Books for Keeps, Part 2
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If you're unfamiliar with what Books for Keeps is or what they do, check out the website. There are also links for facebook and Twitter there.
Books for Keeps is a non-profit that collects books for schoolchildren (all grades, but with a heavy emphasis on the elementary school years) and distributes them at the end of the school year. This is to help prevent "summer slide".
Please ask any questions that occur to you, tell us what you've found at that garage sale or discuss the merits of the project here.
Many of the best books that Books for Keeps uses are collected from BookMoochers in general and you guys in particular. You are necessary to the success of Books for Keeps and the books you send us and the points you donate all reach kids who need and appreciate those books.
I've put together some general guidelines for the books we really want. I did try to make is short, but failed. Here it is:
Books in good condition, no ex-library or BookCrossing books, books that are torn or look well used. Gently used is fine. Some writing on inside cover (ie: name) is fine.
Books need to have bright, modern covers. Books with old-fashioned covers are passed over, for example, The Babysitters Club series has the first few titles rereleased with new covers. Those are attractive, but the older eighties-style covers are not. Darker covers are also passed over for books with brighter covers. Books with cartoon illustrated covers are more popular than those with more realistic covers.
Superhero books, especially when the superhero has a recent movie, such as Iron Man or Captain America.
Dr. Suess is eternally in demand.
Joke books, riddle books and sports books about current athletes are insanely popular, books about athletes now retired or ‘‘over‘‘ just sit.
Non-Fiction is popular, especially when it features snakes, sharks, dinosaurs or really cute kittens and puppies. The DK books are fantastic. The Magic Schoolbus series is popular with all ages. We could have used so many more of these last year!
Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Captain Underpants series (includes Cavemen from the future and Super Diaper Baby series), Goosebumps, Animorphs and Junie B. Jones series are always in enormous demand.
Any book based on a current children’s tv show, for example, Everybody Hates Chris, The Suite Life, Phineas and Ferb, Pokemon, Bakugan, etc... Older series are not popular except in limited quantities. There is always some demand for Power Rangers, Transformers and other superhero-type shows.
Likewise, books based on movies are good, the more recent the better. Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean were popular last year.
Books featuring fairies or princesses are always great, especially when their covers are glittery. Barbie is also popular. Books based on Disney movies, especially the animated ones are always attractive. Candy Apple and Poison Apple are imprints that are attractive to girls. Younger girls like Tinkerbell, The Perfectly Princess series and Fancy Nancy, while older ones like Meg Cabot’s Allie Finkel series.
Younger readers need attractive picture books. The cover illustration should be bright, interesting and not old-fashioned. Popular series include the If You Give a Mouse a Muffin and all later titles, Fly Guy, the Arthur series, George and Martha.
Beginning reader type books are needed, again, without old-fashioned covers. The DK Reader series are the most attractive. Frog and Toad, Biscuit, Superhero, princess, fairy, dinosaur, shark, etc...
Popular authors include Gordon Korman, Rick Riordan, Andrew Clements, Andy Griffiths
Not quite as popular, but still needed in quantity are the Judy Moody or Stink series, Geronimo Stilton series, A to Z mysteries, Magic Treehouse series, Flat Stanley series and the Horrible Harry series.
There is a new Diary of a Wimpy Kid being released in November. That will be the book everybody wants.
I went to a FOL sale over the weekend, and a garage sale from a lady who was an insane hoarder, so I'll have another big box to send at some point :)
Oh goodness. Now I *have* to go on a thrift-store shopping spree!
Few questions: Dr. Suess. I would've thought those would be a bit out of date, cover-wise... Are there newer covers, or is that just one of those things that's timeless?
kid's tv shows: How about Hannah Montana? Is that too "yesterday"? (I saw a whole pile of them last time I was at the thrift store)
Yeah I kind of wondered about that, but if you look at Seuss books they are cartoony covers, and yes ultimately timeless stories. Surely P. D. Eastman would be just as popular?
That's sad the older books aren't popular with kids now. :(
I for one like realistic covers! My taste also varies however (I like Quentin Blake's illustrations for example, and a lot of others that aren't strictly detailed and realistic). But I couldn't help thinking that Judy Moody cover looks so dull (well, to me! It looks darkish and uncolourful, go figure). Interesting to know what current tastes are though. I have to give a slightly amused smile as some things kids like today were also popular in the 80s/90s!!! Sad about the baby-sitters club series... I saw some Little Sister books the other day and wondered if they'd go down at all, and a pile of Barbie books that looked newish. I really ought to refrain from spending money... just got a huge pile of ex-library books! I could get the Barbie books if they're still there next time I go.
Dr Seuss is timeless and most schools do a Dr Seuss day and the kids are all familiar with him. Which is the key, I think. Familiarity is important for kids who aren't adventurous readers. It's the reason we all have favorite series even now, right?
We'll get enough of the Hannah Montana books from our book drives to handle the demand for those. It's the current series that we can use gazillions of.
Remember, we're readers, and were children who loved to read. So we knew that good books sometimes hid behind boring covers, and we enjoyed reading enough to take a chance on an unfamiliar author. If reading a book is a big effort and will take a lot of time, then we'd all grab that book that made us think it would be fun, fun, fun. Hence, the colorful covers and familiar series.
Quentin Blake rocks! And his covers for the Roald Dahl books make them attractive. And since Dahl's books are funny and subversive and a little bit dark, kids love him, even the ones who don't read much.
Barbie's still popular! Especially the fairy tale/princess books.
Trust your judgment. I've been amazed at what you guys have found so far.
I was wondering about the Dahl books. I know the emphasis is on elementary school, but what about middle and high school? I may have to go through the books I collected over the summer and see how I did. I did pick up a couple of sports/bio books that I might need to check again. I figured it had to be someone well-known but now I wonder if they're current enough. I'll check when I get home from work.
There are several English teachers and guidance counselors who use Bfk to get books to their middle school and high school students. We won't be doing distributions in those schools, but we will be getting lots of books to the teachers who know who the kids are who need them.
There are some frightening studies saying that if a child does not read at grade level by third grade, they never will catch up. So the focus is reaching children during the elementary school years.
At the school distributions last May, Melaney saw that the kids who already are readers would show up with specific book lists and the non-readers didn't attend. So books for older children are best distributed to educators who know exactly what their students need.
If you have books for older children to send to BfK, know that they will reach the children who need them, just using different methods of distribution.
Ok - my thoughts were that once you get them reading to keep them interested in reading by giving them books in middle school at least. I always figure if I send something you can't use, you might be able to put it on BM and get some more points to spend.
