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Best place for buying childrens books

(36 Posts)
PuraVida Tue 21-Dec-10 15:31:20

Hello.

Ds is 18 months and loves books. I've bought most of ours from charity shops so we have a fairly random collection. I'd really love to start compiling a library of all the really good childrens books but where best to buy them? Is amazon the cheapest? Or 3 for 2 in waterstones? or I've heard the 'book clubs mentioned but don't know what they iare and how they work I'd red house one?

Where do you buy the bulk of your books?

PuraVida Tue 21-Dec-10 15:32:29

Oh god sorry about all the typos bloody phone. Hope it makes some Lind of sense

BornToFolk Tue 21-Dec-10 15:38:51

Red House is great. It's not a club so you don't have to buy x amount of books per year or anything like that, and they are really cheap.

BFC is also pretty good. This is a club in the sense that you have to buy 4 normal priced books in the first year. They used to do that thing of sending you the "editors choice" each month unless you said you didn't want it but they don't do that any more. They do a really good new member offer where you get 5 books (or sets of books) at heavily discounted prices. For me, this was worth the 4 full priced books that I then had to buy.

DilysPrice Tue 21-Dec-10 15:53:29

Red House / The Book People can be fabulously cheap for collections of basics/classics. They're not book clubs per se, you can just order as and when you fancy something.
Amazon is usually cheapest for individual new books, slightly cheaper than 3 for 2 and much less annoying.
Charity shops continue to be good of course, and the cheapest of all is your local library (use it or lose it), also the books they sell off to make room for new stock can be good, and cheaper than charity shops.
I swear by The Rough Guides to Children's books (now out of print I think) for book ideas.

PuraVida Tue 21-Dec-10 15:55:09

Thanks borntofolk I'll have a look at both of those. Being forced to buy stuff I didn't want was my fear with book clubs or whatever they are.

PuraVida Tue 21-Dec-10 16:03:43

Oh and dilysprice too great ideas there. Yes we are big library goers just would like to actually own some of our faves. Thanks

iwantavuvezela Tue 21-Dec-10 16:24:18

Do your local primary schools have summer and winter fairs where they sell toys; books etc? I have found amazing books at ours for my dd - usually about 20p each! A good way to stock up on books, find new ones, and usually find the classics there as well!

RosieMBanks Tue 21-Dec-10 18:13:17

Some great suggestions already, and do look at Ebay too. I have acquired lots of lovely books for DD very reasonably, including many out-of-print childhood favourites. Sometimes people sell off whole library collections and it is worth bidding on those...you will pay postage of course, and possibly get a few books you might not choose, but you can still save a lot!

RosieMBanks Tue 21-Dec-10 18:13:17

Some great suggestions already, and do look at Ebay too. I have acquired lots of lovely books for DD very reasonably, including many out-of-print childhood favourites. Sometimes people sell off whole library collections and it is worth bidding on those...you will pay postage of course, and possibly get a few books you might not choose, but you can still save a lot!

Shaxx Tue 21-Dec-10 18:23:16

I use The Book People, Amazon (used books are v.good) and this site
www.bananas.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/catalo g_10602_40154_100

BikeRunSki Tue 21-Dec-10 18:36:20

Independent Bookshop! There is a Mumsnetter who runs a bookshop in Kent. I have never been (I am in Yokrshire), but her website looks lovely and full of reviews.

She's at Nickel Books and I think she said she does MNer discounts. There's a fairly recent thread about it.

gegs73 Tue 21-Dec-10 18:41:27

I get books for me and the children from Amazon. You can get second hand ones including packaging normally for about £2.50. The quality is listed when you buy and I've always found it to be really accurate. I've not got a book from a book shop for a couple of years though I do always browse.

DilysPrice Tue 21-Dec-10 18:51:50

Good tip if you're in the area is the Epsom Methodist Church Book Fair here. Known for its size and extremely reasonable prices, though admittedly the quality isn't immaculate if you want to build up a pristine home library.

FrostyAndSlippery Tue 21-Dec-10 18:54:33

The book people has become a recent favourite. Unbelievable value especially when you add on some online voucher codes

CuppaTeaJanice Tue 21-Dec-10 19:06:24

Definitely school Christmas/Summer fairs. They always have a well stocked book stall, particularly pre-school books the pupils have grown out of and donated, and are cheaper than even charity shops. Plus you'll be helping the school raise money!

