Build Your Family Library on the Cheap

Have you always dreamed of having shelves and shelves of books? The theory is great, but when you consider the cost of buying so many books, you might decide that it just isn’t worth it and stick to a library card instead. However, it really doesn’t have to be that expensive to build your own home library! Here are a few tips to help you get your collection underway on a budget.

 

The first thing to do is to set aside a small amount of money each month specifically earmarked for books. This could be just the change you end up with at the end of each day, deposited into a “book jar” or you might budget a certain amount, $5-50 each month. The amount you can afford is really determined by your personal finances, but it doesn’t have to be a lot. Now, with your money, it’s time to start shopping for books!

Check out the used book stores in your area. At one time, it was possible to buy used books from these dusty shops for just pennies, but with the cost of living and the rent going up, you are lucky to find used books for $5 in most cases. But don’t worry, used bookstores often have a sale rack or a bin where they toss books that have just been hanging around too long or that are damaged. Take the time to look through these bins. Most of the books will be drivel, but you will occasionally find a gold nugget that is well worth the fifty cents being asked!

Garage sales are another good source of used books, often in excellent condition. Since books rarely sell, it is likely that you will be able to buy them at a nice, low price. If the owner seems reluctant to give a good price, ask if you can come back or call after the sale is over and buy any remaining books for a discount. Rather than pack up the leftover books, most garage sale owners will say yes. You might also get a discount if you offer to take the entire lot, instead of picking through them.

Another often overlooked source of used books is your local library. Ask when they have their sales. Libraries usually get rid of older or damaged books once or twice a year. These books will be stamped with “DISCARD” and may have the book cover marked or cut up, but they are also dirt cheap and you can find some very good books this way.

Regular thrift shops usually have a book section as well. Since these shops will often be earning off their clothing or other goods, the books will be very low priced, often just ten or twenty cents each. Many of the books will be out of date, but for novels and the like, it really doesn’t matter and you can build your library for just a few dollars.

Yet another place to get used books for cheap is the school. Schools regularly discard their old library books and sell off their out-of-date texts. This can mean big savings for you. The readers are full of illustrated stories for children and come in every grade level. They are often sold for a dollar or two, so you can pick up what basically amounts to an entire book full of stories for next to nothing!

As you can see, there’s no need to spend the big bucks on getting books for your family library. Used books are just as good as brand new ones and just a fraction of the price! So take advantage of the used book sales today and start building a library!