When I talk to groups of parents about the importance of having books in
the home, many of them become concerned as they project that this can be a very
expensive proposition. It neednít be. Here are some free or inexpensive ways
to increase the number of books in your home.
The library is free. Pick one day a week and make it a habit to go to the
library every week on that day. Check out the maximum number of books to take
Many public libraries sell their older books and books that community
members donate for that purpose. You can get lots of books for ten cents,
twenty-five cents, or a dollar. Check
with your library to see how often they do this and when they will do it next.
sales, yard sales, and estate sales
Youíll find rock-bottom prices at these events. Stock up!
Head right to the childrenís section in the used bookstore. They will
usually have a great selection and reasonable prices.
Many thrift shops have books in addition to their clothing and household
Many teachers subscribe to commercial book clubs that offer very
inexpensive books to children. In my experience, there are almost always books
for less than a dollar.
fundraising book sales
These are frequently in conjunction with a company that also has book
clubs. You will usually find several bargain prices.
Are you concerned with the excess of toys that your child has collected?
When a gift-giving occasion is coming up, speak frankly with your relatives or
friends who will be purchasing gifts for your child. Request that the gifts be
Round up your kidsí friends, invite them all to your home, ask them to
bring five books that they donít want any more, and conduct a book exchange
among the kids. Or suggest to the teacher that s/he do this with the entire
class. Itís a good way to get new-to-you books flowing through your home.
clubs in the mail
Check your mailbox. Introductory offers very reasonable.
Jay Davidson lives in Palo Alto and has been teaching in San Francisco
for 31 years; he teaches first grade. He is the author of Teach Your Children
Well: A Teacherís Advice for Parents, which is available for
$12.95 from Amazon.com. He can be reached at www.jaydavidson.com.