Don't judge a book (or a library!) by it's cover...
We've lived here for over three years, and it was not until recently (within the last few months) that I visited our local library. We do not live in the best of towns and I carried that image over to our public services. I actually went to our library only to get a passport library card so I could check out books from the next town over (which is known for it's awesome school districts, and therefore in my mind would have much better library services). Oh how wrong I was! I was shocked to find out that the story time at the library is put on by a Montessori teacher, and the program is phenominal! The children love it (mommy does too!). They also offer lots of other wonderful programs, like knitting and crafting classes, family movie nights, and even host a clothing swap once a month. I've learned that a library is more about the heart of the poeple that live there rather than the town budget. They may not have the largest selection of books on their shelves, but they are always willing to search, hunt, and even purchase books that you request. And I was shocked to learn that they allow way more books out at a time than I ever imagined (or would need). I presently have 38 books checked out :o) "M" loves to read, and I love to be able to feed that curiousity (for free!). So I encourage you to check out your local library, get to know your librarians, and utilize their FREE services.
Other ways to get free or discounted books:
1. Purchase a Kindle Wireless Reading Device. Okay, the device is not cheap! But, there are tons of free books you can download and many more that are significantly cheaper than a hard copy. You can also preview the first two chapters of the book before purchasing.
2. Search garage sales, thrift stores, consignment shops, etc. We found one thrift store where all childrens books were between 25 to 50 cents!!!
3. Share books and resources with friends. If you are part of a homeschooling group, set up your own little library.
4. You may find "libraries" in unlikely places! Our chiropractor has a lending library that is filled with some wonderful books that he and others are willing to share.