Being a homeschool family typically means that you will have more books in your home, and if you are a book lover like myself that number is even larger! But being a homeschool family also typically means a smaller budget. While that may limit your book buying, it in no way means you cannot build a large collection of books!
3 Ways to Increase Your Home Library on a Budget
Buying on a budget means you have to be a little more strategic about how you spend your money. Here are a few ways to help you have a stupendous home library without breaking the bank!
1. Try Before You Buy
There are many books available to us at our local library. Using the library as a means to test run books is a great way to avoid making unnecessary purchases.
For instance, you might have a child who goes through a love of Clifford the Big Red Dog. But do you really need to spend the money to by every Clifford book? Nope. You can check them out of the library and if your child finds one or two favorites then you can always choose to purchase those to have on hand.
2. Only Buy What You Must
If you are looking to purchase books for your child to read, or because they need something for a unit study, etc, think before you buy. Some books will clearly only be used once and then never again. Try to be discerning about the books that you do purchase and only purchase what will really be of value to you and your family down the road.
For instance, I collect classic literature. Things like Moby Dick, A Christmas Carol, The Scarlet Letter, and Pride and Prejudice are books that easily make the must read by the end of high school list, and therefore will be read by all in our house. These are a good investment for our home library.
3. Buy Used
There are many ways to find used books. From online sources like Amazon and Half.com, to local resources like your library book sale, thrift store, used book store, or garage sales. When I specifically need a book and need it soon, I will buy used online to get it in a timely fashion. For other books I have collected it has just been a slow roll. I always look at garage sales during the season, and so do our kids! We recently picked up some awesome No Fear Shakespeare Books, and the hard covers of the Hunger Games Trilogy for fifty cents a piece!
Creating a list on paper, or in your head of topics and types of books you are looking for can be a big help. That way you don’t double up on anything, and you have a reference to guide you when a sale pops up! I have purchased many non-fiction reference books along the way for pocket change to add to our collection. Things like books about space, history, mythology, science experiments, nature study and more. These have all become staple references in our home library.