To save LOTS of money, don't buy new…buy used. Go to any library and ask for used children's books. Often times they have entire shelves for sale, or they have a stack behind the counter you can buy. Every time I go to the library I pick some up for my baby. They are usually only $0.25, $0.50, or maybe $1.
Sometimes they are for sale because some of the pages are torn, or there are marks on the covers. Other times it was simply surplus and they need to clear space. Either way, NAB THEM. The good ones go quickly.
If your book is a little tattered, here are some tips to get them looking like new:
The BEFORE shots
- If you want to keep the protective plastic cover on the front of the book, that's not a bad idea. Simply use nailpolish remover on a cotton ball and clean all plastic-y surfaces. This will take off everything – smudges, marks, and even permanent marker.
- If you don't care about the plastic cover, simply cut it off!
I cut off the plastic covering, but left the sleeve on.
- If the sleeve of the book is in bad shape, simply take the entire thing off and leave the exposed hard cover underneath.
Here I took the entire sleeve off, exposing just the hard cover
- Check each page for tears and simply mend with CLEAR scotch tape.
- If you try to peel the library label off and it leaves behind that annoying sticky stuff, use a little Goo Gone® – 8 Ounce. That stuff is strong, but AMAZING.
- If the hard cover of the book is in bad shape as well, get creative and make your own! It would be a fun project for you and your kids.
Voila! You have a brand “new” book.
***A good gift idea*** Buy a whole stack of books for someone and fix them up. Wrap them in cute ribbons, put them in a basket, and you have an entire library for a new mom! (See how I made an Trust me, they won't care that they are used, especially if you decorate them and make them unique. Update: See how I made an “Instant-Library” Gift Basket and how it was the hit of the party!