You’re living abroad and it’s not that easy to find a variety of children’s books in English.
Unless you live in a big city, there won’t be specialized English bookstores. Well, actually, you don’t even want to keep buying all the books you read with your child. At the same time, you love reading in English together and believe it’s crucial for his/her language development and literacy skills.
What can you do?
Exchange books with other English speaking parents in your area. You can just borrow from each other or swap for good.
Online groups - try searching on Facebook: “Book swap in (your city/country)”, “English book swap in (your city/country)”, “Children’s book swap in (your city/country)”.
Organize a book swap party. For an idea on how to organize one, read this.
2. Make going to the library a habit
If your local library doesn't offer a great selection of English books, ask them if it's possible to place requests.
3. Ask for it
Gently have your friends and family know that you and your children would like books for Christmas or their birthday.
4. Try Freecycle
It’s a group where people give and take stuff for free. Type in your city, join a local group and see what you find! Here's the link.
5. Free ebooks
I know, there’s nothing like the feel of a real book. But I have to confess that I’m a recent Kindle convert and I love how practical it is (because I also love travelling, a neat home and saving money). You can get free Kindle children’s books on Amazon or read free stories on Wattpad.
Free Oxford Owl ebooks
Free classics on Gutenberg Project
6. Look for a Cultural Association in your area
They might have a library, events, workshops, playgroups and much more. Try searching “(Your nationality) cultural association in (your location)” or “English speaking children in (your location)”.
7. Make your own. Why not? :)
8. If you do want to buy:
Book Depository offers free shipping worldwide and has a great selection.
Scavenge second hand shops, websites and local markets.
9. And why not listen to a story?
This website has tons of videos of great books being read aloud.
Now I’m curious: how do you get books for your children? Where do you live? Leave a comment or join us on Facebook.
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