27 May 2009

Garage Sale finds!

Spring is here and garage sale season is going strong. I have been to a few so far and got some great deals! I found some great deals of clothes for my kids, some little nick knack toys - which I shouldn't buy since the kids already have so many toys and I have found some awesome deals on books. So how do you know how much to pay for books and what books are even worth spending a quarter on? I have certain criteria for how I choose books that is based on their quality in content - this is first and foremost, quality in construction - the book isn't falling apart, and quantity in payout for me - worth the price listed, am I getting a good deal.

Quality in Content:
1. What is the book about, yes, I will sit there and read a book, I'll even sometimes read it to my kids. If I am going to pay money for a book I want to know what it teaches and what the plot is. There are many hidden agendas, ways of life, attitudes and things contrary to what the Bible teaches in children's literature. Authors know that the forming years are the young years. I have heard presented that by the age of 3 a child's personality is formed and by the age of 5 their character is formed. Habits are formed in the early years that are hard to break later on. The things placed into our children's minds when they are young will not leave easily.

Quality in Construction:
2. This is pretty basic but unless the book is a treasure to me, out of print or a classic that I hold dear it better be in good shape. I would pick up some of the older Whinnie the Pooh books by A.A. Milne despite their shape, I love Margaret Brown, and Dr. Suess. These are just a few authors that I hold as classics in children's literature. I don't buy books to place them on a shelf; I buy them to read them and spend time investing into my children's lives, so I don't want them falling apart too soon.

Quantity in Payout:
3. When someone is having a sale, I can always tell the people who are trying to downsize and the people who are out to make money. When I see a pile of children's books for $0.25, I know it is worth it to look through the pile. $1-2 is still intriguing for me and the most I would ever pay for a really good book is $5. It is a garage sale after all. A book 30 pages or less is worth to me, $0.25, a book 50 pages or less is worth $0.50 to me, a book 100 or slightly less is worth $0.75 to me, a book 150 pages or more is worth $1-1.50, and a book that is 200 pages or more is worth $2-5 to me depending on content. Example: My best find so far for the summer, I spent $2. Why? It was The Precious Moment's Stories from the Bible, text by Sherri Dunham Haan and has 281 pages of beautifully told and truthful too, stories from scripture. It teaches sin as sin, and tells stories based on their theme. I love Precious Moments but the fact that the stories are teaching my kids Bible stories in easy to understand layout but no dumbing down. They did a great job staying in line with the Bible and that is invaluable to me as a mother.

I hope this helps as you rummage through the sales, looking for good deals. Building a good library from those who either have lost site of the necessity of good children's literature or from those who have outgrown it.

Happy Hunting!


vanessa said...

Garage sales are one of my favorite ways to find books--I have even been so lucky as to find boxes of books labeled "free!" at some sales--glad you found some good ones!