October 29, 2010

Children’s Books Will Take Over Your House and Deplete Your Wallet


Seuss collection
photo credit: EvelynGiggles

When you become a parent you think back to your own childhood and either want something totally different for your child or to somehow replicate how great it was. When I got pregnant I started thinking about all the children’s books I could get. And I started searching online for out of print copies and old copies of books I loved when I was a kid.

I was always looking at children’s books and getting excited that my child would want me to read all of them to her. When I was in my 20s, one of the families I babysat for gave me The Giving Tree as a gift. It is a book I treasure, because I would read that book to the kids a billion times a day. I love Shel Silverstein, so I wanted all of his books. But that’s about $100 right there. And I wanted so much more.

I had quite a collection by time BabyGirl was born. And then I was focused on getting all the current children’s books because what what popular when I was a kid wasn’t what the babies were being read now. And, like any first time mom I didn’t want to scar my child for life so I needed the new books.

But they’re expensive! $20 at Borders or Barnes & Noble? Sure, there are coupons, but this gets very expensive very quick. So as I was kvetching and bellyaching one day to one of my friends she told me about Children’s Book of the Month Club. She had done it with her girls and they’d send one or two books a month and if you wanted them you bought them and if not you’d send them back. Kinda sounded like those cassette tape scams of the 1980s if you ask me. Which she did, so I pretty much told her that. She told me all the right things to convince me to sign up. It’s not scammy, it’s different, they have all kinds of books, they have sales, etc.

I reluctantly signed up. It’s one of those deals where you select a few books and pay almost nothing but then you’re committed to buying books over the next year. Now their deal is Buy 6 books for $2 and agree to buy 4 books over the course of the next year. I have to say, that’s a pretty good deal, especially since they have thousands of books and they’re very competitively priced.

I signed up at Children’s Book of the Month Club. I got my 6 books – 5 children’s books and one book that I’d been wanting for awhile but wasn’t about to pay $28 for, Barefoot Contessa Cookbook – paid my few bucks and now 5 years later I’m still signed up. I usually decline the monthly shipment because we’ve moved on from the first year’s children’s books. But they’ve run great sales that have allowed me to keep the library well stocked. And I’ve purchased about 15 or so books that I have enough credit in my account that I can get a few books for free! You know how I like Free.

You should give Children’s Book of the Month Club a try. They have so many books, for kids of all reading levels and ages as well as adults. But you can’t blame me if you start running out of room.

Disclosure: I just wanted to write about buying children’s books.


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