Are Children's Book Clubs
A Good Value?

Or can I do better?

Read my ideas on creating your own Dr. Seuss Book Club...

Let's start by making sure we have our terms straight. By children's book clubs do you mean a discount buying service where you receive catalogs regularly (hard copy or electronically) and children's books arrive via snail mail?

Or are you talking about a place where children meet to discuss books? Because while that's a neat idea, this isn't that page.

Children's Book Clubs - the hype

Book clubs have been around forever, along with record clubs and the like.

They lure you in with a bunch of free (or ridiculously cheap) children's books, but you have to sign up to get them. You get them all right (you usually pay the shipping and handling though), but now you have to follow the book club rules.

If you follow the rules closely, you can get some new children's books cheap! If you don't pay good attention, however...

Things could get pricey.

If you're good with detail...

...children's book clubs can be a great deal. If you're not good with detail, you could end up buying books you didn't want. Let's go over the various clubs.

Children's Book of the Month Club

There were 2070 words in their terrifying membership agreement when I last looked at it. That's about 10 picture books worth. Skip the club and put your kids to sleep with all that small print!

Dr. Seuss & His Friends Book Club

The Dr. Seuss Book Club includes automatic shipments, but it is a way to get a lot of Seuss (which every family should have!). I don't actually recommend this club, but I do have a page devoted to getting a lot of Seuss affordably!

Nick Jr. Book Club

Named for the kids' TV network, this one is run through Scholastic. They claim "everything your child enjoys on Nick Jr. can be found in the Nick Jr. Book Club."

Does that include commercials?

Seriously, I can find no indication that this club even exists anymore. There are some indications that it's been folded into the Scholastic Book Club, which is now called the Scholastic Reading Club.

Scholastic Reading Club

Scholastic is a different animal from the others. This is the huge children's book publisher with an emphasis on the educational. Their book clubs - I mean, reading clubs - are through your child's teacher or school.

Less obligation. Less pressure. Benefits to your child's classroom. Learn more here:

Scholastic Reading Club.

Children's book clubs - Summing up

My only real recommendation is...consider very carefully before purchase.

But I do have another thought for you...

Remember Highlights for Children?

That 44 page kids magazine? It was always in my opthamologist's office. I'd get those eye drops and then read Highlights as hard and fast as I could until it became too blurry.

Highlights is still around. If you want your child to have the experience of receiving reading material (and hidden pictures and mazes, all that good stuff) in the mail, this could be the way to go.

And - are you listening to this, book clubs??? - there is no shipping and handling charge.

Now that I'll recommend. And link to.

Highlights for Children!

There aren't many things left that you can tell your child you too experienced as a youngster. Highlights for Children is one of those few things.

Children's book club alternatives

Now one of the reasons I'm lukewarm on book clubs is because I believe there are better ways to go about getting cheap new children's books, or even cheap used children's books, for that matter.

Please check out my affordable children's books page for a ton of ideas.

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