Literacy matters, and reading is important for us all. Even though my youngest is now a middle school student, I still make sure all five of my children read every night. We built a positive reading culture in my house, and it's important to me that reading stay fun and enjoyable for my kids, at every age. As a father and Stand employee, I've come up with a few inexpensive strategies to bring books into our homes and communities that may be far from free or inexpensive books. I hope this list inspires you and helps us all make reading more accessible in our communities and homes.
- Little Free Libraries: LFLs are tiny house-like libraries that are installed in front of homes, in parks, or in other public spaces. The motto is Take a Book, Leave a Book, and they operate on the honor system. Stand Louisiana has installed five LFLs in our state, and we're constantly refilling them to ensure communities have access to new books. Here's a map you can use to find LFLs in your neighborhood. You can also purchase a LFL at this website to install near you, or you can certainly get creative and build one from scratch!
- Yard Sales: Yard sales are often undercelebrated treasure chests of books, particularly children's books! Many families sell books outgrown by their children for very little, and will often negotiate if you buy many books at once. Yard sales are a wonderful way to upcycle loved books and keep literary treasures in circulation.
- Used Bookstores: Used bookstores are great resources for inexpensive and free books. Many also have fun events open to the public including readings by authors and local themed events.
- Public Library Sales: Public libraries often sell used or overstocked books at very reasonable prices. Check online calendars for dates of sales and stock up.
- Schools: Like public libraries, many schools regularly clean out their libraries and donate or recycle books because they are minorly damaged or have multiple copies. Ask your school's library if they'll reach out to you the next time they have books they're looking to offload. You can add them to your home library, gift them to other readers, or add them to a LFL!
- Neighborhood Health Providers: Many dentists and other healthcare providers subscribe to magazines such as Highlights for Kids and National Geographic. Ask your neighborhood health office if you can pick up their magazines for your own family or LFL.
- Stand's Summer Reading Campaign: We launched a summer reading project to read 20 minutes every night this summer, with the goal of reading 10,000 pages. For every page you read, you're entered into the drawing for $100 worth of books donated in your name to your community! I know this has really inspired my kids to keep reading this summer - they would be so proud to be the ones to bring $100 worth of books to our community! You can sign up to participate here, and log your pages here.
Here are some pictures of Stand Louisiana's Little Free Libraries.