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Like many parents, you might be looking (aka desperate) for ideas to keep your kids busy during school breaks that don’t include expensive new toys or time in front of the TV. If you’ve got kids that love to read, first of all, congratulations. And second, we want to help you stretch your book budget with a list of where to find cheap kids’ books.
Each of the stores on our list has cheap books for kids at budget prices (we stuck to $10 or less, but more often less). And if you’re on an even tighter budget, here’s where you can find FREE kids’ books.
For more activities in between books, work your way through our list of 77 free things to do with kids. And be sure to text HACKS to 57299 and download the Krazy Coupon Lady app for more smart shopping tips and savings hacks.
1. Get free shipping on new and used cheap kids’ books at Better World Books.
Better World Books offers deeply discounted new and used hardcover and paperback books. Their mission is to give everyone access to knowledge through reading, by offering affordable used books, proceeds to literacy programs, and donating books to people in need.
BWB has more than 8 million new and used titles in stock. Plus, you can search kids’ books by grade and genre. Usually, books under $10 are used but are in “good” to “very good” condition. They often have coupon codes to get additional discounts like 20% off when you buy three or more books. Shipping is free with any order of $15 or more and is just $1.49 for orders under $15.
2. Pay as little as $1 per used children’s book at The Book Bundler.
The Book Bundler does what their name says — they sell cheap kids’ books in bundles of 10 – 60 books. Their bundles are categorized by age groups, genres, and book type (large illustrated, non-fiction paperback, etc), and prices start at $1 per book! They even have “Beater Books,” which are books in less than wonderful condition, but they work out to less than $1 each (about $0.75 – $0.80 per book). If you don’t mind a pre-loved book with a little wear, that’s where to find the deals.
They also sell book bundles for teens, adults, and bulk books by color if you’re wanting to do some aesthetic decorating a la HGTV.
3. Book Outlet offers new, best-selling kids’ books for as little as $1.99 per book.
Prefer new books? Book Outlet has a huge, constantly changing selection of new books that are 50 – 90% off retail price. We found the popular Little Blue Truck Makes A Friend for $7.11 on Book Outlet, while the same title is selling for $13.70 on Amazon.
Shop their Frugal Finds section for books under $5 and sort by age, genre, and even format (in case your little one likes to tear paper pages). Shipping is free with $35 orders or is a flat $6.95 for orders under $35. Plus, if you sign up for their email list, you’ll get $5 off your first order of $25 or more.
RELATED: Where to Find Free Books Online
4. Alibris has used books from $0.99 and free shipping on thousands of titles.
5. KidsBooks.com’s under $5 section has new books for as little as $0.96.
KidsBooks.com, along with Book Outlet, are both owned by The Book Depot, Inc. and offer discounts on new books. While Book Outlet offers books for everyone, KidsBooks.com narrows the inventory to books only for children. You can sort by age and also shop their under $5 section to find some great deals on popular kids’ books. Plus, if you sign up for their email list, you’ll get $5 off your first order.
Shipping is free with $35 orders or is a flat $6.95 for orders under $35. As mentioned, Book Outlet is almost the same website but offers cheap books for adults, too. So if you’re struggling to hit the $35 shipping threshold, check Book Outlet and add some titles to your cart for yourself.
6. Thriftbooks Deals section has discounted books and up to 20% off.
Thriftbooks sells new and used books for everyone but has a robust children’s selection. Join their free ReadingRewards program to earn points on purchases. Every $1 you spend earns you 9 points. And for every 500 points you earn, you’ll receive a free book. They also have a Thriftbooks Deals section where you can get 5% off any single title and up to 20% off when you buy eight or more books. Shipping is free with any $15 order.
You can also score first and limited editions of some classic books which make great gifts for the book lovers on your gift lists.
7. Half Price Books has a huge selection of kids’ books under $10 and even some under $2.
Half Price Books has survived as one of the last remaining brick-and-mortar stores by capitalizing on selling cheap and deeply discounted new and used books. By going to their Books Under $10 section you’ll easily find cheap books for kids, like the classic Everyone Poops for as little as $3.49 in used condition. You’ll score much better deals by shopping for used condition. New condition prices are often higher than Amazon.
