Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Books, Books, Books

Well, first about my post yesterday...I know I need to put a picture of Mike as a baby up to but we don't have any at our house. The next time we go to San Antonio I'll have to borrow one and repost the others.

Here are some pictures from hanging out in Addie's room last night. I love books and Ella has loved them since she was teeny, although Addie wanted to nothing to do with them for a long time. I was worried she never would, but thankfully she has caught on recently...
Addie's reading experience isn't quite complete without pulling most the books of her book shelf in the process.
My mom has been doing some spring cleaning and rearranging at her house, which means out with the old and in with the new. I am so excited to now get to keep these books at our house. I LOVED them when I was little! They are little children's encyclopedias (granted a little out of date :-)Ella is already enjoying them. It will be an exciting day for her when she can actually read them herself, although I will miss hearing her little made up versions of what is going on.
Children's books are one of those things I have a hard time resisting - they are cute and fun AND educational! How can you go wrong?! Books can get expensive though and here are some ways I've found to get books at bargain prices:

*Your local library of course! Not only can you check out books and see which ones you really love (we discovered some GREAT ones I wouldn't have ever heard of otherwise, remember?), you may be able to buy books there too. Our local library as a booksale of donated books the last Saturday of each month. Although I don't go to the actual sale, they put the remaining books on a shelf inside until the next one and they are only $0.25 for paperback children's books and $0.50 for hardbacks!
*Local bookstores that consign books. We have a store here called Katy Budget Books that sells both used and new books. I haven't been in awhile but the used books are a great deal! When Ella was on a Dr. Seuss kick we went there and found quite a few for a fraction the price of new ones.
*Half.com is my favorite book buying site, for me and the girls. It is a sister site to Ebay but is not in an auction format. People list their books based on condition (acceptable to brand new) and you pick the one you want based on this and the price. Be sure to pay attention to the seller's feedback to make sure they are honest and reliable. Your purchases are guaranteed though - Last fall I did order a book that I never received and I had no problem getting the website to refund my charges.
*Children's resale shops, like the one I used to work at, tend to sell their books for hardly anything also.
**I know books carry germs and get dirty if you are freaking out and worried about the health of my children as you read this. I wipe them down with antibacterial wipes when we first bring them home and that has worked really well. It cleans them off (often leaving the covers looking new) but doesn't ruin the books since they aren't super wet**
*Now if new books are more up your alley (there definitely is something exciting about getting a brand new book I admit!) look into a book club. I became a pro at mail-order clubs back when I was a little obsessed with music and joined CD clubs over and over again (those of you who have seen my CD collection can attest to this). I would join for the great enrollment deal, fulfill my agreement, quit and then join again. I hadn't done this for years, but imagine my excitement when I was pregnant with Ella and found out I could use my skills to acquire children's books! Ella's little library was started through the Children's Book of the Month Club (I joined and quit 3 times and haven't been a member in awhile, maybe when Ella is ready to move onto a new level of reading). My tips if you do this are:
1. Go Online - there will be many more books to choose from than if you just sign up through their add in a magazine.
2. Pick Out ALL your top picks and then look at what their regular price would be (when you first sign up you get about 8 books for $0.25 each I think) and how many books are included (some are in sets of 2 or 4) and pick THE most expensive ones so you can use the cheap books to fulfill your membership agreement. (for example, if you can get 4 Baby Einstein books listed at $16.99 for $0.25 or a Dr. Seuss board book listed at $6.99 for $0.25, get the Einsteins and it will save you $10 later on)I hope I explained that well.
3. Most of these clubs offer you the option for another special deal... say, to buy 2 additional books for only $2.99 each to go towards your membership agreement. DO IT! You will most likely be half way to fulfilling your agreement that way and for much less.
4. If you have a friend who is going to sign up too, DON'T do it at the same time! Let one person sign up and then "refer" the other so you can take advantage of more free books!
5. And of course, don't forget shipping. The shipping prices can add up but I do think you still end up saving quite a bit in the end.
*Also, check out Sam's Club and Costco. They aren't always a great deal, but definitely can be and you never know what you will find (also they often have great boxed sets).

*Some of our favorite series/authors for babies include: Dr. Seuss (they are classics of course and the little board books are short and simple versions), Sandra Boyton (great sing-songy text), Roger Priddy books (big real life pictures and many touch/feel books too), Baby Einstein, and Sesame Street.*

Well, I did not intend for this post to become so long - I got carried away :-). Hopefully the information is helpful though, especially if you are just starting out your children's book collection!

1 comment:

Heber and Chalonn said...

Very helpful actually...I'm going to go check out a few websites tonight and hit the library and consigning stores tomorrow. Thanks for sharing!!

Chalonn