Young children love hearing their favourite stories over and over (and over) again. However, as they grow older and want to hear longer books, they prefer novelty. Which means more books. The library is a great help and we visit the library every week, but it’s also nice to have a selection of books at home, that children can read again themselves when they are ready. It’s also great for them to have books to pour over alone, even if they can’t read all of the words yet – see my blog post Books Around the House: Normalising Reading.
Building a home library sounds expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are six sources (in no particular order) that I use to build ours without it costing a fortune:
1. Source secondhand books
I have picked up lots of great books for very low prices at “Opp” shops, garage sales, school fetes, secondhand shops, antiques markets and bazaars. You could also consider buying bundles of books from sellers on Gumtree, eBay and Facebook Buy/Swap/Sell groups. I haven’t done this yet as I’m too lazy to organise to pick them up and I usually only want one or two in a bundle.
2. School Book Club
Once your children are at school, you’ll probably find yourself bringing home a catalog for book club every few weeks. I keep an eye out for interesting non-fiction books and let my boys pick out one or two things that interests them. Sometimes the savings are quite significant from buying in a store.
3. Little Free Library
My boys’ school has a Little Free Library and this has been a great way to swap books that they have grown out of for others. Sometimes we borrow, sometimes we keep and often we donate. If you don’t have a Little Free Library near you, perhaps you can start one!
4. Find a local bookshop with a loyalty program
If I want to buy a book written by an Australian author, I head to my local independent bookstore. This is one of the best ways to support the Australian book industry. I’m happy to pay for quality books at retail price and support local authors, but the loyalty program is a great bonus!
5. Online retailers
I use online bookstores for overseas publications, especially those that cost a bit more money.
Now and again Aldi have specials on children’s books. We’ve bought quite a few good non-fiction books at Aldi, as well as a collection of Dr Seuss books and other fiction books.