Fostering a love of reading is one of the most important things you can do for your child in terms of their education.
When they love to read, they’ll love to learn, and with that will come a determination that will make them that much more successful later in life.
One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to start young. Even as babies, children soak up an incredible amount of information when they’re read to. Books however, are not always cheap and if you’re not careful, can wind up costing you a pretty penny. With these tips though, you can start building your child’s first library without spending a fortune.
Use Your Local Library
When you’re trying to stretch those book buying dollars as far as you can, it makes no sense to buy a book that you child isn’t a fan of.
Take a few trips to your local library with your child and try out a few stories before you start buying. If you find a book or set of books that your child absolutely loves, add those to your “buy” list. Read a few that just don’t keep their interest? Skip those and find something else.
Spend your money on books that your children will actually enjoy and they’ll be more inclined to read them themselves as they get older.
Watch for Library Sales
Speaking of your local library, check with the librarian to find out if your library has any sales throughout the year. Our library, for example, holds two sales a year, one every six months, to make room for new books that are coming in. Everything from board books for babies to chapter books for teens and adults are included and all of the books are still in great condition.
They will generally only include books that are like new or gently used so this is the perfect opportunity to find some fun stories for rock bottom prices.
Check Garage Sales and Thrift Stores
You’d be amazed at what you can find at garage sales and thrift stores. Most of the time these books are still in excellent condition and if you’re willing to spend a little time going through them, you can find some incredible deals.
Books as Gifts
Whether you’re planning a baby shower or you just have family that would like to send gifts during baby’s first year, ask them to send books that you and your child can read together.
Most of the time, toys or clothes that you may receive will last your growing baby only a few short months, while books can last for years.
You just never know, you may end up receiving what turns out to be your child’s favorite bedtime story.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
If you’re feeling a little adventurous and want to try out some new books without looking at them beforehand, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a fantastic way to add to your child’s book collection without spending a dime!
You’ll have to check to see if the program is offered in your area, but if it is, sign your kids up!
This effort to foster an early love of reading in children, the brain child of Dolly Parton, offers a free book for children from birth to age 5 each month and they’ll send them right to your house!
We were actually first told about this program by the hospital when my oldest was born and have received so many fun stories that we may not have looked twice at had it not been for Imagination Library.
Whichever route you choose, know that by building a library of books in your own home, you’re fostering a love that will last your children the rest of their lives.