I don't have a sendable copy (found an ex-library copy yesterday) but younger primary school readers may enjoy this:
John Yeoman The boy who sprouted antlers that is illustrated by Quentin Blake. It's one of those bridging fiction chapter books, not too long, 61 pages. "When his friend Melanie challenges Billy Dexter to grow antlers, he decides that he will. After all, his teacher has said he can do anything if he sets his mind to it." Apparently it is a very funny story. It sounds good! I feel like I've come across it before but not sure if I ever read it.
*has a small BfK pile started* Mom has promised to take me to the thrift store this weekend, and I'll be armed with my new list, thanks to RidgewayGirl's guidelines!
RidgewayGirl I got three Barbie books; will send a message on LT once I list them. I saw a fourth but didn't like the cover crease. These 3 just have minor cover wear but otherwise appear unmarked, except for one that has a neat happy birthday note inside the front cover. Hope that's okay.
The Amelia's Diary series was really popular last May. The pink cover certainly helped, but now that kids are familiar with the series they will surely go for the black & white covers too. I expected Everybody Hates Chris to be popular, but I was surprised just how popular. One class spontaneously started singing the theme song while looking for books.
There's a picture on our blog of a group of kids (including boys!) who chose to read their EHC books during recess, instead of playing. It gives me chillbumps... kids sitting together reading the same book at the same time, discussing as they read. I've thought of writing Chris Rock and begging for more books!
PS: I am having fun trying to figure out who all of you are. Now that Kay handles most of the mail-in books, I don't know screen names like I used to. I'm grateful beyond words for all of you, even if I can't figure out who you are!
Hi Melaney! I just pre-ordered two of the upcoming Wimpy Kid books to be sent directly from your wishlist.
Your work is greatly appreciated, and not just by the kids!
Woo-hoo! Thank you, Amy! I know that that book will be the most popular book next Spring. We need a gazillion of them.
I would highly suggest sending a letter/email to the author/producer of Chris Rock. Often times they are willing to share books to an group for a worthy cause. I know from experience, last year I emailed an author on behalf of a girls school in a middle eastern county and the author responded by sending an entire box of her books to them. These were girls who for the first time in their lives were learning to read.
I agree with ZoeyEve. I'd also include your latest blog posting showing how the kids are responding. If you have a form letter ready to go I'd be happy to start printing and mailing out to publishers and authors. I'm sure some of them would love to help out.
Grabbed 6 more books yesterday for BfK at the thrift store.... (My mind was going "only 6? this place usually has so much more!")
I share every new blogpost on my Facebook, and I have two friends in San Diego looking to round up some books after they saw my post, so yay!
RidgewayGirl I have book three of Gordon Korman's Island trilogy and it is in near very good condition (only minor cover wear). I will be reading it before listing so it may be a few weeks or so before it is listed. I need to get this stack of library books out of the way first!!
Haha I mooched a book as a potential BFK book... it's in great condition and I'll send it if you think any kids would be interested... but I'm not going to lie, it totally creeps me out!
The book is Cinderella by William Wegman. (The touchstone stopped working but here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0786805501 )
The book tells the Cinderella story. The illustrations are all photos of people dressed up in costumes, but with dog heads. The body of a human and the head of a dog. O_o
I have no idea if kids would like it or not... one way or another it's going to leave my house ASAP!
I'll mooch it and let Melaney make the final call. Some kid will think it's cute, I'll bet.
For everyone wondering why your books haven't been mooched, that's me. It's the beginning of the school year, when every teacher and group needs to hold special parents' meetings and we're all still getting used to the schedule. I'll get back to being a functioning person soon, and I'll get mooching by tomorrow evening. Thanks for your patience.
? Are the books required in English or would you accept Spanish copies of books as well?
Spanish books are welcome. The same rules apply. What we did last year with books in Spanish was to give them to the librarians at the schools we were in to get to the children who needed them most. The librarian I met was thrilled to get them and knew exactly which children she'd give them to.
I am in Seattle visiting my family, and I have visited a few thrift stores to pick up popular books for BFK.
Today I stopped at a Value Village. They had chapter books for 99c and picture books for 69c, with buy 4 get the 5th free.
They had a ton of great books, so I had to exercise some self control. I carefully picked out 15 chapter books and 5 picture books. When I went to the register, I got a young guy who had an attitude like he could give a shit. He eyed the pile and said, "that's about 10 books..." and then proceeded to ring it up like 5 books, then he applied some random coupons or something to it. After tax the total was $3.84 when it should have been over $15!
Then I went to a Goodwill. They didn't have a price posted for children's books, but a nearby Goodwill has them for 79c, so I figured they were either 79 or 99 cents. I found a few good ones, including a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book that was marked $3.99. Another book was marked 99c, the rest were not marked.
This cashier just rang them up as 5 kids books @ 79c each!
I might feel guilty, but they are for a good cause... so I don't :)
Now to get all of these books posted and mailed out before my husband gets into town. He doesn't entirely approve of my charitable giving! (Mainly he just dislikes the clutter of the books laying around).
Slightly OT, but this is sort of in the spirit of this thread, and I thought you all might get a kick out of it:
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FYI; Sept 27 only at Betterworldbooks www.betterworldbooks.com there is a sale in the bargin bin.
5 books from their bargin bin are 50% off each!
May want to see if they have any books at prices you want!
I spent yesterday evening mooching the large quantities of excellent books set aside by michellereads and Rainbowgirl28. Thanks, guys.
And thank you to mareofthesea for the ginormous box she recently sent.
I'm always pleasantly surprised at the great books you all find and the fantastic condition they are always in.
If there's anyone here with some free time and who would like to help Books for Keeps even more than you already do, Melaney is looking for someone to keep the http://booksforkeeps.blogspot.com/ site up to date.
Sending the giant box today! It was about 26 1/2 pounds. It includes some extra books and some doubles, so there are more books in the box than there are bookmooch requests.
I'll have another giant box in the next few weeks as well. This one was just books I picked up in Seattle.
@ 32; would you be willing to share how much that cost to ship. It might help others plan a budget to be able to ship books; and out of curiosity how many books did you squish into 26lbs?
It was like $14 something with insurance. The postage was $12 something. I added an extra stamp because my scale at home isn't that accurate over 25 pounds and at the PO they said it was right at 27 pounds!
If you are in the US you can calculate postage here: http://postcalc.usps.gov/ Look for Media Mail rate at the bottom of the options. You can't buy the postage from Click n Ship, but you can buy it at paypal.com/shipnow with no extra fees other than 19 cents for DC.
Not sure how many books were inside... probably 90ish since I had some extras thrown in. It depends a lot on if you're shipping big chapter books, little chapter books, pictures books, etc.
It will be interesting to see if my mail carrier can keep her upbeat expression as she hauls that box to my door.
Speaking of which, I received large packages from Peta and dudes22. Peta's could have been dropped from an airplane, repeatedly, and survived unscathed! And dudes22 sent 40 books out of the blue, and even included a note so that I didn't spend time combing the BfK pending.
