This weekend I finished a project I’ve been dreaming about for years – organizing our home library. I’ve had so many comments on my Facebook post that I decided it would be fun to write it up for my blog, in case anyone is looking for ideas or inspiration.
My collection of children’s books began while I was in college. I took a course in Children’s Literature, which was one of my favorite classes. We had to read and review various children’s books including picture books, chapter books, Newberry and Caldecott winners, and even “banned” children’s books. I had to buy a few books for the class which sparked in me a desire to collect books I remember from my childhood. I hoped to one day share them with my own children. Over the years I’ve continued to add to that collection through a variety of ways:
- Monthly Book Club – This can be an expensive option, but it built my initial collection fast. You buy a certain number of books for around $5 and then commit to buy so many books at full price over a time span. There are many subscription plans like this available from different companies.
- Bargain Book Stores – We have a store called Ollie’s by us that has an amazing book section. They have children’s books for around $1.99-$4.99. I have found bargain bookstores at outlet malls as well. These types of stores typically get their books from buyouts, bankruptcies, etc. It can be hard to find a specific book, but they’re great for random books you wouldn’t think of purchasing. I like to go every few months and stock up on seasonal/holiday books.
- Used Books – There are a couple places I look for gently used books. Thrift stores, like Salvation Army, sell their used books 5/$1.00. Our local library sells paperbacks for $.25/each. Garage sales and mom-to-mom sales are also great places to look.
- Online – The internet has many options when it comes to new or used books. This is also a great way to purchase out of print or hard to find books. One website I tried was booksbythefoot.com. For around $25, you can get a box of around 100 used books. It is a gamble though, because it includes a variety of ages and a variety of book conditions and you have no control over what is shipped in your box.
I wanted to organize my books by topic/genre, so when I’m planning my homeschool lessons, it will be easier to find similar books, as well as put them back. It also helps me see what I already have or what I need when purchasing books. I divided my books into sections and placed them into baskets I purchased from the dollar store. I’m sure I’ll add more sections as our library and my children’s interests grow!
Our Library Sections:
- American History
- Michigan History (our state)
- World History & Geography
- Home & Family
- Me/My body
- Berenstain Bears
- Dr. Seuss