Tips on building your child’s personal library

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Building a personal library for your child is a fun (and potentially expensive) project. Here are some tips to get you started, get your kids interested, and keep you on budget.

Let your kids pick out their own books: Go to your local bookstore and browse the shelves together. For younger kids let them go through the books and watch which ones they really seem to have an interest in and purchase one or two. For older kids, tell them that they can pick any two books, as long as they promise to read them.

Buy used: used bookstores are a great resource for reasonably priced and good quality books. You might even be able to haggle a deal (especially if you buy a bunch). Stay away from anything that smells musty. Book swaps are another great place you can find used books. Check with your local parents club or organize one yourself. Amazon and other bookseller websites also sell used books.

Buy kids books that you like to read: because let’s face it, you’re going to read the same ones over and over so you might as well enjoy them! For a few chuckles that adults can appreciate, try the Scaredy Squirrel series by Melanie Watt. Also buy a few of your childhood favorites to read, you will enjoy the nostalgia and passing on your childhood faves.

Research best book lists online: booksellers have online best sellers and favorite lists. Many blogs and parent magazines Also offer suggestions of faves for different age groups. Take your list to the store or buy online. Buying online is often cheaper than shopping at the brick and mortar equivalent. For the large book retailers, shipping is usually free with a minimum purchase of $25 or so.

Buy a mix of fiction and non-fiction: this creates more variety in book choices.

Buy from school book clubs: because they buy in bulk you often get really good deals from the book club lists circulated at your child’s school. A feel good bonus is that the school gets free books based on how many the kids order.

Buy books before baby arrives: if you are reading this in time, start buying books when you are pregnant. This way you will already have a little collection going by the time baby arrives. It’s never too early to start reading to your child. Add books to your baby registry and mention this to anyone who asks what gift you would like.

A few of our favorite kids books:

Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Hurd
Pat the Bunny, Dorothy Kunhardt
Red is Best, Kathy Stinson
The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein
Scaredy Squirrel, Melanie Watt
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, Mo Willems

More favorites to come!

Feedback: what are your favorite children’s books?

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