Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Back to School: Summer Reading on a Budget

Does your child have summer reading to do before they head back to school in September? I know my high schoolers do. And often times, I find that they've purchased the book, read it once and then it collects dust bunnies underneath their beds. What a waste of money!

Here are some tried and true ways to have your child complete their summer reading assignment inexpensively.

1. Borrow from the library - this is 100% free, unless of course you owe fines and you tend to lose books... it also can be tough if a million others are waiting to borrow the same book

2. Search for the full text on Google - as a teacher, I do this all of the time... I don't have enough copies of books to send home for homework so I find an online version that is free so students can access it when not in school. Here are some full text books I know are on some high school summer reading lists.

Into the Wild
Lord of the Flies
The Hunger Games Book 1
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

3. If you prefer ebook version, Overdrive is an amazing free app for the Smartphone or tablet. You link your account to your library card and "borrow" the ebook from the library. Once your rental period is over, the book vanishes from your online bookshelf.

4. If you insist on buying the book, my favorite website for purchasing good-condition, inexpensive books is Thriftbooks. Book prices start around $2.99. If your order is $10, shipping is free. If you comment with your email address, I can send you an email with a 15% off your first order coupon (for first time users only). Best yet, once you make an account, it tracks your purchases. Once you hit $50, they send you a $5 credit to use!

5. Project Gutenberg is a great database of 49,000 books that have been converted into ebooks. They are all available for free. These include mostly classics like Kafka's Metamorphosis and Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland.

6. Savers - many people forget about thrift stores when it comes to buying books. Savers's book prices are hard to beat. If the retail price is less than $7.94, the book is $1.99. If it's higher, it's $2.99. Children's books are priced differently but I can't recall the prices. If you buy 4 books, the 5th is free. I just walked out the other day with 5 books for my classroom for $11 including tax. It is hit or miss, though, but many of the more common, best sellers can be found on the shelves there.

Happy Couponing!
-Coupon Mama Massachusetts

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