For Teachers

Teachers: How to Find Cheap Books for Classrooms

By The Room 241 Team February 15, 2013

Finding cheap books for classrooms can be a challenge. Sure, the school provides the standard texts, but if you want to introduce a new module, teach a new novel or stock a reading library in your classroom, you’ll usually have to find the necessary books and classroom material yourself.

If you’re looking for affordable, quality books for your classroom, here are a few places to look:

  • BookCloseouts.com. Bookcloseouts offers thousands of books at up to 90 percent off the cover price, including hundreds of children’s fiction and non-fiction books at less than $3. You can search by price (under $3) and by genre (children’s fiction or non-fiction.)
  • Amazon.com. Amazon, the largest online bookseller, isn’t just about adult bestsellers. You have to dig a little bit, but there are thousands of bargain children’s books on the site. There’s even a “school essentials” category in books where you can sort by grade and subject. Also, if you buy at least $25 worth of products on Amazon, shipping is free.
  • Half Price Books. One of a dying breed of brick-and-mortar bookstores, Half Price Book stores are emporiums of used and new books in all genres, including children’s books. The model seems to work for them, as they currently have more than 110 stores in 16 states. You’ll never pay more than half of the cover price, and often you’ll pay less.
  • Library Sales. Library sales are great places to augment your classroom reading selection. Most libraries have at least one sale a year. Finding out about such sales in time, however, can sometimes be a challenge. To help schedule your library sales, visit BookSaleFinder.com. You simply click on your state for a list of all of the library book sales for the next two months. How cool is that?
  • Thrift sales and yard sales. Don’t discount this mainstay for finding cheap books. Yes, nine out of 10 sales may have few books of interest, but that last sale might just be a gold mine.
  • Thriftbooks.com. Thriftbooks.com offers more than six million titles–some used, some new–with an inventory that changes constantly. Look for children’s books in the “bargain basement” section. The best part: shipping is free on every order.

Finding cheap books for your classroom library or reading project doesn’t have to be stressful or expensive. It simply involves keeping an eye and an ear out for the best bargains online and in the community.

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