34: And here I was worried my 11 lb box was too big. Cost about $7.50 media, I think. I've got more to send too. Before the fall library sales start.
anyone with points and helps with this charity
currently has 2 wimpy kid books listed
figured they'd get snatched up before anyone from the BfK account saw, so I grabbed them. New member though, so fingers crossed!
>39 thanks heather; i did not have the points to grab them so i posted it here.
has some Magic Tree House and other children-books in inventory. (In Canada, and I don't want to spend 3-points a pop, so anyone else up to it?)
Hey everybody - curious what your reactions will be when you hear our official goal for May 2012: 82,044 books for elementary school, plus as many books as we can collect for middle/high school.
Now that so many people are getting involved, I feel so optimistic that we can make it. Time will tell.
Here's a link to our first-ever newsletter.
I just got the newsletter. I was so excited to see it. I wish I still lived in Georgia. I want to go to that book sale, not to mention all of the volunteering I can't do from half way across the country. Boo!
I know that you will make your goal!!! Any idea how many books you have at this point? You need one of those thermometer fundraising widgets on your website so we can keep track of where ya'll are at.
Awwwwwwwwwww Goodness I want to be at that book sale so bad!
So, clarification, is the focus more on elementary school, since there is a specific number you are shooting for?
edit: Also, how often is the BfK wishlist checked on BookMooch? I'm sure you guys are busy, but I'm just curious 'cause there are quite a few wishlist-books available and I'm never sure if I should swoop in and grab some, or if you guys are being selective, or... what.
FYI: if you have an RSS feed, like Google Reader, you can RSS someone else's wishlist.... like B4K
stalkish, yes, but in this case, understandable.
Thanks for grabbing the Wimpy Kids, Heather19!
I need to update the wishlist as there are some books we don't need as badly on there. Quite a few of the available books are unsuitable due to condition or because we've had a bad experience with that moocher before. The guidelines in message 2 are what I'm working from. I'll let you all know as soon as it's up to date.
If there are any PBS members with a space or two free, it would be lovely if you were to add Wimpy Kid books Diary of a Wimpy Kid 6, Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Ugly Truth and Diary of a Wimpy Kid Dog Days to your wishlist. I could send you the point when a copy became available to you.
I assume you already have posted this to the PBS forums..I know there are a lot of people on the site and I bet a lot would be willing to add it and send it when the books come up.
I recently upgraded to a gold key membership on PBS, and am using my extra wishlist spots to WL all of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books :) Some of the DK Reader and Dr. Suess books I picked up recently were WL'd on PBS, so I listed them there instead giving me some extra points.
We haven't had a book counting day since our book distributions last May. Donations were s-l-o-w over the summer, and we decided to have 4-5 huge volunteer sort days rather than me sorting books all the time. It's so weird not to know! I'm going to guess 3,000-5,000.
I know - we have our work cut out for us don't we? Y'all are so great to help. I wish y'all were here in Athens, probably more than you do!
Thanks for that info Heather. I mooched the 4 Tree House Books & will watch for other suitable kids books for BFK
Hey everybody - this post is for you!
Just thought I'd sing a little song of praise to BookMooch (I know!) today. They have been a constant source of support for Books for Keeps, going so far as to give us points when we were low and to send an email assuring us that we could get more points as needed.
PBS, on the other hand, has informed me that charities cannot request books on PBS. PBS has its own charities and does not want people to feel that it's acceptable to donate their points to BfK. I had a lengthy exchange with their admin and they were willing to accept that it would be okay for PBS members to request books for BfK as long as they did not have the book owner send the book directly to us. We do need to obey their rules. I am using slots on my wishlist for Wimpy Kids books, which they agree is also okay, even if I will not personally keep them. I cannot, however, just list books for BfK on my wishlist--it needs to be mostly for my own use and only a few may be requested for BfK.
dudes22, your enormous box was full of great books! Thank you! And Becca, I hope you didn't carry that box yourself?
Haha yes, carried it myself, but I had to put the baby down first!
Glad it arrived ok. I have a couple/few more small boxes to send before the fall library sales start.
..... WTF, PBS? That's..... just.... WTF? I definitely don't understand that. But then, I don't understand a lot about PBS....
Possibly good news in my area of the book-world: A formerly-very-tiny thrift store, that had very little in the way of books/etc, has moved to a BIG building, and apparently they now have TONS of books stocked. I don't know about pricing because I've never been there before, but the new building had it's Grand Opening today, so I will be checking it out this weekend!
The boxes I send keep getting bigger and bigger! I'll be sending a 30lb+ box today. I couldn't even fit all of the books I have in it, I'll send another box in December.
My mom got in on the action and gave me some of the books :)
RidgewayGirl is driving a load of books to Athens tomorrow; can't wait to see the books you've all been sending in. Y'all are the best!
Becca, that was some collection of books you had reserved for BfK! I'm excited!
I'm not posting my BfK stash, because honestly I have too many points as it is and it makes me flaily to have too many, but the stash is growing little by little.
56: man, I'd love to see what that box looked like! That's pretty heavy!
Hope you all are selling lots of books at the sale this weekend. Wish I could be there - I love a good book sale.
It was a beautiful book sale. It was in a little storefront downtown, with foot traffic. The inside was so well organized, with signs indicating genres and the books set out, attractively, on tables in the middle and shelves on the sides.
Books for Keeps is selling totes -- I'll have to take pictures of the two kinds available, both with the Books for Keeps logo. The large one is enormous and sturdy and they were selling them at $20 each or for $30 you could fill it with books. Guess what I did? Only six for me, but a few more for the family.
Everyone was impressed by the sale and I think that next year there will be crowds of people shopping.
I brought down ten boxes of books, ready for distribution. Thanks for filling those boxes!
Good - now you have room for more boxes. Is Melanie going to do a running count of how many books she has towards the next give away?
Melaney's keeping track and I'm keeping a running total of mooched books and BookMoocher donations. I'll keep you up to date on that. Currently, I have a bookcase divided according to grade level and when the stacks fill a shelf, I box them. There are dozens of books still here, since it didn't make sense to bring partially filled boxes down to Athens.
The books in Athens are piling up in boxes and bins in our warehouse. When we moved from the school, we lost the use of all the big tables they had. I've posted many times asking local folks to donate folding tables but nobody has any to spare, so now I'm looking for a grant to buy tables. It's hard to sort books if you don't have anywhere to sit them!
On the plus side: waiting to sort and box the books will make it easier to be sure that every box has a good mix of books, rather than just boxing up what came in on a single day like I used to.
So - I don't have a count yet, but the books are safe. If I can't get a grant for tables, I will eventually break down and spend some of our hard-earned book sale revenue... but I'm trying very hard to save that for BOOKS.
