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Posts Tagged ‘Book Sales’

  1. Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

    October 15, 2014 by admin

    IMG_2165Ja, ein bisschen!

    One of our longest running homeschool topics is German.  We’ve been learning German at home since Bluey was born.

    When he was an infant, TRDad and Bluey would listen to German podcasts each morning.   Since that time, our lessons have grown more advanced. Now our foreign language curriculum includes not only podcasts, but a German song playlist on our iTunes, a collection of cassette tapes and a daily reading from one of our many German textbooks.

    All this while no one in the house claims any solid German fluency!

    TRDad took some German in High School and college, but never enrolled in any advanced classes.  The main thing that stuck with him was a love of the language and pronunciation skills.  So knowing that he has a pretty good idea of how to pronounce any German words we might encounter, we just plunged into German instruction at home.

    IMG_2166Our books and tapes are all garage sale and book sale finds- so our entire shelf of German language materials cost less than $10.  Our collection runs the gamut from 1950’s era classroom texts, to hip books for modern travelers to tapes geared for young kids.  We are able to mix up our instruction and keep it interesting.

    It has gone pretty good so far.  Bluey’s ability to repeat German words and phrases is improving, as is his ability to recognize the language- even when he hears it out of context.   And not for nothing- TRDad’s German vocabulary is increasing steadily as well!

    Someday we may travel to Germany as a family.  Or Bluey may travel there himself when he’s older.  Or maybe not.  Until then, we love the influence foreign language study has had on our youngest’s mind- helping him see connections between words and languages that he might not notice otherwise.

    Auf Wiedersehen!

  2. Lake Mills

    October 3, 2014 by admin

    IMG_7974We recently headed out to a nearby city’s library book sale. It was a beautiful Fall day and even though we had never been to the city of Lake Mills, the idea of an exploration along a country road was enticing enough for this TRFamily.

    Tip: Why not slow down and explore that place you always just drive through on your way to somewhere else.

    IMG_7990The library is an impressive stone building that was constructed in the late 19th century. It is situated right off the city’s Commons Park. The book sale was held in a small house owned by the library on the back of the property. At $2 a bag of books, we were quite pleased to rifle through the offerings. In addition to our bags of books, we scored a good supply of FREE books on tapes that include Arthur stories and a German Language series for kids.

    IMG_7996After the sale, we decided to look for lunch. There was a smattering of cafes across the green space and we headed that way. Timber Creek Pizza Co seemed a great choice and it didn’t disappoint this sometimes picky family. They have tons of choices at fantastic prices. Service was friendly, accommodating, and fast.

    Full of good food, we decided to explore the Commons Park and its massive band shelter before heading home. But on the way out of town, Rock Lake Park on County Rd B caught our eye. It offered a small playground, a fun hand operated water pump drinking fountain, and a secret tunnel passage. It was a great way to end our visit in Lake Mills.

    No matter where you live, there is probably a town or area that you haven’t really investigated. Give it chance.  Get out there and explore!

  3. Sale Score: The Warriors Series

    July 21, 2012 by admin

    We go to a lot of garage sales and find a lot of great things.  But many times we only give books at Garage Sales a quick glance.  This is mostly due to our honed skill at working bag book sales to our advantage.  Plopping down $2 for one book at a garage sale is expensive to us and we’re not usually willing to do it.

    So it was no surprise that Mom and the kids walked past a small table of books at the Maple Bluff Town-wide garage sale with barely a peek.

    But as Dad rushed past to catch up with the family, one of the books caught his eye: Warriors.  Plum has been devouring this series.  She has been picking them up at sales, checking them out at the libe, and buying them at Barnes&Noble.  And she’s on the waiting list for several titles at our local library.

    The dad and daughter selling the books seemed friendly, so I stopped to quickly ask the going price.  “A dollar a piece,” said the dad.  But as I ran to catch up with Plum I heard him shout, “We can make you a deal!”

    Returning with Plum, she was astonished to see her favorite series on the table.  $6 later a very happy Plum had 8 books of her beloved Warriors series in hardback and in great condition.  Mom and Dad are thrilled as retail price for these books in hardcover hovers around $13.  What a savings!

    Always keep an eye out for life’s surprises.

  4. Just Peeking: The AAUW Book Sale, Monona, WI

    July 15, 2012 by admin

    We were so excited to go to another booksale.  We love ’em and we always find something good.  But when we saw the price for the AAUW bag-sale was $5, we thought: “Ugh.  That’s a lot.  We must have misread the website.”  Normally, we don’t do bag sales that are over $4.

    But we were there and Bluey wanted to go in.  We decided we could look, but not buy.  We do that all the time on our smaller jaunts to the farm store and such.  It should work here too, right?


    We ended up with a $5 bag of books.  How’d that happen?  Well, we saw two things immediately that we knew we’d enjoy greatly: 1) a stack of eight Mad Magazine paperbacks- perfect for a rainy day or a car bag, and 2) a copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  We’ve been slowly picking up the Potters at various book sales in anticipation that one or both of our youngest kids will read them eventually. 

    The Deathly Hallows, last of the series, would be hard to find.  This has been true for every series we have tried to track down.  For every Return of The King you find at a sale, you’ll see at least five copies of The Fellowship.   More people buy the start of a series than the end, so there are more copies of the first volumes around.

    We didn’t want to end up paying retail for the Deathly Hallows later, so it alone made the $5 bag worth it.

    Add in the MAD Magazine books, a bunch of Peanuts and a few other treats, and we made our money spent.

    It’s always worth it to take a look.

  5. Where’d you get that?

    June 15, 2012 by admin

    We have found that Church/Rummage sales are frequently the best place to find bizarre toys (see picture- we still haven’t identified this find!), kitchen items, and funky clothing.

    Garage sales are good for furniture, kids clothes, and recreational items (like skis).  They can also be a good place to find standard toys and books, though not always at the best prices.  Once you’ve been to a few book sale bag days, even 50 cents will seem like too much for most books (see Book’em Danno!).

    Flea markets are a gold mine for vintage toys, antique furniture, and wacky items (like jars of buttons or a collection of rusty weather vanes).  The downside to a flea market is that depending on the vendor, they might not bargain.  Prices can be steeper at flea markets.  You may also run into someone selling brand name items at store prices (or even higher than store prices).

    One of our stranger rummage sale finds.

    Tip:  You can use if you happen to live in our State.

  6. Book’em Danno!

    May 19, 2012 by admin

    Book sales are so much fun!  Our kids love going with us to uncover a new collection of great books.  It’s a family hobby for us.

    There are a lot of sales out there.  But which ones are worthy?

    We don’t waste our time going to library book sales that don’t offer a bag day.  If we stumble upon a book sale, we’ll check it out.  But we organize specific travel to the library book sale bag days.  During that time, you can stuff as many grocery bags as you wish chock full of books for around $2 – $5 per bag.   We let every family member have their own bag to stuff.  We generally don’t leave these sales with less than 4 overflowing bags of books.

    Most places will let you bring your own bags!  We take our supply of cloth/plastic reusable ones.  They are sturdy, hold more books than paper, and are much easier to carry when full!  If you fill a paper bag with books, the odds are low you will get it all the way home without tearing it.


    Be sure to check out our favorite source for book sales: