ways I used to buy cheap books:

    1. There was a used books store in the town I went to college in that was very popular and had a lot of turnover. Most of the books were a normal used book price, but they had a room in back for all the books that weren’t selling, that were a bit beat up, or that they had many copies of. They sold them for the following prices:
    2 for $1
    10 for $3
    60 for $6
    No kidding!! I took advantage of the 60 for $6 offer a couple of times. I figured if I found at least 10 books I knew I’d like, then the remaining 50 wild cards were only $3 more.

    Those prices are a few years old now, but it might be worth calling around to see if any local stores do something similar!

    2. Amazon sometimes has paper books (not Kindle) for $1 if you are willing to experiment a little!

    3. I also recommend the garage sale method. I’ve both purchased and sold books at garage sales for 10-50 cents each. And this way sometimes results in better choices than option #1!

  7. I love these ideas (from both you and Military Dollar). I have a mission this summer to completely plump up and revamp my classroom library. I might actually be teaching in the same room for two years in a row! It’s time to get serious and settle in with some book poundage.

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