8 Ways To Read Books For Free
“We’d have more books, but they’re just so expensive,” If I had a £1 for every time a child or parent said that to me, I’d be a rich man by now. (Actually, I’d probably have spent it all on more books for myself!)
Whether or not you agree with the original statement, we all love a bargain and the reality for some children if that there isn’t enough money in the household to buy books. Year after year, I’ve find myself advising families where to find books and how to boost that home library for very little outlay.
Over the coming weeks, I’ll replicate that advice here. To start with here are some ways to get books for free. I don’t even mean free e-books or pirated copies you can find online. These are easy to achieve ways to get more books into your house.
Everyone should be a member of their local library service. There can be no argument against that. It is free to join and free to borrow books. For children, late fees are not charged either, so there are no hidden costs associated with a children’s account. If you can’t find a suitable title, librarians will help you out and can more than likely order in specific books from other libraries.
For some children, school is where they see more books than anywhere else. Every school will have a selection of books for children to access and take home. If they don’t, they are letting their pupils down. Talk to your child’s teacher about the books available in school, they will be more than happy to help find a suitable book that your child can borrow.
Every year we are faced with headlines about increased spending at Christmas. Children are receiving more and more presents at Christmas and birthdays. Why not encourage relatives and friends to buy a book as a gift? If you can’t think of a title, why not a book token? The upside is that, in my experience, relatives feel happier buying books than a toy or electronic device that they don’t really understand.
One of the enduring memories of my childhood was swapping Mega Drive games with friends at school. Looking back though, I never swapped books with friends. I cannot fathom why because it is one of the best ways of experiencing new books. Get together with other parents and swap books that your children have read. Even better, get the children to select books for each other.
Hand Me Downs
When my children were born, we received bags full of clothes. As they are getting older, we are still feeling the benefit of having friends with older children. There is nothing to stop passing books that your children have out-grown to other parents. Imagine being given a bag of books to share with your first child to kick start a love of books!
Keep an eye out for offers. McDonalds’ Happy Meals now come with a voucher for a free book redeemable at WHSmith. There selection is very limited, but it is a free book. EasyJet ran a promotion over the summer which saw children’s books placed in their seat pockets. I’ve even seen books in cereal packs over the years. OK, these aren’t technically free because you’ve bought something first, but is it is something yuu would buy anyway you’re not out of pocket.
World Book Day
Each year, World Book Day issues children with a £1 book token. These can be used in two ways. Firstly, it can be used to reduce the price of a book by £1. Alternatively, it can be redeemed against the specially published books. One token gets you one of these books. Keep an eye out on the World Book Day site for news of next year’s titles.
My wife is a member of different selling sites on Facebook. Occasionally on these, you will see bundles of books offered for free. Also check out FreeCycle and other similar sites. On any of these, there is no harm in asking for a few books. The expected rule is that if you get something for free on these sites, you should also offer something. You could pass on some books that are no longer needed in return perhaps.