Frugal & Earth Friendly: Five Places to Buy Used Books

Fill your home with books without breaking the bank.
By Allison McDonald
May 02, 2013



May 02, 2013

Research tells us that children who grow up with many books at home achieve greater academic success than those who don’t, regardless of their parents’ education levels.

So how do you get more books without breaking the bank? Buy them used.  You’ll be both frugal and green, plus you’ll provide a fantastic literary environment for your kids. Here are my favorite places to find great used books.

1. Goodwill

Goodwill is a book lover’s dream. I can’t count how many of my own books I have found there, rarely paying more than a dollar for a single book. Quality varies greatly, so you will want to flip through the pages carefully to make sure you are buying a book with every page and no extra “artwork.”

2. Garage Sales

Garage sales are always a shot in the dark, but when there are books, they’re usually in good condition and priced at next to nothing.

3. Used Bookstores

Many used bookstores have small children’s sections and are usually very picky about the quality of the books they sell. If the price seems steep, haggle it down. The worst thing they can say is no.

4. Library Sales

Most public libraries sell books that have been donated to them or have been removed from the shelves. They are quick to sort through, and books usually cost less than a dollar.

5. Book Swaps

Get together with friends and swap unwanted books for new-to-you titles. Trade cookbooks for kids’ books or old favorites for a new page-turner. Make it a big event or simply pass them on during a playdate; the important thing is to bring new books into your home.

Where do you find great used books? Share your tips with us on the Scholastic Parentss Facebook page or tweet Allison McDonald @noflashcards and tell her your favorite place to find frugal and earth-friendly used books.

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