I buy a lot of books — even before I had children my own bookshelves were teeming. The cost quickly added up buying books for both myself and my children, so I started to look for ways to get books for less and found there were more ways to get children’s books for less.
Amazon Bargains – Amazon has a bargain section for books located on the left side bar. It can be a bit of a mess to sort through at time,s but I have found some unbelievable prices for books ($1-$5) I would have purchased for more like Gossie ($2.47), Birdie’s Big Girl Shoes ($1.97), and Lucky New Year ($3.90). Combine that with Amazon Prime’s free shipping, and you can get some great additions to your bookshelf if you take the time to sift. I check back every few days as the selections can change with new books being added. Holiday books often are on sale in this section, so if a holiday passed you can stock up for the next year. When in doubt buy the board or paper back version vs the hardcover as that’s always going to be the cheaper method.
Coupons - I was so sad when Borders went out of business because they always had weekly coupons, around 40% off, which a quick Google search would pull up. I never bought a book from there without a coupon, which is honestly why I don’t buy books a lot from Barnes and Noble — the most they ever give is 15% off. This might have been why Borders went out of business sadly, but the coupons were great for customer loyalty. Still now and then I take Drake to the bookstore to pick out a book, so I try googling to see if Barnes and Noble has a coupon. I’m also signed up for their emails, so I am mailed coupons as well. I also signed Drake and Juliet up for their Kid’s Club as you get a 30% off coupon when you first sign up, and for every $100 you spend you get a $5 off coupon.
Bargain Section at Barnes and Noble – In store, Barnes and Noble also has a large section of marked down books. I peruse it often and let Drake check it out in case he sees something that he really likes. You can combine coupons if you have one with the sale prices, making it an even better deal.
Buying Used on Amazon and Barnes and Noble – Both sites have a sellers’ market like Ebay where you can buy books from sellers. Unlike Ebay, you don’t have to bid. They have different ratings and some even ship through Amazon Prime. I have often bought books from an outside seller in like new condition for less than Amazon’s price and even with shipping costs I come out ahead. A few times because the seller shipped with Amazon Prime, I made out even more. I usually try to buy the cheapest book available regardless of condition, because my kids don’t really care about anything but the actual story.
Buying Used on ebay – You can also buy used on ebay. It’s good for book lots, especially when you want more than one book from a particular seller since a lot of sellers are parents trying to unload books their children outgrew. It saves you on shipping to buy this way rather than paying shipping on multiple books from multiple sellers.
Buying Used at Stores and Garage Sales - I love hitting up old book stores. I have a few local ones that I used to frequent from time to time to check out their ever changing selection. Children’s consignment stores are also great for finding books for less, as well as garage sales and Goodwill. Like I said before, my children don’t care about condition and sometimes the hunt is just as fun as the acquisition. I never go into stores like these looking for anything in specific, but often leave with a new treasure that delights both me and my kids. I once got a wonderful hard covered copy of Beatrix Potter’s Peter the Rabbit for $2 at a consignment store.
Library Sales – Libraries clear out older books from time to time. You can ask your local branch if and when they have their sales. Like used book stores, you have to keep an open mind and not plan on finding a particular title.
Scholastic – Some of you might remember Scholastic book orders from when you were younger. Scholastic now has a website, and most of their books are still quite cheap compared to buying them from retail stores. It use to be you had to place an order with a school, but now they have changed it so you can buy directly from their website.
Trading with friends – If you have a lot of mom friends, you can always trade or exchange books to keep the libraries interesting. What’s even better is if you have a friend with older children than yours who will pass down books to you once their children have outgrown them. My cousin sends me books regularly as her children are a few years older than Drake.
Kohl’s Cares – Kohl’s has a Kohl’s Care Program that sells books popular children’s books from authors like Dr Seuss and the Curious George series for around $5, and all proceeds go to children’s health and education charities. I like to check out what they have new now and then, and it’s a cheap way to get some popular titles as well as help out children through the charities. Win, win!
Books in Bulk- I recently found this site that will fill a box with children’s books and mail it to you. With shipping the total is around $40, but you probably end up with more than $40 worth of books. Obviously you can’t pick the books, but if you are just looking to stock up on new things to read, this might be a fun and interesting way to get a lot of books all at once. I haven’t tried this one but it does sound like a neat way to maybe try some titles you never would have bought on your own.
Bookworm - I recently discovered Bookworm, which is a division of Diapers.com. When you first sign up with them, you can use a code to receive 20% off your order plus free shipping for the first 3 months.
These are a few of my methods to stock my shelves without breaking the bank.
Do you have any ways that you save on books?