I should tell you before you even read into this that I am very passionate about reading. I feel that a love of reading is the one real gift I can give to my son. I may not be the best mom in the world, but I can say that no matter what my child reads a book every single night. This is our special time together as a family. My husband and I find no greater joy then watching my son absorb every single word with that distinct glisten in his eye.
I can go on and on about the benefits of reading to children as early as possible but then I would never get to the good part. A friend of mine recently shed light on a fabulous program that I had no idea even existed.
The Dolly Parton Imagination Library
The Dolly Parton Imagination Library is a unique early years book gifting program that mails a brand new, age-appropriate book to enrolled children every month from birth until five years of age, creating a home library of up to 60 books and instilling a love of books and reading from an early age. The sign up is completely hassle free and very simple. I can simply not praise this program enough. The only downside is that it is not available everywhere (YET!).
If you discover that Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library isn’t available to you but you want to bring early reading to children in your community they even provide you with all the know how to do so.
All I can say is I ♥ you Dolly!
A Few Other Options
I also want to let you know of a few other really great opportunities for free/low-cost children’s books just in case you might be feeling discouraged. One of the ways I built up my sons library was from an online garage sale. I went to pick up a vacuum, got to talking to the women and she gave me 3 big boxes FULL of kids books for free. Always be on the look out for books, you never know where you might find a gold mine. People are constantly getting rid of book and would rather give them to someone then lug them to a donation box themselves. Check out sites like Freecycle and even Craigslist for free books around your area.
Another way I started to accumulate was through ads I would see for free ones online. Most of the time you only have to pay shipping and have no further obligation to purchase another item. I have literally gotten tons of books this way only paying a couple bucks in shipping without being tied into a purchase requirement.
Items include 3 sturdy board books: “Who Lives Here?”, “Music on the Go” and “What is Black and White?” along with a squishy plush book, “Baby is SO Big”, discovery cards with ring, and an informative parent guide.
Elmo’s Learning Adventure Introductory Package will include 3 hardcover story books with Sesame Street characters, 3 Activity Books with fun activities, 18 Adventure Cards and a flip-top Storage Box! Plus get two added bonuses when ordering, FREE Shipping and the FREE Adventure Card Box perfect for keeping all your child’s Adventure Cards neatly organized
The couple posted above are affiliate links but only ones I truly love and have participated in myself. We are still members of the Dr. Suess monthly book club as we speak. I maybe spent $9 for all 7 of the introductory books. Knowing how expensive these books run I would say that was a fantastic deal.
I also recently heard about book exchanges. They can be an awesome source to trade the book you already have for new adventures you have yet to read. I’m not a pro with these yet but I stumbled on a site that tells you all about book exchanges and where you can find them online. I am pretty excited about these even for my own reading purposes.
Lastly, if you have an e-reader there are tons, and I mean tons of sites that offer free books! I pretty much just Googled free books online and found a website that list 234 sites that offer free books legally, but sure there is so much more to be found.
All I can say is the resources are out there just waiting to be utilized by caring parents like us. I’m sure I haven’t covered every way to get free books, but if I can help you find just one way I’m doing something right. It’s never to late to share reading with your child. It’s up to us to start our children off on the path of success and unlock their imagination.
((This post may contain affiliate links, for more information please see my disclosure policy))