Friday, August 23, 2013

How to Build Your Library Collection for Cheap! Win a Free Set of My Book Labels to Get Those Books Neatly Organized!

Happy Friday everyone!  I have been a super bad blogger and have abandoned my new little blog here over the past month :( I needed to unwind and check out for a while, but I did stay a bit busy this summer.  I don’t know about you, but I am obsessed with stacking my personal library with as many books possible for my students.  It's one of the most important parts of any classroom.   I have well over    1, 000 books in my collection and that is after only 5 years in my very own classroom.  In total, I’ve only spent about $550 over that span so I have to say, I think that’s pretty impressive!  How may you ask?  I’m a bargain hunter.  I buy nothing full price (unless it’s a bag I’m swooning over or make up that I can’t resist) and I’m always on the hunt for book sales.  No not Scholastic book sales per say, but library book sales.  If you haven’t attended one yet, you are missing out!  This is the key to my library!

I live in CT and over the past 4 summers I have made my rounds to 4 different towns in NY and CT in hopes of finding some new books for my library.  From my experience, most of these sales take place during this time of year so it’s the PERFECT time for teachers to snatch up some goodies.  Most of these sales last over the course of 3-5 days.  Usually day 1 entails paying a $5 cover fee for entry, but I assure you it’s worth it.  I spent 3 hours at my first library book sale, scouring through books and built a collection of Dr. Seuss, Arthur, and American Girl books in no time.  How much were these books?  Hard covers were normally ranged between a wopping $1-$3.  That’s right people, Dr. Seuss books cheaper than your favorite Starbucks latte.  Soft covers ranged anywhere from 25 – 75 cents.   No one is breaking their bank here.  The crazy part is that so many of these books were barely used!  Tons of donated books were in superb condition ready and waiting for my little lovebugs to gobble and booger up! On the last day of these sales they usually offer a $5 bag day, which means that you can stuff a bag with as many books as possible for only $5.  It’s amazing!   I use this site to find sales that are going on in the area I am in or areas I am visiting.  Some are amazing, and others are okay, so it's a trial-by-error experience.  It's well worth it when you hit a super stocked sale!  

So because I’ve collected so many books, I quickly ran into a problem organizing them. Where there’s a problem there is always a solution. I created book bin labels and coordinating book labels to match a few years ago and I love it.  It’s saved me countless hours organizing my library. I place a sticker on the back of each book and students know that they must match the book sticker to the coordinating book bin with the same visual.  It has made my life a MILLION times easier and stress free because every child knows that each book has its own place. Howeverrrrrr, as my library has grown the genres and book series have increased so I needed to update them badly!  I’ve spent the past 3 weeks working on creating a book system that I will NEVER have to update again!  I wanted to have it done and ready so that if I ever changed from 3rd to another grade level, I’d have everything ready to go!  So I got to work and created over 380 labels that pair to various genres and topics of any book collection. Then my OCD kicked in and I decided that I wanted to make a set of book bin labels that matched my bright neon room scheme this year, so that’s what I did!  I LOVE them! They came out too cute too boot if you ask me!  I realized as I was doing the neon set, that realistically, I would end up changing my theme again at some point so I decided to make 3 other options for the book bin labels: chalkboard, swirly frames, and classic rectangle frames.  Now I wont have to worry about creating these again down the line….EVER :) The hard work creating them was worth it! 

I have these up in my store right now on sale through this Saturday for only $8.  If you need to get your library organized in an easy peasy way that allows your students to be responsible for it’s maintenance, then pick up a set in my TPT store in the style of your choice!

I’m off to do some more wine tasting today!  A well deserved reward for working hard! Wanna win a set?  Follow my store here, and the first person to correctly guess where I'll be sipping on some sweet grape juice this weekend will win the set of their choice!  Happy Weekend!