Of course, few families can afford to buy every book their children like. But with a little planning, you can have a library that will help spark your child's interest in reading.

Here are some tips on building a family library:

  • Buy paperback books. You can make these books last longer by covering them with clear plastic self-sticking paper.

  • Encourage your child to swap books with friends. Invite kids to bring their favorite books to your house for an after-school “read-in.” Afterward, they can exchange or borrow books.

  • Plan a book swap for your school. Admission: two or three used books. Give each child a ticket for each book turned in. Then allow children to exchange tickets for books other kids have brought. This way, each child can go home with several “new” books to read.

  • Look for a used book store. You can often buy books for a very reasonable price. Your library may also hold a used book sale.

  • Give books for gifts. Establish a family tradition of giving books for holidays. If you're not sure what books to choose, consider a gift certificate to a book store.

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