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Friday, August 15, 2008

Collector of Books

I tend to believe that reading is one of the best skills a child can learn. In an effort to encourage this skill, I collect books of various styles and reading levels. This collecting of books can be somewhat expensive unless I take certain steps to stretch my book buying budget.

First, I have signed up with Scholastics to receive email notification of their warehouse book sales. These are absolutely awesome sales and are open to the public, though not advertised. You can go to the website to find out when and where one of these sales will be in your area. The deals that you will find will certainly shock even the most seasoned thrifty shopper. I generally plan to spend 2 to 3 hours browsing the books when I go. It is also best to go alone. Taking children or husbands will only shorten your stay and make the experience less pleasant.

Second, I frequent thrift stores. I have 3 or 4 stores that I visit regularly to see what new offerings they may have on their shelves. Books that would cost me $4.00 or more bought new can be purchased for as little as $0.30 at the thrift stores. I especially love buying my text books for home schooling at the thrift stores because they are super cheap.

Third, yard sales are awesome for getting books. People generally just want to get rid of their junk, so great prices can be had if you just take the time to stop and look. Of course, yard sales are iffy and you can easily spend an entire day bouncing around town and find absolutely nothing worth buying.

Finally, used book stores can be your hidden gold mine when it comes to buying books. You can get super deals on books that are almost new. Many used book stores also offer a system of trading in your own used books for store credit to apply to future purchases. n

Part of my collecting of books includes reading these books. I like to read what I'm putting on my shelf for my children to read. One reason for this is so I can monitor their material and be certain that they are not being handed something inappropriate for their age. Another reason is so that I can discuss the content with them while they are reading a specific book. I can learn what they enjoy reading and then make better suggestions to direct them to other books that I believe they will enjoy.

One thing is certain, if you want your children to love to read then you absolutely must supply them with reading material. A child surrounded by books will naturally grow to love and value the information and entertainment that books can provide.