Little gives us more satisfaction than walking into a classroom and seeing a well-stocked library of books. While it can take years—not to mention a lot of money—to accumulate a collection, we’d like to share five places that will help you build your collection quickly and cheaply.
5 ways to build your classroom library cheaply and quickly
Book Sale Finder
Using Book Sale Finder’s interactive map, you can find all the upcoming book sales in your area. Some sales take place at public libraries, other at churches or community centers. Prices often range from fifty cents to a dollar per book and it’s not uncommon for Sundays to be either half-off, or “fill-up-your-brown-bag-for-five-bucks” days.
Teacherwide allows users to browse by price and grade level, but we’re particularly fond of their bargain bundles. Pick up 100 books for $145 and have it shipped free of charge. Teachers with a flexible budget can even order book bundles of up to 500 books. Don’t forget to check out their Bonus Points Rewards program.
The books you’ll find on Thrift Books are cheaper than those you’ll find used on Amazon, but not by much. We still felt this website was worth mentioning because we know how important it is to stretch every dollar. We were looking for a copy of Jeff Kinney’s book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The cheapest hardcover version of the book (including shipping) was $4 on Amazon. At Thrift Books, we found the same book for $3.50. Call us penny pinchers if you will, but that’s fifty cents that could go towards another book.
Freecycle is sort of like Craigslist, but as the name suggests, everything you find listed is free. You’ll have to do a little footwork, but we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the generosity of Freecyclers who have responded to our requests for free books.
Stop by the Friends Bookstore at your local library
Most libraries have a “Friends of the Library Bookstore.” Books, audiobooks and DVDs are plentiful and cheap. Keep an eye out for brown-bag days and be sure to inquire about an educator’s discount.