Over the years, I have built quite a collection of children's books!
A couple of years ago, I chatted a little bit about buying ahead, and I definitely approach acquiring books with the same game plan. Today, I want to share with you some tips for building a great collection of books for your kids!
Register for Books - Yes, I'm talking about your baby registry! From the time that wittle bitty baby is in your not so wittle bitty belly, start thinking ahead to their library. Forget scanning the wipe warmer (It will be useless to you.), the Diaper Genie (All poopie diapers are going to have to be carried out to the garage anyway.), and 14 different outfits (...that they will never wear.). Scan books instead! Sweet reads like Love You Forever, I Love You Through And Through, and Love Is a Handful of Honey are great places to start! Your friends and family will love buying these for you as I'm sure they will have their own memories associated with some of the titles.
Yard Sales - Girl, let me tell you! This is the number one way for me to find great books. I love when I can find them for $.10 or $.25 but if I must, I will sometimes pay $.50 or $1.00 for great titles in great condition. *insert dramatic sigh* In all seriousness, I find new/like new books - and will oftentimes be able to score a whole batch for one lump [low] price. It's amazing! Most of my kiddos' books are second-hand, and they are classic titles, popular reads in excellent condition. Any wear and tear on our books comes from my kids - not someone else's~
Thrift Stores - Same idea as above - except I typically have to pay a little more at thrift stores - Some of the thrift stores I frequent price paperbacks at $.99 or so and hardbacks at $1.49 or $1.99. If it's a great find, I'll go for it - but I'm a little bit more selective when shopping this way.
Consignment Sales - Because I'm able to score such great deals at yard sales and thrift stores, I am very, very selective when it comes to consignment shopping. I watch the prices closely - and only purchase items that are more difficult to find elsewhere. When browsing a sale's book selection, I watch for the better priced books~ I realize that new books are expensive and buyers are simply wanting to recoup some of their money, but I usually pass on the higher priced reads.
Birthday/Christmas Gifts - If the grandparents want to know what to get junior for a special occasion, suggest titles that your kiddo loves. You may also want to suggest gift cards to Barnes & Noble, etc. so that your child can play a role in choosing a book(s) that interest them.
Take One/Leave One - Our neighborhood recently established a take one/leave one system. A small booth has been built on site and it houses books for the neighborhood kids. If you remove a book for your keeping, you must replace it with one of your own. We have not yet gotten involved in this, but it may be a great option for your neighborhood or community group.