I was lucky to get almost a foot of used children's books-- all for only $13. Children's books are sold by the inch at this event. It's $1.20 per inch.
Before I went, I decided on some general ideas of what I would be looking for. Instead of sharing a foot high stack of kid lit with you, I'll just highlight some of my favorite picks.
Favorite Authors- If I see a book by a favorite author for cheap, you know I'm going to pick it up. Some of the authors I found were: Lane Smith, Bernard Waber, Janet and Allan Ahlberg, Donald Crews,Doreen Cronin, David McPhail. The books are donated so you generally won't find newer authors in the used section, unless you get lucky!
Easy Readers- Once your child begins reading independently, you will discover finding books that he can read independently will be challenging-- especially for the first year. Many of the early reader books that I love come in sets for schools. They can be quite expensive to purchase individually-- especially when you are talking about a small book with only 5-6 pages. One of my favorite early reader sets are Rigby PM. Since many teachers/schools donate old books to the fair, you can score several of these early readers. They are so thin that you are getting them for almost nothing!
Early Chapter Books- I am getting ready to start Logan on listening to chapter books. I wanted to pick up a few very easy chapter books that have several pictures. Some of my favorite finds from this pick were Catwings, Catwings Return, Winnie the Pooh, Toy Story 2, and Jackrabbit Goalie by Matt Christopher. There were tons of chapter books at the fair too if you are ready for that.
Board Books- There aren't a lot of board books available, but I'll take any that are in good condition. I bring them home and wipe them down with wet wipes, leave them fanned open until all the pages dry so they don't stick together.
Holiday Books- I always pick up all the holiday books I can find. Even if the writing isn't stellar, kids love to look at illustrations of holiday books. I found a ton of Christmas books in good condition so that was exciting. I have a plan for those.. but you'll have to wait to find out.
Miscellaneous books in good condition- One thing I try to remember is that kids like books in good condition. Most of the books at this fair are paperbacks so they need to be in great condition. Here's my favorite pick from this section. You Read to Me, I'll Read to You Fairy Tales. It looks brand new!!
Tips for the locals:
If you are heading to the St. Louis YMCA book fair, here are some tips from me to you.
1. Wear/bring a jacket. On Sunday night it was frigid in there. It's held on a floor of an ice rink. They may already have it set for skating season. brrr! My hands were numb by the end of the night.
2. One thing that I found is that most of the books are grouped together by donator. For instance, if there was a name written on a book, it would be written on several books around it. This can be useful. If you find a book that is great, slow down and really look around it. If you get into a section of junk, you can speed up a bit. There is so much to sort through, you have to have a plan!
3. Tuesday is half-price day. So Children's books will be $0.60 an inch. On Wednesday, it is $10 for a box of books.
4. The book fair runs 9 am-9 pm until Wednesday at the Kennedy Recreation Center.
I wish I could go to this with all of you. I kept thinking of book recommendations I had found from friends in the blogosphere and wishing I had a few of you with me to sort through the pile of books!
Here's where I am linking this up: