Expanding Your Library in the Classroom or at Home

Hello! This is Jennifer Hamilton from A Dab of Glue Will Do. I am so excited to be writing my first post with the amazing ladies at the Primary Punchbowl. I hope you find this post helpful in growing your library in the classroom or at home. 

It is so important for your child(ren) to be surrounded by books from an early age. There are countless studies that show the benefits of reading to your child (or having them read to you) at least twenty minutes a day. It can quickly become expensive to provide your child(ren) with an extensive book collection in the classroom or at home, but thankfully, there are plenty of cost effective ways that allow you to do this on a budget and save some money.

When I was teaching, this was a quick and easy way to build my classroom library. There are so many options on eBay and you can find some incredible deals too. When looking on Ebay, I always preferred to search for bulk children books. This is where you would get several books at once. If you type "bulk children's books" in the search bar and an endless number of entries would appear. What I liked about this option, is that I could get a whole bunch of books for cheap and all at once. Some came to me written in or not in the best shape, but in the main, they were perfect and do the job.

Half Price Books
We are very lucky to have several of these locations in the metroplex. They have so many children's books that are gently used for great prices. You can purchase these books for significantly cheaper than what you would pay brand new at the store. This was my second favorite place to go when building my classroom library. What is great about here, is that you can inspect the books in person before purchasing so you will not receive any surprises about books not being in the said condition. You can also bring your own books, that your kids have outread and sell them to the store to receive a store credit. This allows you and your children the opportunity to have new books rotating in from time to time. To find the closest Half Price Books to where you live, click {here}.

Garage Sales
This is a great way to cheaply build your book collection at home. When you are out on the weekends running errands or going for a walk, keep your eye out for garage sales. You can easily find some amazing deals at garage sales and like at Half Price Books, you can inspect the books in person so you know exactly what you are getting.

Dollar Tree, Dollar Spot (Target), and the Dollar Store
These three places can very much be hit and miss, but when it is a hit, you are in luck. If you check back from time to time you will eventually find some great books for your child(ren).  I have had the most luck with Dollar Tree on finding good books for students and for my girls. They are great because they are $1. You cannot beat that! Little kids can easily tear up books and it not nearly as painful when you only pay $1 for them.

Amazon Prime makes life SO easy. If I ever need anything, I can order on there and know that it will arrive at my doorstep within two days. You cannot beat that! Amazon also has some great deals on children's books. What I also really like about Amazon is that you can read the reviews that previous purchasers have written. This can be incredibly helpful when there is such an overwhelming amount of options.

Barnes and Noble
The tried and true method. If I am honest, I do not go here nearly as much as I used to, but sometimes it is fun to take your children to an actual bookstore and let them explore and choose out books for themselves. Many of the local Barnes and Noble stores offer story time or activity time for little kids. 

The library offers books to children of all ages for free, assuming you have a library card. This is a great alternative if you do not want to invest money and still want your child to have a variety of books to choose from day to day. You can pick one or two days during the week that your family can make a trip to the library and choose a handful of books. Once they are all read or on a designated day, the books can be returned and new books can be chosen. 

I hope that this gave you some good ideas for how to build a book collection in the classroom or at home for your child(ren). Where is your go-to place when purchasing books?


  1. I have an addiction to books too. I was a part of several children's book clubs from the moment I got pregnant many years ago. We have shelves of books at home and I refuse to part with them, I say I am saving them for grandkids now, lol. Although I am in no hurry for that, it better be many years off, lol. I order every month from Amazon, prime is the best. I have never thought of Ebay, I am definitely going to have to check that out. Thanks for sharing all your great ideas!

    Luv My Kinders

  2. Love this post, Jennifer! We also are book addicts and love finding new places to get books for a deal! It can be so hard on a puny teacher budget, haha! One of our favorite places to get books is Scholastic.com. If you set up an account as a teacher, parents can order books through you! Pretty much every month, they run a deal where $20 worth of parent orders equals $10 worth of free books for you! You also build up bonus points for every dollar spent that you can use to order books for free! They have great prices on books, and they ship them right to your school!

    Thanks so much for sharing this post!!
    Much love,
    Ashley and Brooklynn


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