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Whether you're looking for print books, audiobooks, or stories you can download, you have plenty of options for finding inexpensive or free titles. Here are some great places to look:
Your local library. This should be your first stop. You'll find plenty of print, audio, and e-books available free of charge. Plus, your local librarian will be happy to recommend great books suited to your child's reading and comprehension level.
You also might be able to buy books from your library – some have a section of books for sale, and many have periodic fundraisers. Ask your librarian for the date of your local library's sale, or check out BookSaleFinder to find listings for upcoming sales across the country.
Used and discount bookstores. Used bookstores are not only great places to score a deal, but some also offer an exchange plan: For each used book you bring in, you get credit you can use to buy used books in their stock. Some online used booksellers, such as Powell's and ThriftBooks, have a great selection of children's books.
Friends and family. Swap books with other families. Call your parents and ask them to dig up your favorite childhood books. Let grandparents and other relatives know that books or gift certificates to bookstores are always welcome gifts.
Apps and online. There are many resources for books you can download or read online, sometimes for free. Some terrific ones include:
- International Children's Digital Library: This site offers more than 4,500 free children's books from around the world, available in nearly 60 languages.
- Project Gutenberg: This is a digital library of more than 50,000 free e-books.
- Epic!: This inexpensive subscription service has more than 15,000 books including picture books, early readers, and graphic novels.
Garage sales. Watch for upcoming garage sales in your neighborhood, and get there early for the best selection.
Mail programs. A few programs send books to your home for free. Check to see if your community participates in Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, which mails books to children age 5 and younger each month. (If there's no program in your area, you can start one.) PJ Library mails free Jewish books each month to enrolled families.