Monday, June 20, 2016

Books, Books and More Books

Today a friend asked me if I buy a lot of books.  My answer was, "Yes."  I do.  I have found places and ways to make money stretch, but, yes, I buy a lot of reading books for my kids.  I save on curriculum and spend it on reading books.  The main reason is that my library doesn't carry a lot of the books my kids want to read.  So, when my kids find an author they like (and that I like) I try to collect the books.  When they grow out of the books, I don't hold onto them.  I pass them on or donate them back to the library book sale.  I used to try and find people to give them to, but now I give them to the library.

In any case, when you have children who read a lot (like mine), I have found there are two big issues.
#1  Finding good books to read.  The WHAT to READ

#2  Getting those good books to read.  The WHERE ARE THOSE BOOKS question.

Here are the answers I've found:

For #1...
Every parent I know has websites, books, and lists they turn to for ideas.  Here are mine (not in a particular order):
1.  Honey for a Child's Heart and Honey for a Teen's Heart, both by Gladys Hunt (most recent editions)
2.  Sonlight reading lists from   Look under readers and under the grade appropriate history curriculum.
3.  Heart of Dakota Reading Lists from
4.  Veritas Press Reading Units from (I don't actually use these curriculums because I use a Harcourt Reader for grades K-6, just their book suggestions)
5.  Friends' suggestions
6.  New York Review Books Children's Series  You can find a full list of their series on the site:
7.  I latch onto favorite authors and then go searching---  Edith Nesbit, Dick King-Smith, Lois Lowry, Brian Jacques (Redwall), Cynthia Rylant (younger), Roald Dahl...  I have also found, though, that I often only really like one book by an author, as in the case of Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen (my favorite book for middle school girls).
8.  I keep my own list here:

For #2...
1.  Library Book Sales (25 cents a book at my library twice a year)
2.  Garage Sales (I pay 25 cents a book usually)
3.  Good will or thrift stores (I don't pay more than 50 cents a book)
5.  Better World Books   When you subscribe to their email list, you get notified when they have a sale on the Bargain Bin Books.  I try to keep a running list of the books I'm looking for.
6.  Often a book will be cheaper on Abebooks than Amazon because the shipping is cheaper, BUT the problem resolution process is not as easy and isn't guaranteed like it is on Amazon.
7.  I use when I'm going to purchase several books from the same seller--this saves me money on the same shipper.  But, to save money on takes me a lot of time and going back and forth between sites.
8.  Used Book Stores.  We have an awesome one in our area called 2nd and Charles.  The kids section is very organized.

Notably not on my list is-- Ebay.  A few years ago, I ran into an issue with Ebay and waiting for notification that the shipping had been recalculated.  I learned that one can get banned from Ebay (for a given period of time).  I was.  I did honor my commitment to the seller, of course, and buy the books outside the site.  But, it was crummy and stressful.  Ebay has always bordered on gambling in its mentality and my husband has preferred for me to pay a little more for a straightforward price on another site.  Most of the time the price on the other sites ends up being less, not more than Ebay actually.

So, those are my lists!  Where do you go to find book suggestions?  Where do you purchase books?

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