Our local library had a book sale today. We always work hard to go to these sales as one of our best sources for new homeschooling material. We are fortunate in the library we go to: it is not in our town, and we have to pay a membership fee. But they have a huge juvenile non-fiction section, where we have probably saved thousands of dollars in book purchases through the years. Nevertheless, it is important to us to own books.
One reason we like to own books is that when we are reading them aloud to the kids, the reading may extend longer than the 3 to 6 weeks allowed us by the library check-out system. This is also true if one person after another in the family wishes to read a book, as in the case of our book club books. Since I often read a book and then recommended it to one or two more members of the family, I often buy that book for them to read. Another reason we like to own books is that when we go on trips we work hard not to take along any library books. Travel is hard on books, and even if none get lost, they don’t usually look the same after they’ve gone on a hiking trip. In fact, on some hiking trips I have been known to take along a “disposable” book and tear pages off for the camp fire after I have read them!
Library book sales are an important resource for us. At this book sale, we bought 30 books for $15. That price wouldn’t even have purchased one of the Eyewitness Juniors books that we found there, as well as many other juvenile non-fiction books. Why do we concentrate on buying that kind of book at book sales? These books are invaluable as we make our curriculum interesting. They contain many pictures and projects that we can use for science or history to make learning exciting and fun. They spark the imagination when they are read outside of assignments, and lead to individual exploration and wider interests.
Many libraries, including ours, collect books from donations and overstocks throughout the year, but host large books sales like this one helped by volunteers only once or twice a year. Other libraries have an area in their shelves that is for book sales all year round. It is a good idea for homeschoolers to check these shelves often to fill their home shelves. Often libraries sell of classics or old books that homeschoolers especially will enjoy. This is an excellent way to build your home library. The hardest part for us was sorting! Even at prices like these, the budget is not unlimited.
Do you enjoy buying used books? What is your best source for inexpensive library builders? Please leave me a message.