The summer before my internship, I had a very long list of things that needed to be done before school started. One of my priorities was finding a large quantity of high quality children’s books for my classroom. I turned to a friend who is an experienced thrift shopper. She gave me a lot of great suggestions! Here are some of them…
I found some local thrift stores that have great book sales! You do have to be careful because lots of thrift stores try to make you believe that a $1 book is a good deal, when you can find much better deals than that! There are thrift stores that take about 10 books and wrap them in cellophane and sell them for less than a dollar! If I saw 2 or 3 books that I recognized as high quality literature, I would buy the whole package! The same store had different colored tags that went on sale each day of the week. I figured out what days were the best sales and went and found books with the daily deal tag on them. Also, be sure to mention that you’re a first year teacher because they will give you much better deals! 😉
Used Book Sale at the Public Library
Many public libraries have book sales. Be sure to check the books for major damage before you buy them though! They tend to sell books that are too worn to lend.
Scholastic Book Fair
The Scholastic Book Fair comes to my school for Parent Teacher Conferences. This year, the PTA had each teacher make a stack of “Wish List” books. Whenever someone from your class checked out at the book fair, they would encourage parents to donate a book to their child’s class. I think half of my class did! Parents are so incredibly generous! Students got to write their name on the inside of the book, saying that they donated it to Miss Hinckley’s Class.
Scholastic Book Club (Scholastic Flyers)
The parents of my students love ordering from the Scholastic flyers that I send home every other month. They consistently order and we consistently get free books for our class! Whenever a book order comes in, students love to share what books they ordered with the class! If you save up your parent orders until the end of the month, teachers earn lots of bonus points (which help you earn lots of free books!)!
Summer Used Book Sales at Schools
There was a sale at a school near my home. I happened to show up right as they were cleaning everything up. When the lady in charge heard that I was a first year teacher, she told me to take any books I wanted for FREE! They were going to be taking everything left to Deseret Industries afterward. Be sure to check for damaged books before you buy them at these sales too!
BYU Partnership Book Collection
My school had a collection of books for interns that I split with the other intern at my school. It really helped!
Some final tips would be to start early and don’t be afraid to be picky! There’s plenty of high quality literature out there-and for awesome prices too! Happy shopping!