Teaching Tip: Building an Inexpensive Classroom Library

Many teachers build a classroom library primarily through personal expenditures. Here are some ways you can do this inexpensively.
  • Thrift stores: Most thrift stores such as Goodwill have a book section. The books they sell can cost as little as $.50 or $1 each.
  • Book Warehouse Sales: Publishers of books for school-age children often hold warehouse sales in various locations. For example, Scholastic offers discounts as high as 80% and sells many books for $2 or less. Scholastic even offers a "build-a-box" option where you pay $25 for a box that you can fill with books. You can get up to $300 worth of books using this option.
  • Book lots: You can find book lots at eBay by using 'children's book lots' as a search term. A book lot is a group of books that is being sold so that the total price is far less than if you were to buy each of the books in the lot individually.
  • Books by the Foot: There some websites that sell books by the foot. You pick your age category or grade and the company will ship you a set of books that is a foot long. You'll pay shipping and a flat fee, but these are often great deals and most of the books are new or gently used.
  • Craigslist: Put an ad on Craigslist, or peruse the ads already placed there. Many libraries or parents will list free used books on Craigslist for teachers to pick up.
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