With so many engaging children’s books, it can get expensive trying to stock an engaging library. Having books that not only you want to read, but that your children will want to hear is so important! These are our 7 favorite places to buy children’s book to grow your personal library on a budget.
We love to read. I mean we love it. Ry and I were both the kids who snuck flashlights under the blanket to stay up all night reading, him Harry Potter, me Nancy Drew. While we don’t spend as many late night hours reading now, we do still get in as much reading as we can a day. I love to keep our bookshelves fully stocked, and I’m very proud to say that we have passed our love of reading on to Aaliyah. Every day we read at least 2 children’s books to her, and we’ve been growing her little library at a nice pace.
I love to keep track of my own reading on Goodreads, and set my own reading challenges to keep myself on track. Last year, by cutting down on phone time before bed, I was able to read 50 books! When I saw the 1000 books before kindergarten challenge I was so excited to join in! I love that it is a way to motivate us to keep up on our daily reading, but also create a list and a keepsake for her as she gets older.
The rules to the challenge are simple: read 1000 children’s books before your little on starts kindergarten. The website has reading log trackers, and you can check out your local library to see if they participate in the program. For us, I’ve decided to keep track in a journal I keep as a sort of baby book so she can have it forever. Although we have been reading to her since she was born, we are “officially” starting our challenge a little late. Still, counting just the books we have on our shelves and our current library rentals we’ve hit the 200 book milestone! We’re going to try to get the full 1000 without counting our repeat reads!
Where to buy
Buying 1000 children’s books can get pricey. Finding bargains on books is a bit of a treasure hunt! Book shopping (for kids and adults!) can be so much fun, and these are our 7 favorite places to look.
Whether it’s Goodwill or a local thrift store, it’s a great place to look for books. With prices being $1.99 for hardbacks, $.99 for paperbacks, and $.59 for children’s books, it’s rare that I ever leave our Goodwill without at least a few new titles to read.
Our Goodwill has a huge book selection, which means great choices, I have found some amazing vintage art books there, but they are only organized by price so searching can be a little difficult.
2 used bookstore
We love supporting small business, and love visiting our local bookstore for some great book deals! When visiting a used bookstore it’s important to make sure they have a good children’s book section, as many just focus on novels. We are lucky that ours has an amazing selection, and we can spend an hour sorting through the boxes and shelves.
If you don’t want to hang on to your books after reading them, you can see if your local store will accept them for credit! We can bring in a few books and make a few dollars to put towards our new ones.
If you’re ever in San Diego, La Playa Bookstore in Point Loma is magical. Their selection and prices are great and LOOK at this children’s books section! We spent a few hours here and really enjoyed it!
3 Dollar store
Hidden away next to their school supplies and coloring books, the Dollar Tree has an amazing collection of board books! While not the best for older kids, they are simple and fun books for toddlers and infants. We’ve found great books on counting, the alphabet, shapes, and animals. A lot of the time they are character based, including My Little Pony, Sesame Street, and Disney characters.
I like to buy a few of these and keep them in my purse or car!
I am a little ashamed to admit that before last year I hadn’t been to the library since middle school! I don’t know why, it’s a great resource not only for books, but also activities and social time for kids. Our local library has a great children’s books selection, weekly story time and crafts, and free access to computers with educational apps and games!
Of course you can get tons of books by simply renting them at the library. I like to place holds on books that I want to read so that it is easy for me to pick up when we get there. I then let her wander through the children’s section and pick out whichever books she thinks are interesting.
Being able to rent ebooks was a game changer for my reading. It allowed me to read whenever I wanted without a reading light, or keeping Ry up with the lamp on!Using my library card I downloaded the Libby app, and I now have access to thousands of ebook titles for free.
On top of novels for me, they have a great selection of children’s books as well. Some of their titles will even read out loud and turn the page! This was great when we took our last road trip, after downloading a few books I didn’t have to worry about books taking up space in our luggage.
Check your local library for a Friends of the Library Sale! Ours holds one 4 times a year as a fundraiser for the library. If you want books for super cheap, this is definitely the time to get them. To pay you make a stack of your books, and they charge you 25 cents for every inch!
Our stack from the last sale had almost 30 books, and I only paid $4.25!
Of course you can find endless book titles on Amazon! With lightening deals and 2 day shipping, it makes it easy to find great books.
To make it even easier, here are a few of our favorites for you to check out!
Aaliyah’s Current Faves
Lexi’s Forever Faves
The Art Forager
The Perfect Mother
Ry’s All-Time Favorites
Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban
Tuesday’s With Morrie
Where are your favorite places to treasure hunt for books?
We’ve already hit the 200 books milestone! I look forward to more reading and shopping together!