You see, growing up, I truly believed that books were only for Rich People. And by Rich People I mean (what seemed like) everyone but us. Rich People had real houses, not trailers, rich people had cars with a/c. Rich people could go to bookstores and not leave fighting back tears because they couldn't get anything. Rich People had encyclopedia sets and their parents sat down and read books too! Ah the life! Now don't get me wrong. I never went hungry and my parents made huge, huge sacrifices to send me to a private school and buy me all the supplies I needed for school and to participate in school activities.
But books were so important to me! We frequented the library, where I was allowed to check out absolutely anything, even books above my reading level (gasp!), and my heart soared over this great privilege.
Listening to Sarah Mackenzie's latest podcast, I heard one of her guests speak about the message sent to a child when we value books enough to spend money on them. And then I had an Aha! moment where I realized that yes, there is something amazing about having a book that is one's very own.
My book collection probably consisted of 10-15 books when I was growing up. Once high school came around, that number increased because 1) I had a job and 2) there were certain books required to purchase for school. While we did go to thrift stores, we did not buy books there frequently and I am not sure why.
Fast forward to today. I can sniff out a good used or free or discounted book. If a book is under 50 cents, I swoon.
Here are my top resources for books. And keep in mind, when thrifting or buying used books, you absolutely positively will find books that are in pristine condition. Books that would have cost $10+
1. Garage sales: Usually these are $1 or less, never pay $5 for a used book, that is way overpriced, ok?
2. Thrift stores: Prices I have seen here in San Antonio range from 75 cents to $1
3. Huge used book sales: There is a large used book sale put on by a local school district every year. The last day they are open, you can fill a bag for an amazing price!
4. Book Parties: By hosting a book party, you can earn free books (This is part of what I do as a Barefoot Books Ambassador)
5. Trade!! Find a book loving friend and trade for books, you might find a treasure worth keeping.
6. Check out craigslist, freecycle, FB swap sites, etc. Please use common sense/caution when doing these transactions.
Also, here in San Antonio, there are organizations such as First Book, Born to Read, San Antonio Youth Literacy, certain programs with the San Antonio Public Library, (I have gotten free books from the library via story times, the Summer Reading program, Play and Learn, and others) that all provide free books, especially for very young children.
Everyone deserves a book! They will be treasured friends as the years go by. Happy hunting, and I really hope these resources glimmer for you like they do for me.