Creating a home library

My family loves to read. We also, love to collect books. This post is about how we are able to find affordable books.


  1. Albuquerque Library’s Friends of the Library Sale, 501 Copper NW, Abq. My most economical place to get books is the twice a year (May and Nov.) bag sale at the Albuquerque Library’s Friends of the Library Sale.  This is a large event (think crowds) where you can pick and choose to fill a large paper bag full of books for $5. There are hundreds of books available. These are the books that are left after the sale on Saturdays (2nd Saturday of each month). This sale is not for Moms who get nervous Christmas shopping with kids, it is very crowded with people grabbing books quickly. If you have little ones and get overwhelmed it is a great idea to take turns with your spouse or a friend watching the kids in the Children’s section of the library, giving each a turn at the sale. This sale is great if you are just starting a library and are not too picky about looking for certain titles. I have found several Magic Tree House books, History, general knowledge (i.e. coffee table books about, trains, bridges..). Books are nicely sorted by sections and clearly labeled; fiction, sci-fi, languages, westerns, children’s (back of the room), classics (far left middle), etc. Best of all they will bring your bags to your car as you pull up to the back of the library. They also have a place to place full bags on tables behind the cashiers (they write your name on the bag and the number if you place more than one on the table.) The library sales take place in the basement of the Main Downtown Library next to the Children’s Library.  501 Copper NW, Abq                                                     While there is no charge to enter the Semi-Annual Clearance Sale on Sunday  May 12th and Nov. 10th, there is a $2 Admission charge/adult during the Second Saturday of every month sale 10-4, free admission after noon. Books are priced individually at the Saturday sale, most are priced 80-90% off new price, paperbacks are $.25.
  2. Books on Becker, 513 Becker St., Belen This is a store run by the Friends of the Library -Belen. They offer a few free books to all children every time the come in. The also have affordable books and a great selection for a small town. Wed-Sat 1-4, check out their facebook page for most up-to-date information.
  3. Friends of the Albuquerque Public Library Bookshop, 501 Copper NW, Abq. The Bookshop is also downstairs in the Main Library, located in downtown Albuquerque. This bookshop has many books available for purchase. I believe they are $1-$2 for most books. They have a children’s selection, and many classics are also available in the store. If you are looking for a certain title they sometimes will ask one of the volunteers to search, if it is a day the volunteers are working. This is a great quiet place to look for books and allow your children to choose books. We have found several classics adult and children, Magic Tree House Books, Tony Hillerman’s, as well as sci-fi books in their bookshop. It’s also a great place to economically shop for Christmas gifts. They do take debit and credit cards, but only if you spend more than $5. M-Sat. 10:30-4. 
  4. Thrift Books, online bookstore. I have found that most books are $4 and up. They have a great selection of used and like new books. Like Amazon look carefully at the different choices before purchasing (ie used, like new, gently used). This is a great place to find that certain edition you want, such as the 1970 hardback that you family had when you were growing up.  I have found their site to offer many books that I have been searching for at library sale to no avail (Susan Copper series, certain Timothy Zahn’s sci-fi, The Three Investigators Series..). The only complaint I have about using them is when you choose free shipping with a $10 purchase, your books will be very slow to deliver as they use their own shipping service for most of the way handing them off to USPS at the end. When they say 4-8 business days or 8-12 business days they mean it, don’t expect it sooner. It is still a great deal just give yourself plenty of time to receive the books, so your kids don’t end up with a note in their stocking explaining how Santa’s sleigh broke down, so the elves placed their gift in the mail for them. 😉
  5. Always ask relatives grandparents, brother and sisters with older kids, or anyone you know that is downsizing or cleaning out their children’s stuff, if they have books that they are getting rid of that you would like them for your children.
  6. If you do not live in the Albuquerque area the “Friends of the Library” are a nation-wide group and have sales in most towns. Ask your local librarian if they have a bookstore or if they have regular sales in your area.

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