We had planned it three different times.
And every time something came up.
Like a fair.
Or a wedding.
And/or we just plan forgot, because well… we’re us.
My friend (who, for the purpose of this post and future posts, shall be given her rightful name of Eeyore) and I on the last meeting of our homeschool co-op this spring had come up with the idea of a joint book shopping spree. We both went home that very afternoon and made an envelope toward the cause. And began adding to it.
Slowly but surely, we fattened our pets and by the end of the summer, they had grown into (slightly) plump little envelopes sitting and waiting.
So – finally – this Monday we woke up to a brilliant blue sky, grabbed our bags, and headed out for a day of wandering around malls and antique shops.
In short: it was amazing.
Here’s what we did to survive and live to
rant about the awesomeness tell the tale:
#1. Plan a season ahead to start on saving
Books are expensive. (Can I get an amen?)
I don’t think I have ever gone on a book shopping spree before. Yes, I’ve bought a book now and then, but I always feel guilty spending too much on myself and avoided it. I would walk through stores and simply make mental notes of titles to ask for my birthday.
And so while the trip itself felt a little last minute in timing, we were very prepared thanks to Eeyore’s grand thinking four months earlier.
Every penny counts after all.
#2. Dig deep in your closet for partially used Chick-fil-a or Starbucks gift cards
Ah yes. If you want to stay out long (which, is that even a question?) check your closet. Below the stack of books, boots, and bags, who knows what you can find?
Or maybe there’s one in your purse.
That’s a good place to check too.
#3. Visit a used book store first
Thank goodness for used book stores.
Digging through shelfs and shelfs of cracked, battered, and torn books can feel a little depressing or frustrating, but it really is worth all the little treasures you find. That book of poetry overlooked. That signed novel tucked behind a thick row of other books.
Don’t pass up the used book store in your shopping spree. It’s a good start and who knows? You might come out only having spent a eighty cents on a beautiful copy of The Book Thief!
#4. Walk through the store once to get a feel for it, then take a second round
To do it right, you must understand your surroundings. Take a quick stroll through the aisles, locate sections, skim titles, and note where you might find coffee if needed.
Once you feel familiar with the store and its layout, you are ready to begin the real work. Roll up your sleeves and grab a basket. This might take a while.
#5. Bring a shoulder angel (or devil depending on how you look at it…)
AKA a friend.
There’s no one like a friend to help fill in your knowledge about books, stick their favorites in your face and demand you buy them, or pat you on the head and slowly pry your fingers from that copy of the complete collection of Winnie the Pooh, when you already own two other versions.
I know I know, the golden hardback cover is gorgeous and I feel the temptation too, but not today, okay honey??
Double points if friend-brought is a writer and will understand your exclamations of needing to write down a name for a character, or listen to your critique of a cover.
#6. Bring a list for the books you don’t end up getting but might want to read another time
sO mAnY CHOICES
Rows and rows of them.
What about putting a handy dandy notebook to use? Add to that growing list of to-be-reads. You don’t have enough books on that giant until the list itself could be packaged and sold.
And lastly, for those homeschoolers out there…
#7. Save money!
Did you know that educators can join the Books-A-Million membership club for free??
That means, you homeschoolers, you get special membership sales just because you stay home to complete your algebra lessons. (Okay technically its your mom that gets it, but still…)
We only just stumbled upon this fact Monday and we immediately put it to use.
Cause who doesn’t want to buy books for cheap??
Over all, after discussing our wonderful experience, Eeyore and I decided to try to make it a tradition in starting off our school year, but with one little change. In order to go? First make sure you have read every single book you already own.
Now excuse me while I go completely reorganize my bookshelf…