Yup, those are all children's books for sale!
And, yes, they did look at me oddly as I was taking these pictures.
You can't beat those prices!
Here's a sneak peak at some of the shelves.
These are from the shelves for older friends. If you click on the picture, you will be able to read the titles. The smaller shelves to the right in the top picture are full of books for the younger set. Luckily, they always tend to have good books for sale, books that are current and in great shape.
The book sale room is one of my first stops whenever I visit the library. Today was no different. Even thought I won't have a class next year, I couldn't stop myself from buying a little today.
Here's my haul!
- Oscar, Cat About Town and Smudge, the Lost Little Lamb both by James Herriot. I am not a fan of James Herriot's adult books, but I love his picture books. They have a rich text which is great for teaching word choice, complex sentences, and mood. The illustrations by Ruth Brown are amazingly beautiful.
- The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson This is just a fun book. I like it for introducing a character sketch.
- Another copy of My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss One of my favorite Seuss books. I used it to do a fun poem activity with my friends this year. One of the great things about the library book sale is that when I see a book I love and already own, the cheap prices lets me buy it anyway and pass it on to another teacher.
I couldn't pass up a couple of good non-fiction books. I know eventually I will have friends to read them!
- Albert Einstein a DK Biography This is a really interesting book at a perfect level for my 5th grade friends.
- The White House by Hal Marcovitz I think I might donate this one to our school library. With the upcoming presidential election, all things presidential tend to become book reports or classroom projects. I'm sure this book will be used well.
All told, these six books cost me $5.50 at the library sale. If I had purchased them new, in the formats I did, it would have cost me $50.79 based on the Amazon links. That is a huge savings, and the books are all in great condition.
If your library has a book sale room or section, I really suggest visiting it throughout the summer. You will find great deals. I will say that one con to this is that different volunteers price the books. This means that sometimes I will find multiple copies of the same book with different prices. But, all prices are still cheap! Also, about twice a year, my library holds a huge book sale where prices are even cheaper. Often, they will do a bag of books for $5. If you can, the summer is a great time to stock up on books.
I should mention that my libary also has a big section of books for adults for sale too. It lets me buy good paperback books cheaply that I can take to the beach and not worry when they get full of sand and sunblock!
If your library doesn't do book sales, there are other options for stocking your classroom library inexpensively.
- Yard Sales: I've gotten good books this way, but I do find that these books are usually a little more worn than the ones I find in the library.
- Thrift Shops: My local Goodwill has a great book section. Their prices are even cheaper than the library sale prices.
- Your Students: At the end of the year, send a note home to parents asking them if they would like to donate any books from home to the class library. I find that parents are happy to make some room on their bookshelves and donate. I know, a little late for this tip. Sorry!
- Your Neighbors: If you have neighbors with kids, most likely they will have books they are ready to donate. Don't forget, these are the same people who have those yard sales! Get a jump on it and just ask if they have any children books they would like to donate to your classroom.
- Scholastic Points: Every month that I did a Scholastic book order, I used some points to get two or three new books for our classroom library. This keeps a constant flow of books coming into your room, but it if you do it right, you will do something even nicer. I was one of those kids when I was little. I loved books, but my family couldn't afford to buy them. Every month, I would bring the form home, but knew my parents really couldn't afford the extra money to buy books. It was always a little sad to see the other kids getting books when the delivery came. I know that I have friends in my class in the same situation. What I always try to do is make those two or three books I order every month a book I know those particular friends would enjoy. This way, they can borrow them from the class library right away. It's like getting a new book, and it always puts a smile on their face.
- Other Teachers: Do a book swap! It's great to do if you have teachers who are transferring grade levels or have multiple copies of books. Just swap out with other teachers.
How do you stock your classroom library without breaking the bank?
If you have any other ideas, please share in the comments.