Books are one of the most important resources in your classroom. We know kids need to read lots of books to become better readers. However, the cost of buying books can add up quickly. Here are 5 ways to get cheap or free books.
If you’re a teacher, you’ve probably figured out by now that we don’t make the highest salary. We also aren’t given a ton of extra spending money to stock up on supplies.
At $5.00 or more each, books can be very expensive, especially if you’re trying to supply 25 students with just-right books. You need a variety of levels, genres, and authors.
How can you supply your students with the books they need without going broke?
5 Tips for Getting Cheap or Free Books
1. Yard Sales
As parents are cleaning out their houses, books are one of the first things they put out at their yard sales. The kids have already read the books, and they won’t be reading them again. Usually, yard sale books are in really good condition, and they’re really cheap. Don’t pay more than 25 cents a book.
Quick Tip: Mention that you’re a teacher. It just might get you an extra discount. I’ve had people give me bags of books for free because they knew the books would be put to good use.
2. Library Book Sales
Most libraries have a book sale once a year. When I worked at my local community library, I helped to organize these book sales. Some of the books are pulled from the library’s collection because they are outdated. Many of those aren’t in the best condition.
However, other books are donations from patrons. If the library already has enough copies of the books or it’s not a book they want, it goes out for the book sale. Some of those books are in great shape.
The prices at the library book sales are really low, and they just want to get rid of as many books as possible. Sometimes, they even let you fill a box or bag for a set price.
Quick Tip: Remember that the books don’t need to be perfect. If you find a book you really want, but some pages are torn, just apply a little tape to make it last longer.
3. Scholastic Book Clubs
As soon as you get a teaching position, sign up for Scholastic Book Clubs. Give out the book orders to your students, and you’ll earn bonus points every time a student orders. You can use those points for free books.
Scholastic also offers a ton of other easy ways to stock up on cheap books. Here are just a few.
- Free books with a class order of a certain amount
- $1.00 deals
- Free book coupons
- Scholastic Warehouse Sales
- Scholastic Book Fair School Points
I got this entire set of 17 brand new books for FREE with one order!
Quick Tip: Once you have enough books for your classroom library, you can use your bonus points to buy things for your classroom reading area. I got a set of 6 reading pillows for free using bonus points.
4. Teacher Who Are Retiring
A great way to get free books is from teachers who are leaving or retiring. Veteran teachers generally have extensive classroom libraries. When they decide to leave the field, they are usually more than happy to donate their books to a new teacher. You may even inherit a whole classroom library when you move into a new position.
5. Free Books from Student Donations
Once you have your own class, you can ask your students and their families for donations. Kids buy books, read them once, and then they sit around the house. Families who don’t have younger children to read the books are often happy to donate those books to the classroom library.
You can send home a newsletter asking families to send in any books that are just laying around the house. You might be surprised by how many gently used books you get.
Once you get all of your cheap or free books, you will need to organize them in your classroom library. Learn all my tips for keeping your library organized.
You also might want to check out Epic! Books. This online resource contains thousands of books and will greatly expand your classroom library without taking up any more space. Plus, it’s free for teachers!
Once you stock up on new books, find out how to organize your classroom library.
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What Do You Think?
How do you get cheap or free books for your classroom library?
Let me know in the comments below.
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