We know that reading is important but how do we build a home library of books for our children? Here are a five simple suggestions. These are things that have worked for me.
1. Buy used
Amazon has great prices on gently used books that are just as fun to read as pristine new ones. You can also look at thrift stores or yard sales or second-hand book stores. I love to read a book that I know someone else has read and loved. It connects me with a community of other readers. Kids can feel the same way too. (*See suggestion 5 below) Plus it decreases the pressure on reader and Mom. It is okay if a corner gets creased in a used book. It is okay if a little bit of chocolate accidentally dirties a page...Ehem. Not that I have ever done that to any of my books.
I just got back from our local Scholastic Warehouse Sale. This is an event that I look forward to every year. I stock up on popular titles at a huge discount. Most book are discounted 50% and some are as high at 80% off. Our sale has a build-a-box area where you can stuff a box with as many books as you can and the total cost of the box is $25.00 The picture below is of all the items that I fit in my box this year. The total retail value of all these books would be closer to $300. Look here to see if you can find a Scholastic Warehouse in your area. Costco is another place to find discounted books.
All of my children's Dr. Seuss books came from a book club membership that I started when they were very small. Disney also offers a great book club with favorite children's titles based on popular Disney movies. Book clubs like this are a great way to build your library for a small monthly fee. They also give your child something fun to look forward to as a book arrives each month. Take a look at some popular book clubs here and here and here.
4. Give Books.
My children know that they will receive at least one book at major gift-giving celebrations. Birthdays, Christmas, and other holidays are perfect times to build a library and help instill in a child a love for reading. If you have a reluctant reader who will be disappointed rather than thrilled by a book, try giving a book basket with a theme. Slip a sports book in a basket with other sporting equipment, put a book about animals in a basket with some more Littlest Pet shop animals for her collection. You can build theme baskets around tractors, Barbies, Legos, or anything your child loves.
5. Have a Book Swap
Invite several other families with children in your neighborhood to a book swap. Your kids can trade books that they have read and loved with some of their friends favorite titles. This is a fun way for your kids to see what their friends are reading. Sometimes all a reluctant reader needs is to know that this book was his buddies favorite. It doesn't hurt that his friend is going to be asking him how he liked it when they get together next time to play!