Friday, October 22, 2010
Where, Oh Where Do You Get The Books?
Veee and I are continuing our books series with the topic of where to get books. For me, this is easy. I am a frequent customer of all the Friends of the Library sales in our area. The Friends of the Library takes donated books, DVDs, etc. as well as culled library books and sells them to benefit the library. We have two libraries in close proximity. One has a monthly sale and one sells twice a year. If I want to drive an hour away, I can find three or four more. Use Swagbucks to search for your town or county's FOL sale!
There are a few other book sales in our area that I go to. The AAUW sale is a week long, twice annual one I never miss. You can find sales around you by using BookFinder. I found several sales that I hadn't heard of by looking here.
Thrift stores are another good source of books. You must check them over carefully to check for missing pages, scribbles and other damage. Also, smell the books. They might be smoky or have been peed on by an animal. Not all folks who donate are thoughtful about their donations, nor are the staff of every store always observant. We have three thrift stores in our area that I shop every couple of weeks. There are other stores in my town and the next, but their prices are too high or selection too limited.
Yard and garage sales are my next favorite. You can usually find good books for a dime to a quarter. Do watch for scribbles or rips. My favorite technique at a yard sale that has many good books is to offer to buy the whole box or lot. Often, they just want to get rid of things and aren't looking to make a huge amount of money. Look through to make sure it's worth it, then ask something like, "Hey, would $5 buy the whole box? You don't want to drag it back inside tonight, right?" Almost always they consider and then agree. This kind of purchasing leads me to my next place to get books:
Paperback Swap. If you don't have an account, click the link, join (I'll get a credit for referring you) and post some books! It's a wonderful place to get books. I have even gotten treasures! Remember all those Lois Lenski's I got a couple of months ago? I got all for the price of three little credits from a sweet lady in New York who had collected them for her grandchildren. I have gotten very expensive books for our curriculum from PBS and unusual children's books. I have my 200-spot wish list constantly full. I'm so glad I found it!
When I find good, inexpensive books at a thrift store or garage sale, I often post the ones I don't want to keep on PBS. You can search the wishlists section to see if it's wanted. If you simply post it, it will be held if it's on someones wishlist. By being attentive to oft-wished-for books, I can usually keep my credits up to a comfortable level. Since I have so many books on my wishlist, I hate to be low on credits when something becomes available! PBS is my go-to when I read about a neat book on someone's blog.
When all else fails and I really want a certain book, I turn to the Internet. My online sources are mostly well known. Amazon (my favorite, due to my free gift cards), Half, Ebay, Vegsource, Abe, Alibris, and occasionally Craig's List are all decent places to find books. You will likely pay shipping, though, so you have to know what you want to pay and stick to it.
I also ask on my local homeschoolers Yahoo loop if anyone local might have what I am looking for for sale. You never know what other homeschoolers might be done with and want to pass along! I recently bought Pre-Algebra MUS TM and DVD for only $40. It was in brand new condition, too! I also asked her to consider contacting me directly next year when she was ready to sell Algebra. Her only hs'ed child is just one year ahead of my eldest, so it works well. She said she would!
Do you know have any tips, or know of any other great places to get great books? Please share!