I love books. I love getting books for my kids and reading to them at night. I love buying books for myself. I love buying books for other people. I. LOVE. BOOKS; however, buying books can be an expensive habit. So in order for me to continue to feed my habit I had to figure out how to purchase the books I love on a budget.
Location #1: Public Library
Most public libraries have a shelf of free or discounted books. I was able to find a number of books for myself on this shelf. Although there were not many children's books to choose from I think it all depends on the season. So, if you don't have any luck finding your next read aloud the first go 'round check back again in a month. If you take the time to go through the selection you may be able to find yourself some gems.
Location #2 Little Free Libraries
Have you heard of Little Free Libraries? Well if you haven't you should definetly find out if you have one in your area. Little Free Libraries are a public book exchange. A passerby can take a book to read or leave one for someone else to find. The organization relies on volunteer "stewards" to construct, install, and maintain book exchange boxes. The Little Free Libraries are registered so you can go online and type in Little Free Libraries and find one close to you.
Location #3 Thrift Shops
Charity shops/thrift stores and used bookstores are one of the best places to buy books on a tight budget. You can actually find recent books there and also some classics; however, I want to issue a disclaimer. If you find a children’s book at a thrift store and it was written 10, 20, or 30 years ago I would take the time to read it before purchasing. I say this because a lot of books that some may deem as classic children’s literature may actually highlight stereotypes, use inappropriate or derogatory language and are not written by people who are of the ethnicity of the characters in the book - so their perspective is inaccurate.
Location #4 Online
Although Amazon is BAE there are other sites that sell books at affordable prices.
When you purchase from these book outlets you are purchasing excess inventory or a store return directly from the publisher or distributor. The book is usually in new condition and will, in most cases, have a small dot or line on the edge of the book. It may also have a price sticker on it from the original store it was returned from. In a rare case the actual cover for a book might not match the one in the display picture. Orders over $35 get free shipping!
I must admit I was skeptical about purchasing from these sources because I was certain I would not be able to find books written by authors of color, but they proved me wrong. I was able to find titles by Jacqueline Woodson, Yuyi Morales, Matt de la Pena, Kadir Nelson, Nikki Grimes, Andrea Pinkney and more!
Location #5 Amazon Trade-In
As I mentioned above, Amazon is BAE and the fact that she has this trade in program makes me love her even more. Through Amazon Trade-In you can sell your gently loved books and earn anywhere from a couple of bucks to hundreds of dollars as credit on Amazon. And then you can BUY MORE BOOKS! I have not used this program yet because I have a hard time letting go of books, but it may work for you.
Location #6 Book Subscription
There are SO many book subscription books out there; however, there are subscriptions that focus on authors of color and protagonists of color.
JUST LIKE ME BOX When you order the Just Like Me Box you get a monthly subscription box with 2-3 children's books featuring characters of color plus fun book swag!
MY LIT BOX seeks to create “a conversation and community surrounding the works of writers of color.” You can choose between the Book Only Plan, which costs $17 a month, or the Full Box Plan, which costs $25 a month and includes 1-2 quality book-related goodies that go with the theme of the book.
If you would to see some of my favorite children’s books of the moment click HERE When you click on a book from my list the link will take you directly to the Amazon site to purchase; however, if you are shopping on a budget feel free to jot down the titles and see if you can find them at one of the locations above!