Thursday, March 20, 2014

Finding Children's Books at Great (Cheap) Prices

Children love to own their own books, but children's books can be expensive. Find out what some of the sources are for new and used children's books at bargain prices. Your child will be delighted each time she gets a children's book of her own.

Here's How:

  1. Check out online bookstores for special sales.  Check out e-bay for books by subject at very reasonable prices.
  2. Always check the bargain books displays in the major bookstores, like Waterstones in the UK and Barnes & Noble in the US. If you take the time to look through the books, you can often find some books you want.
  3. Holiday books are usually marked down, then marked down again, during the six weeks after the holiday. Right after Christmas, markdowns begin. Early-January is usually a great time to buy Christmas books at both big bookstore chains and at independent bookstores.
  4. Check out used children's clothing stores. Often, they also carry children's books.
  5. Watch the newspaper for announcements of sales of used children's books at schools. The sales benefit the schools, and you can usually find some great stuff.
  6. Garage sales that advertise children's clothing often also have children's books for sale.
  7. Visit used bookstores to see their stock. At some of them, you can get credit towards "new" used children's books when you trade in some of your unwanted children's books.
  8. Many picture books come in paperback editions that are much cheaper than the hardbound version. However, only buy the paperback if you don't plan to hand the book down to your grandchildren.
  9. Some churches, daycare centers, and preschools have book exchanges. You might want to start one. It can be as informal as a labeled box, with a "Children's Books, Take One, Leave One" label or as formal as a book fair.
  10. Discount stores and clubs can also be excellent sources of bargain books, as can thrift shops.
  11. Some public libraries and literacy organizations operate used bookstores and/or have annual sales of used books they have collected from their supporters.
  12. Many elementary schools send home monthly grade level book order pamphlets from one or more book clubs, like Scholastic and Troll. The prices for the books listed are generally much, much less than you would have to pay in a bookstore.
  13. During the summer, most bookstores and many supermarket chains carry specially prices paperback versions of some award-winning children's books.
  14. Several times a year, through the Kohl's Cares philanthropic program, Kohl's Department Stores offer a select number of hardcover picture books and related plush toys at bargain prices. There are Kohl's stores in 29 states.


  1. You don't have to be at a garage sale at 8 a.m. on the first day to get good books.
  2. The best source I ever found for used Golden Books was a children's used name brand clothing store.
  3. If you have relatives or friends who pass down children's clothes to you as their children outgrow them, ask them if they will also pass down children's books as their children outgrow them.
  4. Little Golden Books are still one of the best bargains you'll ever find for picture books for 3-6 year olds.
--Elizabeth Kennedy


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