PuraVida Tue 21-Dec-10 20:11:37

Thanks all will take a look at all these suggestions. We do have a wonderful local bookshop who I love to support but too pricey to buy lots of things from unfortunately. Also hadn't thought of school sales etc as ds is only 18 months

PuraVida Tue 21-Dec-10 20:13:27

Thanks all will take a look at all these suggestions. We do have a wonderful local bookshop who I love to support but too pricey to buy lots of things from unfortunately. Also hadn't thought of school sales etc as ds is only 18 months

madamehooch Tue 21-Dec-10 21:37:31

As a bookseller, I make a plea on behalf of a real life bookshop.

You may be able to get books cheaper on line but this depends on you knowing exactly what book you would like to buy.

A bookshop is a magical place full of untapped treasure. Make friends with your children's bookseller. A good one can recommend books you may never have heard of. They can put authors into your child's school. Some run their own reading groups and story time sessions. Good book shops should be child friendly - we encourage the children to sit and read the books and, when time permits (and the children want to) we love to listen to them read to us!

Don't let your child's reading matter be constantly governed by price or by what is listed in a catalogue. Support your local bookshop.

Thank you.

PuraVida Tue 21-Dec-10 21:44:13

I hear you madamhooch, our local bookshop it a much beloved treasure trove. I use it often and appreciate it for all the reasons you state. It's a valuable resource and I buy pretty much every birthday and Xmas gift from them. I feel guilty that I can't buy all my books from there but I just want to get the bones of a good children's library together and need to do it as cheaply as possible. The suggestions fir places other than charity shops to get second hand ones are likely to be the ones I explore first

Takver Wed 22-Dec-10 09:16:45

Abebooks is really good for 2nd hand copies of childrens books for slightly older children cheaply - all those books you remember from your childhood

madamehooch, I am sure your bookshop isn't like this, but sadly most bookshops I go into with dd are full of Rainbow Magic, Beast Quest & all the various heavily marketed series', and really have very few interesting books.
In particular, they have very few non-fiction science-y books (not even horrible science/murderous maths), which is often what dd is looking for, and we have yet to find a helpful assistant who will say anything beyond "nah, we don't get much call for them, we had a few before Christmas, but they've all gone now" (don't they plan for kids with book tokens?)

madamehooch Wed 22-Dec-10 15:33:56

takver - sorry to hear about your bad book shop experiences.

If it makes anyone feel better, I do work for a very well known chain of bookshops - not an 'indie' so you can live within reach of a 'good one' - it's just finding it!

Even if they don't have the range you're after, a good children's bookseller will be able to suggest titles and order in if necessary.

nickeldonkeybethlehemsinsight Wed 22-Dec-10 15:41:32

I know that the suggestions made are good value for money, but please consider supporting your local bookshops.

I would be considerably worse off (and not in business, actually) if it weren't for all the llocal people supporting me.

The staff in the book shop can recommend you books, and offer help of all sorts.

You're in Wiltshire, so not much use for me, but i don't know if this google list is any use

don't know where in wiltshire you are...

Takver Wed 22-Dec-10 15:43:05

madamehooch, I do know its not always like that - I used to work in a (lovely) bookshop as a teenager and my favourite bit was finding nice childrens books for people wanting help. I also loved Heffer's (sp?) children's bookshop in Cambridge, best place to visit as a child.

In fact, there is a good though rather tiny independent bookshop relatively near us, its just in a town we never go shopping in, IYKWIM, so this year we will make a special trip there.

My bad experiences have mainly been in the big chain bookshops when we're away visiting, we go somewhere like Waterstones in Oxford expecting great things and are much disappointed. There are good things there, I'm sure, its just hard to find them, and kids non-fiction seems a particularly thin point in the chains.

Anyone who happens to pass Kew on the way to the gardens, mind you, I would definitely recommend the little bookshop by the station which has a great selection and very lovely assistant

nickeldonkeybethlehemsinsight Wed 22-Dec-10 15:43:27

oh, and after seeign your latest post - fill up the bones of your library with charity shop books and jumble sale books.

But get a good core of decent stuff from your local bookshop.

the ones that are grown out of can be sent back to charity or jumble and more bought, but if anything like me growing up, then the pleasure derived from books i've owned all my life is immeasurable.

nickeldonkeybethlehemsinsight Wed 22-Dec-10 15:45:01

oh, and Takver - i know what you mean about chains! they only care about the money.

With few exceptions, everything in my shop has been chosen by me, and I refuse to stock what I class as rubbish books (unless custoemrs ask me for them .. wink )

independents tend to have more freedom to do that.

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