If you followed my posts when I was on Instagram, then you probably remember me talking about “being book rich”. On my Instagram posts I used the hashtag #bebookrich.
What does it mean to Be Book Rich?
Simply put … to “Be Book Rich” means to have a large number of books and reading material in your home. It also means that you’ve acquired your home library in a way that was affordable for your family.
Being Book Rich is a very simple way that you can help your child grow up to have success in their adult life. There’s so many recommendations out there about how to help children learn to read. I also see a lot of frustration among grown-ups during the “learn-to-read” phase of their kids’ lives. It can be much more simple. Research shows again and again that simply being exposed to a lot of print material is all that it takes for children to learn to read. That includes many books of their very own in their home (and in their bedrooms), and an adult who reads to them.
Books by many different authors and illustrators, from many different publishers, in many different formats, and about many different topics.
How to Build a Home Library Affordably
If you’ve been to a bookstore or shopped on Amazon you already know that buying books full price can be expensive. It can make it impossible to acquire lots of books for your child. Especially when they are young. Young children need board books and picture books. Board books typically cost approximately $10 per book. Picture books are nearly $20 a book for the first edition (typically a hardback with slipcover). What if you wanted 40 board books for your baby or toddler? You’d have to spend $400 if you bought those books new! That’s just not possible for many of us.
When my kiddo was a baby and I was looking to build a nice home library for him this is what I discovered:
- If I bought new books I was going to spend A LOT of money!
- I was going to end up with a small library because each book cost so much.
- If I only bought my books from a bookstore (like BAM or Barnes and Noble) I would only have access to the books they made available to me – and the diversity of books in our library would be limited as a result.
Thankfully my husband pushed me to go to the library. I also discovered consignment stores and several large local book sales.
You too can get outside of the box of busying new and learn my methods for building a large, wonderful, fulfilling home library. In this post I’m focused on using these methods to build a home library for the kids in your life – but you can also use these methods to get more books for yourself!
1. The Library
The library is the most amazing place to get books. And guess what – they cost nothing. If you say to yourself, yeah but those books are old, let me tell you that is just marketing talk. You’ve been trained by marketers to buy everything in new condition. I am here to tell you the real beauty lies in places like the library. Why? Well, books are not published forever. Eventually, a publisher stops publishing them. After that one of the only places you can find those books is at a library. You can bring a bag of 25-50 books (or more) home from the library each time you visit. Without ever spending a dime.
2. Consignment Stores
We have a saying in our house – “let’s get our very own copy.” When we discover a book at the library, and we find that we love it so much we just keep renewing it and renewing it and renewing it. That’s when we know it’s time to get “our very own copy.” I keep a list of such books on my phone. When we visit our local consignment stores I’m always on the lookout for the books on that list. Consignment stores are one of the finest places to purchase books for your home library, at a fraction of the cost of a new book. Very frequently the books we buy at consignment stores are in like-new condition. So don’t feel that you’ll be finding piles of books with the covers peeling off. Anything but! I once found a copy of Robert Sabuda’s Tales of Narnia for just $3.99. In like-new condition. This book costs $34.99 new! That’s the sort of discover you can make at consignment stores. Some are better than others, as with anything, so if you visit one and are less than impressed just be sure to try a few others.
3. Book Sales
For years my community featured two major book sales each year. At one of those book sales, I routinely spent $20 and came home with 50 books in brand new condition. I stocked my little one’s home library of board and toddler books via these book sales. I could never have afforded the books I got for him if I had bought them full price.
4. Buy Used from Amazon, eBay or Other Online Sellers
When I look for books on Amazon my first impulse has always been to buy new. That was
5. Facebook Marketplace
The moral of this post … don’t spend a fortune on books. But DO have tons of books in your house and get them for a song. By doing so you create a “print-rich environment” – one of the keys to raising a strong reader.
#BeBookRich my friends, enjoy your reading and let me know how it’s going!