Welcome to Beehive Books and Arts! We hope this website is an aid to you in your journey with children’s books, reading, and art!
On this page we share what we’ve discovered about all the ways you can get books to read and to have as your very own copies.
How I Used To Buy Books
Once upon a time the ONLY place I shopped for books was at a book store. The brick-and-mortar kind.
Every book I bought was new, at full price. New books are beautiful, but I’ve discovered there are some cons to going that route to get my books.
When I bought at bookstores I usually bought from two of the big chain bookstores – Barnes & Noble and Borders. Borders has since gone away, replaced by Books A Million (commonly called B.A.M.).
Buying Books Online
Amazon came along and I started buying a lot of books.
They made it SO very easy to find books, purchase them, and get them quickly. It gave me access to many more books than I could find in a bookstore! I thought it was wonderful.
The thing that I did not realize was there were some cons to this approach too.
How I Buy Books Now
I still buy books brand new. I still shop at bookstores.
But the very, very, VERY cool thing is ALL the PLACES and WAYS I have discovered to shop for books. And how much this new approach has enriched the life of my family, and everyone we touch in the world of books.
Here’s a list of where I get books these days plus some of the wonderful things I’ve discovered along the way.
Books for Free
This one is important. It is literally quite possible to acquire ALL your books without ever spending a dime.
Ways I do this include:
- Ask for books as gifts
- Visit Little Free Libraries (even though it may say “take a book, leave a book” the truth is that the stewards of each Little Free Library seek to get books into your hands. Plus there are people like the team at Beehive Books and Art who regularly stock Little Free Libraries. So take what looks interesting to you from these libraries. And when you can, add books to the libraries.)
- Barter and trade
- Books left by Book Fairies (yup that’s a thing)
The Library: I must give credit to my husband who got me to really value and appreciate everything the library had to offer. When you think of borrowing books – the library is the most common place that comes to mind.
You can read nearly everything you ever want by visiting your local library. Get to know your librarian and they will connect you to things like Inter Library Loan (a way to get books from any library, anywhere in the whole country) as well as programs that deliver free books (Summer Reading Programs usually give books as rewards), and so much more.
Borrow from Friends and Family: You can also borrow books from friends and family. Borrowing is one of the beautiful things about a physical books, printed on paper that you can hold in your hands. I will take a beat-up physical book any day over an eBook. Because I can loan it, trade it, borrow it, gift it, sell it, and share it.
Books for Really Cheap
When I say really cheap I mean buying books for as little as 10 cents, a quarter, 50 cents, a dollar.
Is that possible? You bet it is. I have gorgeous books on my shelves, first editions, hard cover with dust jackets and signed by the author – each one bought for a dollar or less.
How do I do this? Libraries mostly. Did you know they sell books? They do :). And often you will find really fabulous books on their for-sale shelves.
In addition to libraries, I also find books for really cheap at these places:
- Book Sales
- Yard Sales
- Thrift Stores, Goodwill, Salvation Army
Pro Tip: If you go to a book sale or a thrift shop and the pickings are slim, don’t give up on them. Go back and try again. What you find at these stores is completely dependent on what people bring to the store to donate or sell.
Here are two examples of my point:
One day I walked into a consignment store I like. They had a full display of brand-new books from Barefoot Books (a publisher of outstanding children’s books). This display included some incredible first editions. For about 25% of the new price. And many of the books were currently out of print at Barefoot Books’ website.
Or how about the time I bought a like-new copy of Robert Sabuda’s extraordinary pop-up book THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA. For $3.99 instead of the new price of $35.00.
Books More Affordable Than Brand New Pricing
The next level up from the “really cheap” category is how to find books that are more affordable than brand new pricing.
These are books in the $2.00 to $10.00 range. Such as:
- A paperback book for $.99 instead of the list price of $5.99 to $7.99.
- A pop-up book for $5.99 instead of $35.00.
- A hardback picture book for $2.99 instead of the list price of $17.99 or the cheap paperback version released to the school market.
Here are some wonderful places to find books in this category:
- Consignment stores
- Thrift stores
- Goodwill, Salvation Army, your local version of this sort of store
When I Make a Point of Paying Full Price for a Book
The reason I wrote this page of ways to get books for less than full price is because some families simply cannot buy lots of books for their kids if they have to buy all the books at full price.
Plus, when you look for books in places other than big chain bookstores and Amazon you will get connected to a vast universe of books that are older, out-of-print, rare, etc. These books a fantastic and may be a window to a new world for you.
I make a point of paying full price for books in a number of circumstances. The driving criteria is will my purchase directly reward the author, illustrator, and/or key people I support in the book publishing world. These include:
- Books by self-published authors
- Books from authors and illustrators at book-signings
- Books I discover at independent bookstores
- Books from publishers I want to support, because of what and how they are contributing to the world of reading
A word about used books. Value them. Celebrate them. Seek them out. Stock your shelves with them.
I speak from experience when I say that if you ignore used books, you will miss out. I did! I only wanted new books. They seemed shinier, fresher. I didn’t understand that eventually books fall out of print. The publisher moves on to newer titles. Thus, if there’s a book I want to read and it’s out of print – the only way I may be able to get a copy is to buy it used.
Pro Tip: I have noticed that children, who are often more authentic than adults, don’t mind used books in the least. They “get” where the real value is in a book.