As you may have noticed, I’m a big fan of children’s books, and so are the children in this house. But children’s books are expensive! My favorite places to shop for children’s books are at yard sales and library book sales. Yard sales tend to have a much smaller selection, but usually people sell them for pretty cheap ($.25 – $1). Most libraries around the country have library book sales at least once a year. All library sales are run a little different. Ours is run by the Friends of the Library organization and library patrons donate books to the sale. Ours takes place a couple of times a year. After having been to a zillion different library sales (there are different libraries all over the area here and they all have different sales), I’ve kind of figured how best to shop at them to come away with the best books for us. Library book sales tend to have a little higher of prices on the first day (the best selection), but ours is still very reasonable at $0.50 for paperbacks and $1.00 for hardbacks. Here are some of my tips.
1. I always look for books that are in series we like, such as the Berenstain Bears, anything Pooh. The main problem I’m running into is whether we own a book or just checked it out from the library. It would be helpful if I had a list, but we have so many books that would take eons. So I usually just buy it if I think we don’t have it, and if we do we can always donate the book back or give it as a gift. We have most of the typical Berenstain Bears books, but this time I found some of the really old ones (which Greta has been listening to on audiobook lately).
2. If you liked a book that you checked out from the library, buy them!
3. Look for books that are by authors you like. I’ve found many treasures, by buying books by authors we like. Sometimes the books are very old, but still great.
4. I also look for religious books, specifically Catholic ones, but also just general bible story or Easter or Christmas, or whatever.
5. The last thing I tend to pick up is any books that have the little Caldecott Medal thing on the cover. I figure they are at least worth trying!
I usually give myself a set amount of money to spend, usually $40, and almost always come very close to spending that. Sometimes I go back for half-price day to see if I missed anything good. It is rare to find new titles at library book sales, but sometimes you get lucky and find something relatively new. If I end up with a dud of a book, I usually just donate it back to the library for the next sale. I figured I only paid $0.50 or $1, so it isn’t worth keeping around if I don’t like it. Anyone else love library book sales like I do? You can look here to see if there are any near you (note, not all libraries advertise here).
P.S. All the books in the pictures are from the most recent library sale, we have found so many treasures at the library sales.