Everyone says that having books and reading to kids are important because it connects parents to children, it instigates their imagination, concentration, it helps them develop good communication skills, helps them learn to read and write better and the lost goes on…however, a home library can very quickly break the bank when you try to get all these books at home. Here are some tips on how to ensure to have exciting books at home on a budget:
1. Go to your local library
Sounds obvious but many people forget they can borrow books for weeks on local libraries. If borrowing can be a bit overwhelming, most libraries will sell pre-loved books for cents! We often see libraries selling 5 books for a dollar…bargain!
2. Street library
This is probably one of my favourites. In many cities in the world, the street library movement is having a good deal of attention. It is totally free. All you have to do is to find one and get a book you like, you can either return the book to a street library or put another book in to keep the library alive. You then, keep the book you took for as long as you like. If you are keen, you can register to have a street library yourself or just simply make one! To know more, have a look at our blog post on street libraries.
3. Used books on Amazon, eBay, Gumtree and the alike
You can find board books for 3 dollars or less on these sites, there’s nothing wrong with having used books. So get the title you have been looking for or look at reviews of books you haven’t heard of and make a call on what’s good to spend your coins on. Just remember that shipping can quickly increase the price of the books and make it not a good deal after all.
4. Book swop
Easy one! Talk to a few friends to do a book swop a few times during the year. Maybe swop books at the beginning of every season or every school term. It’s a win!
5. Book as birthday present
There is always a couple of guests that will ask what is a good idea for a birthday present. Unlesss you know the person can afford the dream toy or experience your child wants and you can’t afford it yourself, say books. Even better, mention a specific book or type of book (about numbers, farm animals, a flip the flap book, an Atlas for children etc) or of a particular author. Don’t feel bad about asking for specific presents, as a guest of many children’s birthday party, it is so much easier to get a gift that you know the party-child will like.
6. Car boot sales and local markets
When children outgrow an age group, parents are quick to send away the old stuff and that includes books. So make your way to local markets and keep an eye for car boot or garage sales for some super cheap – if not free – books!
Ebooks might not be something good for very young children but a kindle to a teenager might be a good thing. There are plenty of free ebooks of classic stories and new good quality writters. Do some research on what titles are trending between youngsters and download it for them.
Follow book reviewers, authors, illustrators, publishing houses, teachers, librarians and parents n social media. There are loads of giveaways frequently. Just make sure to follow who has the same interests as you, for example, if your children are 0-5 years old, follow who review books on the same age group. A quick browse through their posts will tell you if they will be helpful to you or not.
9. Go for quality not quantity
It’s better to have a few good books than dozens of badly written or poorly illustrated books.
Sometimes, smaller bookshops have cheaper books than the major stores on malls and main streets. Ask around and see where your friends buy books. Also remember to be in the lookout for seasonal books, for example, christmas books will be cheaper after christmas. Books about mum, dad, halloween, starting school etc will have the marketing flow.
Remember that a library is built slowly, through a few years, it grows, it shrinks….but make sure to have a really nice place to keep your books when you start to collect them. Below, a super simple, stylish and adorable way to display your home library. Library box and photo credit to Le Petit Cadre