Have you tried a newspaper article mentioning there is nowhere to sort the books, and donated or loaned tables would be appreciated?
RidgewayGirl I have listed a couple books reserved for booksforkeeps. :) Hope you would like them both!
have you tried freecycle.org? it is a grass roots website where people post things they don't want and are willing to give away for free.
I believe you can also post a need there.
You may also want to contact your local goodwill and churches in the area to see if they could help out or loan tables.
We've tried all of those things! Borrowing is a nightmare because of the time involved to recruit, pick up, and return tables - and it limits our ability to sort whenever we need to. Now that our book sale is over, we will spend hours returning tables, and we just don't have the manpower for it. We're at a size now where we need to have our own tables, available any time we need them. What a good problem to have. Hoping we can find an organization that will give us a grant - and soon!
Melaney will you be offering the BFK bags for sale online? I know I'm always looking for good sturdy bags (I carry a lot of stuff for teacher's college) and it would be a great way to broach the topic with other people. I can imagine "I like the bag where did you get it" and then I'd have a great lead in to talk about BFK and all the great work you are doing. Plus I just really like to have a lot of reusable bags hanging around.
Yes, I will post the bags online. I'm just looking for a volunteer who can handle it all.
I thought y'all might be interested in this video. So grateful to the folks at Mt. Bethel United Methodist in Marietta for providing it. http://booksforkeeps.blogspot.com/2011/11/and-now-word-from-our-founder.html
Melaney, I can't say enough how great that video turned out. I'm all pumped up and excited, and I already know about Books for Keeps!
Becca, your box arrived just before the long dark BM outage. I opened it today and was gobsmacked. I'm guessing more than a hundred books (I don't want to go back and count them all!), each one a book that a child will really want and many that are in series we can't get enough of -- Wimpy Kid, Captain Underpants, Candy
Apple, Goosebumps, etc... The amount of time and effort you've put into this really shows. Thank you.
Ages ago I believe it was mentioned you were looking for folding tables. Target (and yes I am aware this can be regional) has 6 ft folding tables on sale for $35; so if you are still looking, you might want to check out target.com
Thank you, ms.cellophane, for that large and enormously heavy box of books! At least, I think it was you.
I went Christmas shopping for BFK while I was in Seattle, hope you guys can mooch them soon! I have another box or two at home that I'll send out in the next few weeks.
It'll be at least a week before I'm mooching for Books for Keeps. My daughter broke her femur on the 26th and I'm spending my days in a small hospital in a city near where we were on vacation, but a few hours from home. I'll let you all know when I'm back and able to get things done.
Aww sorry to hear about your daughter. I added another 14 days to the reservation on the books I have posted, and I can extend that if necessary.
Hey everybody -
We've had volunteers at the warehouse inspecting, sorting, and counting books for 5 weeks now. The good news: we have 14,000 usable books on hand! The bad news: we need 27,000 to keep our commitment to provide 12 books to every student at an Athens elementary school where 90% or more qualify for free/reduced lunch.
I hope Books for Keeps' out-of-state "angels" will rally to help us again this year. We collected 6,000 books in 12 weeks last year, largely through mail-in donations. Can we collect 13,000 books (for kids in K-5) in 12 weeks this year?
Please spread the word... We need 13,000 fairly current, popular books with appealing covers in very good condition for kids in K-5.
(edited to add -- never mind, found it on Amazon!)
Melaney, do you have age-appropriate books for this group on your Amazon wishlist?
Melaney, FYI: more ammunition
I am getting several boxes ready to go. I have 15 Diary of a Wimpy Kid books in the mix :)
I'm hoping to get a book drive going at my school where I'm working is there any posters or information I could use from you to take to the principal? Its something that I think that he would really go for.
One of our local thrift stores always gives me good deals on kids books. Today I bought 34 books for $6 :)
Thank you everybody! I am nervous every year, but this year I am terrified... 13,000 books in 12 weeks? Missy, I will email you a flyer - thank you.
I have a package to send out to BfK, just don't have the funds to mail anything right now. Soon, I hope!
I have a box of book on its way for you, and I have another box ready to go! Just need to repack it for optimum book holding capacity!
I collect books from you guys and BookMooch books. Last trip I took 597 books to Athens and later today I'll bring another 673 books. That's books for a hundred children.
Loved getting a carload of books from Ridgeway Girl today! And I am so excited to see all these posts about books being packed & shipped - thanks everybody!
I have three boxes ready to go! Hoping my husband can help me get them to the post office tomorrow... I simply can't carry the baby and a giant box of heavy books at the same time, even when he's in the Ergo :)
Well - I got 3 boxes in the mail today. I have a few more books but need to try and find a box this week and then I'll get those out too.
This is so exciting! If any of you would be willing to allow me to write up what you're doing on our blog, please email me at givethembooksgmail.com. For example, I'm writing up that a school in Knoxville is holding a book drive and delivering the books to Athens. I'm hoping these stories will motivate people who think they can't do anything to help... or just to share ideas.
Shoot me an email with your name, location and what you're doing (shopping thrift stores, holding book drives, etc) and I will get your stories posted. Even if you'd rather not share your story - thank you for all you're doing to help us.
Also - I just updated the Elementary School wish list on our blog. Lots of great new titles, although I doubt you'll find many of them in thrift stores. Maybe we'll get lucky! www.booksforkeeps.org
89> Heather, do you use PayPal? I can't help with getting books (I'm overseas despite a US mailing address) but I would love to help out and could certainly send you the funds to mail your package. PM me!
I just posted some mail-in guidelines, out of respect for your postage budgets. I know Kay has been giving you tips over time, but I think you'll be surprised at "Last Year's (Surprising) Reject List"... the books we had way too many of last year. I hope it helps reduce your postage bills, but of course we work to find homes for anything you send us - so if money is no issue, send us everything!
Can't wait to read your comments! http://booksforkeeps.blogspot.com/2012/02/mail-in-book-donation-guidelines.html
When I am buying books, I base a lot on price. A number of the Goodwills along my route from here to my parents have raised their prices on kids books, so at those stores I only buy books that are high demand in excellent condition. Books that I will post on bookmooch.
When I go to thrift stores where children's books are only a quarter, I'll buy any potentially useful book in good condition, or high demand books in less than great condition. Most of those I just throw in the box as freebies, I figure some you might use for the kids and the rest you might be able to sell at the book sales.
I am moving soon, and I will be mostly clearing my bookshelves. I plan to send most of my kids books to BFK on the off chance that they might get some sort of use out of them, even if it's just selling one for 10 cents at a book sale. I'd rather do that than donate them to Goodwill!
But I try to only ask for bookmooch points for the ones that I think will be in demand.
>99 - I think there are some of the reject list in the boxes I just sent out. I know there were some Boxcar Children. It's good to know though. I'm a little surprised at the Lemony Snickett too.
