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Building Your Child's Library Inexpensively

Updated on July 24, 2009

After recently having a baby girl I began exploring methods for building her library of books. Books are very important to me and I have already begun reading to her each day. She becomes absolutely excited (or pixelated as my hubby would say) when I read one called Old Black Fly to her. I bought it years ago before I was ever married because I knew I would want to read it to my children. Who knew I'd have my first one at the age of 37! Finally, it is being put to good use. I've practically got it memorized. The graphics are beautiful. I teaches the alphabet. She gets excited on the pages where I say "shoo fly, shoo fly, shoo" while waving my hand at a pretend fly. Besides this book and few others from my childhood, I had nothing. With the prices of children's books these days I knew I better start collecting early. Following are some ideas:

  1. The very best thing I found was Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. I have always loved Dolly Parton and can remember an 8-Track my parents used to play for me with her songs on them. My favorite was a song called Me and Little Andy. God bless Dolly Parton because after signing up my sweet baby girl now receives an age appropriate book every month for FREE. She will continue to get a book per month until she is 5 years old. I can't thank her enough for this!!! So far Ella (my daughter) has received great books. The first one was The Little Engine That Could. She has also gottena touch and feel book, one about the Gingerbread Man, and one about a Duck and a Frog playing that uses lots of alliteration. They aren't the most beautifully illustrated like some of the expensive books you see at Barnes and Nobles, but the stories are great! I figure that is the most important fact!
  2. I have also bought several super neat books from two different book stores located in libraries in my city. Many libraries have stores in them where they sell used or donated books very inexpensively. I have gotten some pretty ones from there and some neat books that contain activities I can do in the garden with my daughter when she is old enough.
  3. I happened upon a goldmine the other day when I made my way to supposedly the best thrift store in Birmingham, Alabama called The Foundry. I have seen neat books at other thrift stores, but never any that were as nice as these- none cost over a dollar! So check out all your local thrifts to see who has the best quality of books.
  4. Craigslist is of course a great place.
  5. Join your local Freecycle Forum through Yahoo as well. Tell everyone that you are looking for children's books and you are bound to get some offers. I am planning on doing this soon.
  6. Garage sales.
  7. Chain letters. I am actually going to caution you on this idea. I received a letter from a friend that told me to move my name up on a list and send a book to the person specified in my letter. Then send the letter with my name on it to 6 people. Somehow I was supposed to receive 36 books. I didn't see a one!

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