Half Price Books even has a Books Under $2 section, though it’s pretty limited. Although there usually aren’t a lot of kids’ books in this department, you’ll want to check back often, just in case.
You’ll have to pay shipping and handling, which varies depending on the book and which Half Price Books location you’re purchasing from. However, expect to pay around $3.99 per book you order online.
If you’ve got a Half Price Books location near you, we recommend checking there first as often their in-store inventory doesn’t match that location’s online inventory.
8. Get access to thousands of cheap kids’ eBooks for $9.99 per month via Amazon Kindle Unlimited.
Buying kids’ books quickly takes up space on your bookshelf — so why not try ebooks? Amazon has pretty much every book imaginable available in their Kindle library — over 1 million titles.
You can buy classics like Dr. Seuss books and even Harry Potter for less than $10 each. But, if you sign up for Kindle Unlimited, you can have access to more than 1 million eBooks for $9.99 per month. Try Kindle Unlimited for 30 days free.
Sometimes they even offer your first two months for 50% off ($4.99/month). All you need to download these kids’ books is a Kindle-reading device — which includes some eReaders, smartphones, and computers — and the Kindle app. Though they’ve got a lot of titles, be sure to check out the library first because not all of Amazon’s Kindle books are available through Kindle Unlimited.
9. Bookbub tells you when best-selling ebooks get discounted.
Want more ebooks, but don’t want to be limited to just Kindle’s library? BookBub is a great, free, online service that connects book lovers with free and deeply discounted ebooks.
When you subscribe, BookBub sends out daily emails to let you know about free and discounted eBooks sold by Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Google, and more. Or browse their site and find books you can download and read absolutely free (or at deeply discounted rates).
Bookbub keeps you in the know by sharing discounts on acclaimed ebooks that you actually want to read. They send daily, targeted emails based on the types of books you choose to get notified about. With categories ranging from mysteries to cookbooks, and stores from Amazon to Apple iBooks, when publishers offer deals, you’re in for one happy ending.
10. Barnes & Noble has an entire section of cheap kids’ books under $5.
Barnes & Noble actually has some surprisingly good deals on books if you know where to look.
One of the best spots is their kids’ books under $5 section. Some of the selection is only available online, but a lot of books are available in-store. You can even buy online and pick up in-store the same day so you don’t have to go searching in the children’s section.
After you’ve looked through there, go to Barnes & Noble’s BOGO 50% section. There you’ll find cheap books for kids, teens, and adults. Sometimes you’ll find a book that’s already on sale for under $5 that also qualifies for the BOGO 50% off sale — score!
11. Dollar Tree sells cheap books for kids — only $1.25 each.
You can buy children’s books from Dollar Tree for only $1.25 each (although if you buy at DollarTree.com, there is a four-book minimum).
Selection can be massively different between stores and online, but it’s common to find books with popular Disney and Sesame Street characters, workbooks, educational books, and activity books.
If you’re not wanting to sort through shelves of books at various Dollar Tree locations, check the website’s inventory first.
12. T.J. Maxx is a great option for new books to give as gifts for up to half off.
Visit your local T.J. Maxx store to save on popular kids’ books. The selection is very limited online, but in-store I’ve found books like The Pout Pout Fish (our family’s favorite) for $4, which was half the price of Amazon and Target when I bought it. Look near the toys and also up front at the checkout area to find the kids’ books.
I shop T.J. Maxx most often for baby shower gifts as I prefer new books to give as gifts. If you’re shopping for yourself, you can still find better deals on used books.
13. Biblio has rare and hard-to-find editions of your favorite kids’ books.
This one’s for your book-loving older children. Biblio specializes in hard-to-find books, rare editions, and out-of-print titles. While you can find used books for as little as $1, you’ll also find books well into the hundreds of dollars for collectors.
14. Get new kids’ books for free at FirstBook.org — just pay shipping.
Publishers have donated countless kids’ books to the First Book Marketplace. All the books in the Book Bank are free for First Book members; just pay shipping and handling — anywhere from $1.62 to $22.00. Sometimes the books are single, sometimes they’re in bulk, so be sure to read the description.
If you see something you like, get it. Donated books are only available while supplies last.