We save Boxcar Children for a school that has a small group of kids reading it. So they'll still end up in children's hands. But we probably get enough of them locally that you don't need to mail them. And remember, just because they're on the reject list doesn't mean kids won't end up with them - it just takes a little more work and assistance from a teacher or media specialist.
I was at Winners tonight and happened to walk past the children's books and saw a few red stickers.
I got a really good condition Baby Mouse book for $ 0.90, A picture book, Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb, by Al Perkins for $1.00 and A mint copy of Inheritance by Christopher Paolini for $4.00. I thought it was a decent haul.
I spoke to the VP at my school and I've got the OK to start the book drive. I'll have to get permission to post about the school. We'll be running it from March 1 to April 6. We're going the extra week because the school's here have spring break the third week of March and we didn't want to miss a week we could collect books.
I'm also going to approach the school I was at last semester and see if they'd be willing to participate in the book drive too. I will report back when I can.
I think y'all will love this peek at the books I received yesterday. What a fun afternoon it was!
Hey Melaney, can you give us more specific examples of sports books that are popular with the kids? Kay says the Tiki Barber books are popular.
I know the Matt Christopher books are not popular, and most of the non-fiction books I see are not current. I do try to snag anything I see with a bright modern cover and a sports theme.
The sports books are the hardest, because the kids want nonfiction books about current athletes and teams. That's why we have so few on hand. I'm pretty sure the Tiki Barber books are popular, but we've never had enough to get any real feedback. I think most of the Sports Illustrated Kids books would be popular too.
The Matt Christopher books don't go over well because the covers are old-fashioned and usually feature white characters. But - his book Great Moments in Basketball History was a huge hit last year. Someone donated a big batch and the kids fought over them.
I don't think that helps you a whole lot - they are just hard to find!
I've been digging my way out of an enormous stack of packages. In addition, the post office brought me three immense boxes from rainbowgirl28 (I can see why you weren't able to balance both baby and boxes in your arms!) and two boxes from dudes 22. I haven't counted, but there must be almost 200 books from just two people! And lots of super popular books there.
Inventory update: 16,566, and that doesn't include what Ridgeway Girl has gotten in the past 2 weeks. 10,000 more books in 9 weeks sounds like a lot, but my gut says we are going to do this!
Melaney, brand new Star Wars hardcover (i.e. one of the new books about Sith lords or something) -- good for the high schoolers? Is there much demand for new Star Wars? Just wondering whether to include it in a small package of books I want to send in the new few days.
Amy we have 4th and 5th graders reading Star Wars but they're books written specifically for elementary students. Is this an adult version? Either way I can probably find someone to take them.
Yes, this is a full-length hardcover adult Star Wars book. I haven't read many of them, but I think they tend towards PG-13 in terms of actual violence (and there's generally never any sex in Star Wars novels anyway!).
I'll send it along. If worse comes to worst, it could probably go into one of the book sales -- but when I was in high school I ate this stuff up!
Hey everybody -
We had an AMAZING opportunity to purchase a large quantity of NatGeo kids books (16 different titles) at a huge discount. Most of the books fall in the "picture books" category, for kids in K-2nd grade. We still need more picture books of course, but our biggest need is for chapter books for 2nd-5th graders.
We are very low on Captain Underpants this year! If you see the Captain anywhere, send him our way! We're also on the lookout for Big Nate this year; sightings are rare but he is in demand.
Thank you for your help!
I am heading up to Seattle today, and DH said we could stop at some thrift stores along the way. I will keep my eye out for sports books and Captain Underpants! I see a lot of the Captain, but he tends to have been too well-loved to send to Athens. Every now and then there are good copies :)
I had good luck on my trip today! The first thrift store was one I have passed many times, but never been in. Their kids books were 6/$1! Most weren't very good, but I did find two Junie B Jones in good shape. The next three bookstores were all offering buy one get one free today! Finally, at Goodwill, I found two hardback Diary of a Wimpy Kids books, and they didn't mark up the price, they were $1.29 like all of the other kids hardbacks.
Hoping to have time to visit a few more shops while I am in Seattle.
Wish we had some decent used book stores here in RI. There used to be a few, but they've all closed. I have to wait for library sales where I usually find some good books for BFK. Hopefully they'll start again soon.
Rainbowgirl, that trip sounds so much fun. I wish I could find books for 6/$1 here in Athens!
Dudes22 - I feel your pain. We only have Goodwill; the other thrift stores don't have many books.
I'd love to do a road trip to visit thrift stores all over the southeast...
When my husband and I were in London, we spent a whole day doing nothing but going to bookstores, mostly used bookstores (in Charring Cross, if I recall correctly). I was looking for vintage girls series books; alas, there was definitely nothing "thrift" about that!
Hey everybody -
I don't have a complete inventory count, and won't for a week or two. It's hard to keep a count when books are coming in at the same time that books are being boxed. As best I can tell, our biggest area of shortfall is in the age 9-12 range. We are about 1,500 - 2,000 books short for that age group.
Please be on the lookout for high-interest books for this age. Candy Apple, Poison Apple, Amelia's Notebook, Dear Dumb Diary, Dork Diaries, David Lubar books, the "Psycho Butt" series (Andy Griffiths), BONE graphic novels, Guinness World Record books, 39 Clues, and of course Wimpy Kid.
We have more of the following series than we can possibly give away this year, so we don't need any more of these right now: Animorphs, CS Lewis, Matt Christopher, Hannah Montana, High School Musical, Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, Andrew Clements, Roald Dahl.
In terms of the major series, we always need all 4, but here's the status:
Wimpy Kid - never enough, but we have 600 this year!
Captain Underpants - only 200 on hand; these will only make it to 1 school
Junie B - we have 800, which is enough for 2nd-3rd graders to each have one, but they'd love more
Goosebumps - we have over 1,000! That's plenty but we always need them.
I'll post this on the blog too. If you see these books offered anywhere, please grab them and get them in the mail to us! (Just don't bid against me on eBay!)
Thank you all for your help!
YES to Go Girl! As for "The Best Pet" - I'm not sure if the children would pick that one or not. If you decide to send it anyway and the kids don't choose it, we'll still offer it to teachers when we have our book sale. Thank you!
Just sent 3 copies of "Shark Attacks" direct from your Amazon wishlist. I have prime shipping so they'll arrive Friday.
Also sent a box media mail on March 19, with a Wimpy Kid, three Captain Underpants, a Jodi Picoult, and a few other odds and ends.
I'm so impressed with what you're doing!
This is short notice I know but I was on betterworld books today and found this
the site is open to accepting grant requests at this time. The applications are due by April 9 but if you are selected you could get up to 15,000$
You probably know that we partner with major non-profit groups like Room to Read and Invisible Children. But did you know we also partner with local, community-focused groups?
