We have WAY too many books. Way, way, way too many. We are extremely lucky to be in such a fortunate position, but Violet’s books are literally everywhere. She reads them all day long, and we are still working on learning to put them back on the shelf/in the bin.
Every few months, we do “the big switch” — we store previously read as well as unread books away in a closet, and when we feel it’s time, we switch out our current books for old favorites, or books we have yet to explore and discover. This keeps things fresh for both of us, it challenges Violet to grow through new content, and it allows us to “recycle” books without having to always buy new ones. All of this being said, we are *happily* over run with books.
Our books come from a variety of sources:
- My school: I am a public school English as a New Language teacher in a low-income school. Teachers are always cleaning out their inventory, and my first inclination is to send extra books home with my students — their shelves should be full too, but if there are any left over, or if there’s a book that I think would be of particular interest to her, or addresses something we’re currently working on, then I’ll bring it home for her.
- Hand me downs from friends and family: When my daughter was born, my sister-in-law sent us home with a ton of well-loved books that her daughters were finished with. We came home with a treasure trove of great books, and we’re still working through them. Another great way to ensure a constant flow of new books for everyone is to organize a book swap with friends. Exchange books with kids of a similar age, and everyone can enjoy your old faves.
- Barefoot Books: I am also a Barefoot Books Ambassador. I love working with this company because they have beautifully illustrated diverse and inclusive books for children. Of course, as an Ambassador, I purchase books at a discount — I joined in part because I knew that I’d be able to stock my daughter’s library sat a great price! We *love* our (ever growing) collection of Barefoot Books!
- The library: The public library is an awesome resource for free (temporary) books. I’ll admit that I was never the best at a timely return of library boos, but our library’s online renewal system is awesome. 🙂
- Bookstores: We LOVE to spend time in bookstores. Of course, it’s the most expensive way to stock your shelves, but there’s something about a book store that we both just can’t resist.
- Amazon: I know I’m not alone here. With prime shipping, relatively lower costs, and an endless selection, Amazon is definitely one of my weaknesses.