6 Simple Ways to Build Up Your Child’s Library on a Budget

by Janssen Bradshaw

Photo credit: Rinelle / Shutterstock

As a parent, and a book lover, you want to provide your child with a great selection of books at home, but as you try to keep pace with their skills and interests, the costs can quickly add up. Here are some easy ways to make your book dollars go a little further:

1. Check them out at the library first. If you’re trying to stretch your book-buying dollars, borrow the books you’re considering from the library first, so you can see if you and your child like them enough to own your own copy. Sometimes a book is fun for a read-through or two, but after that it loses its appeal.

2. Buy at garage sales and thrift stores. If you’re willing to flip through a bunch of duds, you’re likely to find some great books for a steal. Usually books run about fifty cents each at thrift stores or garage sales, and sometimes you can negotiate an even lower price if you’re buying a big stack.

3. Go to a book fair. Most schools have book fairs at least once during the year, and they can be a good opportunity to buy books for a bit less than full price. And if you volunteer to help run the book fair, you can often get an even bigger discount.

4. Watch for bookstores going out of business. Although no one ever likes to see a bookstore go under, it can be a good time to load up on brand-new books at a discount.

5. Visit your local library sale. Most libraries have book sales either happening continuously or as a big event once or twice a year. Between the books donated specifically for the sale, and the books being weeded out by the library, there’s usually a ton to choose from.

6. Ask for books as gifts. I’m frequently asked by the grandparents what my girls would like as gifts. If you’re getting the same questions, suggest books you’d love to add to your collection. While a toy may be fun for a few weeks, a book can be part of your home for years to come.


Now that you know where to look for books on a budget, learn how to Find a ‘Just Right’ Book for your child.