Got a “Game Changing” idea that advances literacy in your community? Well, if you want to make it happen, we want to make it possible.
Our LEAP Grants (Literacy and Education in Action Program), inspired by the California State Library’s “Pitch an Idea” program, is intended to compile a wide range of local projects and fund the ones that have the biggest bang for the buck.
Speaking of which, here are the details: $30,000 in funding is available, and the maximum grant amount
per project is $15,000. There will be at least two winners — one voted on by our community of customers and fans, a second picked by
Better World Books.
If you’re passionate about literacy around your part of town, you can download the application form on this page, complete it, and return it according to the instructions on the form. All applications are due by April 9th at 4pm ET.
During the Selection Period, applicants may be contacted by Better World Books for interviews or to provide additional project details as part of the evaluation process. If your project goes on to become one of the finalists, we will also contact you for photos and videos of the literacy project that we
can post as part of the public voting phase.
I still recommend The Best Pet. It's an easy reader for beginning readers, and a noteable book. Lots of illustrations, little text, and I read it very quickly. The bright cover (shown in condition notes) should appeal. I'll reserve all three for booksforkeeps.
Melaney, I know you have a deadline and such, I was wondering if you guys will still be looking for books sometime after May? I have no money to send my package right now, but maybe for next year's kids?
ZoeyEve - we are hoping to apply for the BWB grant, but the proposal has to be very details and we're right smack in the middle of our busy season. I am trying my best to squeeze it in - my, what we could do with that kind of funding!
I got a box in the mail directly to Athens on Monday! It includes Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Captain Underpants, Junie B Jones, butt wars books, Chet Gecko, Rainbow Fish, Sassy, 39 Clues, Keena Ford... hope you get it in time! And if not, I'm sure they'll be put to good use next year :)
From what I could tell on their site; they do it at least once a year; so if not this year at least you would be ready for next year. Hope it goes well. If I see other sources, I will drop a note to your email address on your blog.
Hi Books for Keeps moochers,
I've listed and reserved some books for Books for Keeps today - in particular, the Babymouse series which is on your wishlist.
Mooch any that you are interested in. I will refund some points to you when I get back from the post office. I can't imagine that I'll need any more than one, maybe two points per title.
Hope all is well.
Talk to you soon,
I'll look forward to that, thank you. If you would rather mooch just the Babymouse books alone, that is just fine - it's up to you folks. Talk to you soon.
Hey everybody -
I still don't have an inventory count - we have boxed 21,000 books so far but it's a slow process. Two loads were dropped off today that look like 1,000 books each; fingers crossed they aren't all adult books. As best I can tell, we're about 700 books short for 4th-5th graders, and 200-300 for 2nd & 3rd graders. We have SO MANY picture books - it will be nice to have a head start on next year!
Thank you for all the support you have all been sending our way - I am so grateful, and humbled too. I wish I could blog more and keep everybody updated but there just aren't enough hours in the day. I appreciate you all even if I never get a chance to put it on our blog!
For all you fans and friends of Books for Keeps; this was posted to their facebook page today.
If you've been waiting for a good reason to donate, here's one for you: We have an opportunity to buy 700 NEW books for $.45 each from First Book. But funds are running low as we prepare to distribute books. (Who knew it would cost so much to give free books away?) Click the Donate button on our Web site and help us take advantage of this purchase opportunity!
I received a giant box from Rainbowgirl28 and it was cram packed with the very best titles. Thank you! And recently, every book I've been getting from BookMooch has been in great shape -- one evening every package contained books that were clearly new and unread. The quality of the books we have for this year is enormously high. We learned a lot last year, and hopefully we'll see the fruit of that this year when the kids get to pick from a really great selection of books.
Oh, and if anyone stumbles across any Captain Underpants books...
I know where some Captain Underpants books are, but at $5 each, they're too costly, even though they're secondhand! :( If I see any more 50 cent ones, will let you know...
RainbowGirl28 - your box arrived today and it was a joy to open... if I had requested the books myself I couldn't have chosen better ones. Where did you find them? I never see these in our thrift stores. Thank you!
A few were from PaperBackSwap, but I also tend to have good luck at thrift stores from time to time. Glad they made it! I already have a stash started to get you kicked off for 2013 :)
Michelle and Donna, your books arrived yesterday and they are fantastic! I'm boxing everything up by grade level and they'll be down there for the distributions which begin in just over a week!
Glad to hear they made it. That is the only batch that was really needed for this handout... all of the other books from the drive will come down over the summer.
Cdnbookworm - don't forget to send me some photos and details for our blog!
Hit my first library sale today while on an errand for work (hey - I used my lunch hour). Not a great kids/YA section, but I managed to grab some that I think will do. Hard to find sports stuff though. Too late for this year, but a start for next. And a few for myself - of course!
I'm glad the books arrived safely and in time for this year's distribution. Thanks for leaving feedback so quickly. I'll be in touch when the kids are clearing their bookshelves again!
I was in Athens this week at two different schools. The distributions went very well. The book selection was excellent, with kids having a hard time narrowing their selections down to 12 books -- that's what we want!
Thank you all for the books you've sent. I wish each and every one of you could volunteer at a distribution because it was an amazing experience.
At one point, four boys stopped choosing their books because they'd all picked up copies of the same book and had to start reading it together. Another two boys picked the same book and were excited about reading it at the same time. Positive peer pressure!
I get to go back next week!
I'm glad the distributions are going so well! If only we could all travel out there . . .
We have a community booksale every May and today's trip netted twenty-ish books for next year's crop of BFK kids, including two Captain Underpants, a nice Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Dog Days I think?), and a giant stack of Beacon Street Girls books because they just looked like something that might be good and they had a whole bunch. Hopefully they'll all be usable! I might go again tomorrow if there's time before work.
Yay! Yes, the Beacon Street Girls go over well with fifth graders, which is the hardest group to collect for.
Technically, we are not slowing down at all after distributions, but forging ahead relentlessly. I suspect that there may be a weekend of not-much-getting-done, but we'd like to have the books collected for distributions ready a little earlier next year.
RidgewayGirl got more than she bargained for when she came to help out with book distributions. I am down with a virus and she's been leading the distributions for me! I hate missing them but I get all the details at the end of the day, and she is doing a wonderful job.
Just wanted to say congrats on getting all those books out to kids! May God continue to bless your ministry to these kids. Does the fun start all over again now for next year?
I hit 2 library sales today and managed a decent haul from both of them. Even some sports books which are really hard to find.
Melaney will come along and update this soon, but here are the books I noticed were tremendously popular:
Girly books, like the Candy Apple imprint, or with modern girly covers, for fourth and fifth grade especially. Beacon Street, Madison Finn, etc, were popular and are generally easy to find (unlike Candy Apple and Poison Apple books).
