18 Free (or Cheap) Ways to Stock Your Classroom Library


Having a well-stocked classroom library is essential for promoting reading and fostering a love for books among students. However, purchasing new books can be expensive. Luckily, there are numerous ways to acquire books for your classroom library without breaking the bank. In this article, we will explore 18 free (or cheap) ways to stock your classroom library and provide your students with a wide variety of reading materials.

  1. Host a Book Drive: Organize a book drive in your school or community to collect donated books. Encourage students, teachers, and parents to participate and contribute to the cause.
  1. Visit the Local Library: Local libraries often have book sales or clearance events where you can find books at significantly discounted prices. Take advantage of these opportunities to expand your classroom library.
  1. Book Swaps: Set up book swap events where students can exchange books they no longer need for ones they haven’t read yet. This not only helps stock your library but also encourages students to share and discover new books.
  1. Seek Donations: Reach out to local businesses, organizations, or community members and request book donations for your classroom library. Explain the importance of fostering a love for reading among students.
  1. Online Resources: Utilize online platforms like Freecycle, Craigslist, or Facebook groups to find individuals offering free or inexpensive books. You can also join online book exchange communities.
  1. Garage Sales and Thrift Stores: Explore garage sales and thrift stores in your area. Often, you can stumble upon hidden treasures and find books at incredibly low prices.
  1. Classroom Wishlist: Create a classroom wishlist on websites like Amazon or DonorsChoose, where people can contribute funds or purchase books directly for your classroom library.
  1. Fundraising: Host fundraising events or campaigns to raise funds specifically for purchasing books. Involve your students in the process and make it a community effort.
  1. Author Visits: Reach out to local authors and invite them to visit your classroom. Many authors offer discounted or complimentary copies of their books for educational purposes.
  1. Scholastic Book Clubs: Take advantage of Scholastic Book Clubs, which often offer discounted books for teachers. Encourage students to participate, as it supports literacy and helps grow your classroom library.
  1. Subscription Services: Consider subscribing to book clubs or services specifically designed for educators. These services typically provide a selection of books at affordable rates.
  1. Parent Involvement: Engage with parents and guardians and encourage them to donate books to your classroom library. This strengthens the home-school connection and expands your resource pool.
  1. Local Bookstores: Establish relationships with local bookstores and inquire about any special promotions or discounts for educators. Some bookstores offer teacher appreciation days with exclusive deals.
  1. Book Fairs: Attend book fairs and explore the discounted book sections. You can often find great deals on popular titles and classic reads.
  1. Grants and Scholarships: Explore grant opportunities or scholarships dedicated to promoting literacy and education. Many organizations provide funds specifically for stocking classroom libraries.
  1. Book Donations from Publishers: Contact publishers directly and inquire about their policies on book donations for educational purposes. Some publishers may be willing to provide free or discounted books for your classroom library.
  1. Online E-Books: Incorporate digital books into your classroom library. Many platforms offer free e-books or allow educators to access a wide range of titles at discounted prices.
  1. Engaging with Authors on Social Media: Connect with authors through social media platforms like Twitter or Instagram. Some authors may be willing to send free books or participate in virtual author visits for your classroom.


Building a well-stocked classroom library does not have to be costly. By utilizing the various free or inexpensive methods outlined in this article, you can provide your students with a diverse selection of books to fuel their love for reading. Remember, every book you add to your classroom library opens a world of possibilities for your students’ imaginations and learning journeys.

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