I don’t know if ya’ll are on summer break yet, but here are some tips for finding books this summer–for yourself or your classroom. I’m halfway through the final day here…happy book hunting and happy reading!
- Goodwill. Most towns have a Goodwill or other thrift store. In my town, I’m lucky enough to have 3 thrift stores, but really, the Goodwill has the best book selection. In fact, I have begun to refer to the Goodwill as the Goodwill Bookstore. Hardcovers are $2, and softcovers are $1. This is a steal! I try to go once a week, and if I find 5 books for $5, then I don’t worry so much if a student borrows a book and doesn’t return it. Also, I’m more inclined to snag a book for a colleague and hand it to him/her and tell them to keep it or pass it along when they’re done.
- Yardsales. During the summer, yardsales crop up like mushrooms in spring after a rainstorm (ok, that was a terrible simile, but I’m almost on summer break here, so cut me some slack). I find at yardsales if you tell people you’re a teacher, they’ll often try to unload heaps of books on you and not charge you much. Yardsales are also a great place to find office supplies, costume closet props, and random classroom supplies.
- half.com. I hate to promote a large conglomerate, but in many ways, half.com functions because of the little guy. Individuals and small bookstores list gently used books and you can find a number of books for only 75 cents. Of course, there are shipping fees, but if you order more than one book from the same person, shipping goes down. I like to use this for books I really want a copy of but do not care if it is a new edition. I’ve also sold some of my books on here, which is a nice way to make back some money from books.
- Exam Copies. Can’t make it to NCTE this year? Order exam copies now. They are only $3 (usually) and you can order them either via mail or online.
- Swap with Friends. I’ve got an amazing group of colleagues and we constantly swap books and recommend books and share books. For example, when I mentioned after reading This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett that I really wanted to read Lucy Grealy’s Autobiography of a Face one of my colleagues lent it to me the next day.
Posted by Kate, VP Secondary