How to Buy Best Selling Books for a Dollar or Less

Walk into any bookstore and you may be surprised by the rising cost of books. New hardcover best sellers can reach prices of $25 or more. The thought of paying such prices makes me shudder. That’s why I’ve found several ways to obtain these very same books for a fraction of the price.

My best source for inexpensive books is the Friends of the Library (FOL) Book Sale. Here you’ll discover a wide assortment of gently used books, usually priced between 50 cents to one dollar! Friends of the Library (FOL) are volunteer organizations dedicated to improving their associated libraries. Friends of the Library (FOL) accept donations of used books from the local community, and then once or twice a year sell these books to the general public at their FOL book sales.

Depending on the library, the book sale may contain anywhere from a few hundred books to tens of thousands of books. FOLs use profits from these sales to improve library facilities, to buy new equipment, or to buy new books for the library. As a result, these sales create a win-win situation for everyone. You buy gently used books at great prices, while profits from the sale are used to improve the library.

Generally FOL book sales last 2-3 days, usually occurring on a weekend. As always, the early bird gets the worm. Those who arrive on the first few days of the sale get a crack at the best assortment of books. Additionally, many FOLs have a preview night, lasting two or three hours, on the evening prior to the sale. These preview sales are only open to members of the FOL, but are where the absolute best bargains are found.

In fact, such good deals are found at preview night that many people line up early. By attending preview night I usually spend $20 and get 25 or more books that would have easily cost me $300-$400 at a local bookstore. You too can attend these preview nights by simply becoming a member of a library’s FOL. It’s easy and usually costs between $5 and $10 for a yearly membership with no other commitment required.

If you can’t attend the preview night, then definitely attend the sale on its first day. Another lucrative day for FOL book sales is the final day. On the last day of the book sale most FOLs hold a bag sale. Here the FOL allows you to fill a bag full of books. You pay only a dollar or two for each bag of books. Doing this you can literally get books for pennies. Because FOL book sales usually have large amounts of children’s books, these sales can be goldmines for parents, especially on bag day.

My strategy is to target FOL sales in affluent suburbs. As FOLs get their books donated from the local community, FOL sales in affluent suburbs tend to have the nicest books, as well as the greatest number of recently released best sellers.

To find FOL book sales near you, visit This website lists the dates and times of FOL books sales, organized by city and state. By attending FOL sales you can purchase gently used books at a fraction of their original cost. If you’re a frequent reader, the savings can be amazing.

The 5 Important Steps to Take When Starting a Book Club

Reading groups and book clubs are excellent platforms to get together with other like-minded individuals and discuss books that you’ve all agreed to read. They can be rewarding and also comforting.

If you have thought about starting up your own book club, whether it be an online book club that caters to a wide range of people or a local book club that is primarily just for your community, here are the five most important steps you should take.

1. Get a Website

Regardless of how far away people are going to be, you want your book club members to have access to information at any given time. It doesn’t need to be anything over the top but you should at least have a page where they can e-mail you to sign up, check out the current book selections and review past selections. Other “extras” that you may want to consider for your website include: a chat room, a message board and a guest book for comments.

2. Write a Press Release

Press releases are the best way to spread the word around about your book club locally. The press release should contain information on the book club, how often you plan to meet with your members, whether it will be held out of people’s homes or in external locations and what type of books you plan on your group reading. As for where to send it, you can easily find media contacts by running a search on Google.

3. Contact Your Local Library

The library is a great resource for people in your community so make sure you reach out to that medium! Post a flyer for your book club if they have a community bulletin and ask about possibly holding your meetings there. Sometimes, if the library does not currently have a book club, they may even suggest recommending it to many of the library patrons as an added service that the library now has!

4. Contact Your Local Book Stores

As with the library, be sure to post flyers up in your local book stores. This is where your target audience goes to purchase books and they will be keen on contacting you if a book club is something that they wish to participate in! Another tip when contacting book stores: ask if they could provide your book group with a discount for the first three selections. You’d be surprised how many people would say yes!

5. Get Organized!

Now that you’ve put yourself out there to accept new members, get organized! Get a binder, fill it with dividers and set yourself up so there is no room for failure! Set up meeting schedules with times and locations and create a book list for your book club members to select from for the first voting period. Decide how often you’ll meet, how many books you’ll select in advance and all of those other items that your members will have questions about.

6 (as a bonus!). Have Fun!

Managing a book club can be stressful at times but it’s rewarding so have fun with it! Plan interactive excursions for your book club members that will hold their interest and make sure to keep in contact with them often, the last thing your members want is a lack of enthusiasm!

Kids Books – A Great Place To Start Their Education

Every one of us wants to give our children the best we can provide, of love, care and education. The best course is to prepare our children in a manner that will enable them to face the challenges life throws at them as they grow older. Keeping a child occupied, however, is one of the most trying jobs that parents face. Books for children, apart from helping in keeping the child occupied, can provide a lot of food for thought and are a major tool for educating children.

The habit of reading should be inculcated at an early age. After all, as they grow up they will be required to read and read more and read even more. If children are already familiar with books and have read books for children, you will find that they will not shirk from reading textbooks too.

In fact, books are the best gift you can give to your child. Books for children are available for all ages – toddlers, pre-schoolers, school going and teenagers. For smaller kids here are picture books that your young one may not understand to start with but they provide a positive association with books in general and this proves to be extremely beneficial as the child grows. Books for children that are meant for use during early childhood are very colorful and attractive. They are also made of soft material and do not harm children in any way. Reputable manufacturers ensure that the paper and ink used in them do not contain any toxic material.

As the child grows, you can look for books for children that have little words along with pictures. The child will understand that words tell a story and the pictures are associated with them. This has a very positive developmental effect on children and stands them in good stead later.

Once children cross three years you can buy books that have more of a story and less of pictures. Such books for children inculcate the habit of inquisitiveness and asking questions. Your child will reap the benefits of this habit when he/she joins school as it is only by asking questions that children can elicit additional information and knowledge from the teacher. You can also look for books for children that have rhyming words. Rhyming words are easier to memorize than simple prose. Such books for children help in developing a good memory in children.

Buying books for children is easy and once you explore the possibilities you will find it a pleasant experience shopping for them. Big book stores have separate display areas for books for children. Many stores go to great lengths to provide facilities to parents who bring their children along. They may have a play area or story time to keep children occupied while the adults look around for appropriate books.

Libraries too organize such programs to help develop the habit of reading among children. Lot of enterprising parents take upon themselves to start programs like book sharing and story time within their communities. This also provides a convenient platform for donating the books your child has outgrown from.