Girly books with princesses or fairies. The Barbie junior novels are popular.
Books based on recent movies and television shows, or any Disney movies are always popular.
Pokemon, Ninjago, Scooby-Doo and Bionicle books are popular, as are superhero books.
As always, I don't think we could ever have too many in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series or the Captain Underpants series. Andy Griffiths's series that begins with The Day my Butt Went Psycho is popular, for obvious reasons.
Kids chose books primarily based on the covers, so anything with a bright, modern cover will do well.
Non-fiction books we need include bios of current sports and entertainment figures, current sports books, recent Guiness and Ripley's, books about sharks, dinosaurs, deadly beasts and cuddly animals.
If anybody can make, the Half Price Book Store in Seatle is having a .25 Cent kids books warehouse sale. Since I live in MN, it too far away, but maybe someone in this group can make it? Link is here: http://www.hpb.com/WAS760-060212S.html
The Dear Dumb Diary series I imagine would also be popular (covers are similar in brightness to Diary of a Wimpy Kid).
156 - I might be able to make it! We're moving back to the Seattle area tomorrow, and we'll be unpacking Saturday, but maybe I can slip away for a few...
>158 Have a happy move! Maybe I'll see you at the Elliot Bay Bookstore next time I'm in Seattle. I'll be passing through on my way to Portland (Powell's Books) in July but won't have time for Elliot Bay this trip.
The Dear Dumb Diary is very popular! Thanks, bookel, for mentioning it!
Becca, let us know how your move goes! What does Ernie think?
Practically everything you mentioned is popular with school children here, too! Except I hadn't heard of or seen Beacon Street and Madison Finn.
Oh his name is Eddie... fortunately we're staying with the in-laws for a few days until we get unpacked and he LOVES it with them. We got in last night at 10pm and he had barely napped in the car, but he was super hyper and excited to be at their house.
My husband and his friends got everything unloaded yesterday, now we have to unpack... but first the book sale. My husband is NOT excited about that!!
The book sale was pretty insane today. It was the first time they have done this for kids books, and they tried a new setup... the tables were too close together and close to some fencing and there was really not enough room. Very claustrophobic! I focused on chapter books, they had the younger books on shelving and I couldn't even get close.
They had TONS of Goosebumps and Animorphs, I easily could have picked up 100 of just those.
I searched high and low for those Butt books and didn't see a single one! Of course no Diary of a Wimpy Kid either. But they did have Captain Underpants and Ricky Ricotta!
Here are some of the highlights of my haul:
Captain Underpants - 7 books
Ricky Ricotta - 7 books
Dear Dumb Diary - 2 books
Candy Apple - 1 Book
Flower Fairies Friends - 1 Book
Disney Fairies - 2 Books
Joke Books - 2 (including 1 Spongebob Squarepants)
Junie B Jones - 2 books (and I picked up several more at a thrift store the other day)
Ally's World (the covers look appealing, I guess it is some British series) - 2 books
Weenies series - 3 books
Goosebumps - I did pick up four that look brand new
Rainbow Magic - 2 books
Hank Zipzer - 1 Book
And about 7 other random ones!
I bought 50 books total (including a few for me) and paid $13.69 after tax.
I wish Melaney could have been there!
Wow, you got a bargain there! I really like the Hank Zipzer books by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver! They're about a boy in New York who has dyslexia (he doesn't find out in the first book, maybe the second, I'll find out...) and has problems with schoolwork, he has good friends and his sister has an iguana for a pet. Reading book one made me want to read more. I'm on book two now! The public library has them all. :)
It looks like they've begun a new series too, called Ghost Buddy.
I've been debating mentioning this for a while now, but I do have a sports book listed currently. The reason I've not been so sure is because it's about Tiger Woods. (so, maybe not the best role model) It's about how he got into golf as a boy, & his rise to fame. Picture of him on front cover as a youth receiving a trophy.
From the back cover: "This isn't a story about golf. It's a story about a mixed-race kid from California who made up his mind about something -- to become the best golfer in the world."
Age 10 & up
Iwillrejoice, Tiger Woods is not popular with kids, poor guy. Now if you had a book about Lebron James...
Bookworm, thanks for letting me know what those books are about. I'll have to take a look at Ghost Buddy.
Becca, Eddie is a much better name than Ernie. Sorry about that! Was he insulted?
What a fantastic haul! The local Friends of the Library have an open day once a month & I manage to find a good stack each time, But your haul easily outdoes mine!
#163- thats amazing! I so wish I could have been there. Maybe they'll bring it to Minneapolis or St. Paul next year?
So excited to hear about the book sale loot. I wish I had access to any sort of good book sales around here!
I am traveling a good bit in June and July and I'm hoping to turn the "getting there" parts into a thrift store tour. I will create a Google Map so everybody can see where I'm going. I'm excited about it and hope I find some great books. People have suggested I "tweet" about it... but I don't understand Twitter!
My garage is completely full of books and my husband is starting to complain. He feels that when books fill up the place of a car, it's gotten out of control... guess I'll have to get it cleaned out before I start buying more.
DivineOomba - your books arrived yesterday with my post-vacay mail delivery - thank you!
wrt book sales, http://www.booksalefinder.com/ has lists of sales in the USA and Canada. There are a few really promising-looking ones relatively near me in the next week or two, but for some reason I don't have any friends willing to drive 100 miles to go to a book sale. Bah humbug.
Maybe we can all pitch in and make her road trip a success.
share and donate; tweet and facebook. Lets not let the kids down.
This is exciting news: cdnbookworm and her sister are making a road trip from Canada to Athens to deliver the books from the St. Raymond's school book drive. (And attend a Braves game in Atlanta...)
Donna said that if anyone in the greater Toronto area has books on our wishlist they'd like to contribute, she will work out a way to get them. She is only bringing books she's certain we can use, to help save space and maximize fuel efficiency.
I'll work on getting our wishlist updated, but I feel like most of the people who monitor this board already have a great idea what we're looking for.
I'm so excited about the opportunity to meet one of you in person, and I'm amazed at Donna's generosity to make such a big trip!
Hit one of my favorite library sales today (called in sick to work - shhh!). Prices were a little higher than I remember, but I think I got a good haul. Going to go through the bags now. And yes - there's a bag for me too.
I don't know if y'all follow our Facebook page, but I am having so much fun on the thrift store tour. There are a LOT of dedicated thrift store shoppers out there! Several have met me stores, helped me shop, and picked up the tab. I've also met some really great people. Yesterday at the Junior League Nearly New shop, a man walked up and said "I overheard your conversation, and your next $20 in books are on me" and handed me a $20 bill.
Boxes are also arriving at my house and Kay's; thank you everybody who is sending books. If you want to shop at a thrift store and send me a picture, I'll add them to mine when I write up my blog posts.
