Finding Books for Your Classroom

Finding books can your classroom can be a costly endeavor! However, if we want our students to become book lovers, it is vital that we provide them access to tons and tons of books. Would you believe me if I told you it was possible to fill your classroom library with books without spending your whole paycheck? I've compiled a list of my favorite ways to find cheap books to expand my classroom library for you below:

Picture of a stack of books with the title "Finding Books for Your Classroom: 5 Ways to Grow Your Library"

1. Scholastic

Picture of stack of books with quote from Roald Dahl: If you are going to get anywhere in life, you have to read a lot of books

One of the easiest ways to quickly fill up your classroom library is by using Scholastic Book Clubs. Signing up for the Scholastic Book Club has many benefits, including the most important one: free books! Yes, you read that right- FREE. How does it work? Well, every time your students order books from the book club you get bonus points that you can use towards book purchases. Most months they will double or even triple the number of bonus points you receive based on how many books your students purchase. This is an awesome way to get current, high-interest reading material into your classroom library!

Also, if you receive district funds or are willing to spend a little bit of money, you cannot beat their 50 books for $50 deal. I have purchased this deal several times and it is always worth the money. With Scholastic, you know you are getting great quality!

2. Library Sales

stack of books with Ann Patchett quote: It's always better to have too much to read than not enough

Chance are your local library throws a book sale every now and then. The branch nearest to me has a whole room devoted to books for sale, with the profits going to their Friends of the Library charity. Of course, the quality of these books can be hit or miss, but if you are patient you may come across some hidden gems for cheap this way! I once found a whole stack of almost new Froggy books, which my 1st grade class at the time loved! If you've never gone before, head to your local library branch and see if there are any cheap books you can snag for your class library.

3. Used Book Stores

stack of books with Maud Casey quote: I was born with a reading list I will never finish

Used bookstores are another great way to grab a ton of cheap books for your classroom library. Many used bookstores have days where books with a certain color sticker are marked down by at least 50%. Also, don't forget to play the teacher card! I've been given stacks of books for next to nothing when I said the books would be going into my classroom. (Note: this also works for Facebook Marketplace, too! People tend to be very generous to teachers, so put your pride aside and don't be afraid to beg).

4. Goodwill/Garage Sales

picture of stack of books with the quote: What is a bookshelf other than a treasure chest for a curious mind?

Another options for finding loads of books for cheap or even FREE is your local Goodwill. Books are often listed at 25 to 50 cents. As always, you have to be patient, but you almost always will walk away with an incredible stack of books that cost you almost nothing!

Also, don't overlook garage sales! People will be so happy to get rid of their old books that you might walk away with them for free, especially if you say you are a teacher.

5. Your Former Students

picture of stack of books with Cicero quote: A room without books is like a body without a soul

I almost didn't include this because it can depend on so many factors- what type of school you work at, how long you have worked there, etc.- but I've received tons of books from former students and their families over the years. Remember those books your students ordered from Scholastic to get points? Well, sometimes Mom doesn't want a room full of books her kids have grown out of so they could possibly end up in your classroom. I've had former families drop off boxes of books when their last child headed off to middle school.

Always keep your eyes open for opportunities. You can find books for your classroom (for cheap) with just a little bit of work and patience on your part!

Picture of stack of books with title "Finding Books for Your Classroom: 5 Cheap Ways to Grow Your Library"

Now that you've accumulated all these books, your students are going to need some bookmarks! Sign up below to receive this FREE set of monthly bookmarks. These work great for reading incentives!

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