I am determined to get ahead this year - no more heart-stopping inventory shortages!
Yes we're on our way the last weekend of the summer...and my BF has agreed to come and be our muscle to carry books for us. Anyone who wants to send in the GTA can message me and we will try to arrange a time to pick them up. I'm curently going through the St. Raymond's books to cull those which don't make the quality cut. Those will be given to the local Goodwill or Salvation Army...maybe even Talieze as they support the make a wish foundation, even if their prices are too high in my oppinion.
>175 Great! I've got some more boxed up to send and need to find some more boxes besides. Might send a couple on Mon if I can get to the PO.
Jenni - I have a twitter account but we only have about 20 followers and I must admit I just don't understand it. So many symbols and codes! So I never Tweet. I need a tutorial.
I sent a small packet of books 2 or 3 weeks ago. I put my Bookmooch name on a note inside, but I didn't send it through BM, I sent it to the address listed on the website.
I just want to be sure they arrived because I have another small pack of books, but I don't want to send them to the wrong place. Should I just do it through BM?
Melaney - I sent you two more boxes today, includes many many chapter books and early reader books!
As for twitter, its actually very easy - I suggest actually following a few people to see how they do it - Neil Gaimon is good, Susan Boynton is also good, John Scalzi is fun too (but not sure if you are into Sci-Fi). Fakelibrarystats is quite funny and deals with libraries.
But for a quick tutorial - its microblogging. You have 140 characters to write something. So, if you found a great book at a thrift store, you might say:
"Found a Copy of Diary of a Wimpy kid for .25!!! #Booksforkeep #book #thrifting"
The "#" is a topic. It can be funny, or even nonsensical or a location. I often use #newulm (my city) when I post tweets as a location. If enough people use a certain topic, it will eventually start trending.
Now, let say you found a great book by Neil Gaimon at a thrift store and want to mention him in a tweet. You would write something like this:
"Found a signed copy of Coraline by @ neilhimself. What a great find! #book #booksforkeeps #georgia #Awesome"
So now, Neil Gaimon will get a notice saying you mentioned him a tweet. He probably won't respond. If he likes what you said, he might re-tweet. Which is simply forwarding your tweet to all his followers. -no space between the @ and neilhimself. Librarything must use this format for their own purposes.
Thats pretty much it for Twitter. Just remember the hastag (#) is the topic of your tweet. Anything with somebody is directed towards a twitter member.
Edited to make it easier to read
I sent a small package a week or so ago, forgot to say anything here. I hope you guys get it.
I've gotten quite a few packages lately where I don't recognize the name of the sender and it doesn't come up in my email. Will let Kay chime in on the packages that go to her. Not very many people send them to me any more. Thank you for sending them! I only know of 2 instances where packages were lost en route to me, and they both went through the same processing center in Florida during the same time period. We appreciate the books!
Heather your package was just in the batch of mail from the weekend my husband brought in, thank you! There was also a package from Jo Ann in Maryland (which could be an eBay package - it's so hard to keep up!) Either way, I'm happy to have the books.
I'm in Eugene right now for the Olympic Trials, and they have some fantastic thrift stores here. They have a St Vincent De Paul's that has a HUGE book section. Books are divided into categories and somewhat alphabetized. The kids books are divided into a ton of subcategories, and a lot of the series are separated. Kids books start at 50 cents. They didn't have a ton of the popular series in good enough condition, but they had a whole kids sports section, and I hit that one pretty hard. I went to a few other thrift stores as well, the Salvation Army had kids paperbacks at 25 cents and there is no sales tax here!
I'll have lots of books to send out sometime later in July when my schedule slows down a bit.
TheDivineOomba - let me know if you have any advice after seeing my first few days on Twitter. I am slowly getting the hang of it.
The Knoxville leg of the thrift store tour is more relaxed than the others. I am hanging with my best friend from high school and her girls, and we stop in thrift stores if there's one near our other activities. Tomorrow I head home and will try to pack in at least 10 stores.
One interesting stop on tap for today: McKay's used books. They issue a credit for trade-ins and allow you to use the credit for 100% of purchases - no cash required! My friend has books here from an earlier book drive, and I've pulled out a bunch of stuff we can't use. Fingers crossed that we get a good credit - there were hundreds, maybe even 1,000 books there I could use, but they are all priced in the $3-$6 range so I can't buy them for cash.
Everybody stay cool this weekend. 107 degrees in Athens?!
One more thing: I am starting to see the Amulet graphic novel series in thrift stores. This was the Surprise Request of the distribution season. I had never even heard of it, and kids were asking for it. I think I have 4 so far...
I found a Nintendo chapter book (Super Mario Brothers) at a sale last week and that series looks like it could be a hit.
Amulet is very popular with the kids here in Canada. I doubt if I will see any turn up in readable condition in thrift stores any time soon. The kids tend to read them to tatters. I work at a school with many disadvantaged kids and the Amulet books (as well as the Bone books) always have a long waiting list at the school library. I pick up books from library book sales and thrift stores for the classroom, and if they are in good enough condition, for the school library.
>189 Shoot - I think I saw one of those at the last library sale I went to and passed over it cause I thought Mario must have been around forever. Oh well - now I know. Will keep an eye out for Amulet also.
We moved recently, and there is a thrift store in a strip mall about a half mile from me. I finally got a chance to check it out and was pleasantly surprised at the selection of kids books... and they were all 69 cents each!
The haul includes:
2 Captain Underpants
1 Bone graphic novel (never seen these at a thrift store!)
1 Candy Apple
1 Hank Zipzer
2 Flat Stanley
1 A to Z Mystery
1 Joke Book
1 Nate the Great
7 Ghostville Elementary (not sure if that is a popular series?)
16 random books
It's right next to the closest grocery store, so I am sure I will be visiting them regularly!
Last week I went to one up the road that I have visited in the past. I was disappointed that they individually priced all of the books (more expensive than they used to be), but they had a ton of dinosaur books, I think I got at least four of the Jane Yolen ones!
There's been recent interesting news about dinosaurs, that they may have been hairy/had feathers. I'm sure it'll require a lot more research, but that kind of makes you wonder if they'll have to rewrite all the dinosaur books that are so popular!
What a great find rainbowgirl28. I've found some charity shops that individually price which is ridiculous because some are older and on topics kids today wouldn't be interested in, yet they charge something like $2 or 2.50 for hardcovers in a charity shop! Plus charging $1 for ex-library books you can find in libraries if there's any left, and some aren't in the greatest condition (especially those not library books) ... at least some are sensible charging 20 cents for picture books, but many are more here (50 cents, $1 or more).
Finally - I've posted an update on the Thrift Store Tour. Amazing what you can accomplish if you get up at 3am!
Ridgeway Girl: should we start a new thread for the 2013 program?
Good idea. We're now over here:
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