T’s Reads: Book Advent Calendar 2018 – Week Four & (Cheap) Places to Find Books!

By the time you’re reading this, it’s likely to be Christmas Day (or later! Thanks for reading, anyway!) and our Book Advent will be over. Just like last year, we’ve had fun finding new books for T and hope to continue this for years to come. As he gets older though, story books may become puzzle books or maybe even something for school, but either way it’s something that we hope to continue for at least a few more years. 

Week four was quite a short one, with the last few days seeing only three new books, but we were lucky in that a few of our favourites were saved ’til last. Here’s what we found on week three, and stick around until the end as I’ve shared a couple of our favourite places where we find affordable books for T.

If you’d like to find out what we read on week three you can find this here.

Week Four

Saturday 22nd December

Dinosaurs (and the plundering pirates) by Ben Mantle

When planets start disappearing from the Dino-star galaxy, it doesn’t take long for Captain Rex to find out who’s taking them – Space Pirates! This is the first title of the series and even includes a cute removable pop-up Dinostar and character cards in each book, along with fun space facts.

Sunday 23rd December

The Lion Who Lost his Roar, but learnt to Draw.
by Paula Knight & Daniel Howarth

Lionel thinks drawing is boring, all he wants to do is ‘RRROAR’, but when he loses his voice, Lionel discovers a new hidden talent.

Monday 24th December

Bear’s BIG Bottom. by Steve Smallman

Poor Bear! His bottom is causing chaos… Can he make it up to his friends? This is a hilarious story of bottoms, bears and friendship that will have grown-ups and children giggling at Bear’s bottom-based mishaps. 

Our Favourite Book Sources!


If we’re short on time, our first port of call is often online. Places such as Amazon and eBay are perfect places for finding a deal, but there are also tons of other places online to find a few bargains. 

The Works, Book People, and Usbourne Books often have great savings and book deals. This year, a lot of our books came from The Works as part of their 10 for £10 deal, however we’ve often found complete sets of books based on theme or author from The Book People.

If you prefer to shop more independently, there’s also a catalogue of indie book shops that also sell their books online. A lot of my finds were found on Twitter and Instagram.

Charity Shops

There is absolutely no difference between buying a book second hand and buying it brand new. Both books will tell the same story, except one would have told it a few more times than the other. Whilst we love having a crisp new book on the shelf, with that incredible fresh page smell, there’s something special about having a worn and well-read book on the shelf. 

Car Boot Sales

Just like charity shops, there’s nothing wrong with a second, third, or fourth hand book, and the good thing about places like Charity Shops and Car Boot Sales is that you’re given the chance to have a look at the book before you buy. Although online is the quicker way to shop – I’ve been stung a few times when something wasn’t as I had expected. 

Plus, second hand places are usually dirt cheap, meaning you often get more for your money, and there are often a few hidden treasures such as limited edition books or books no longer in print. There’s a reason we now have two copies of The Hungry Caterpillar


There are three libraries between our house and Brighton city centre, which means we’ve added a fair few books into our ‘To Get” list over the past three years. I love watching T browse the books and following his eyes as something catches his eye.

Libraries are a fantastic place to kill some time, especially on a rainy day, and I’ve recently found out that they often sell their less-popular or older, more worn-out books for cheap to make way for some new ones (or replacements!). If you time it right or simply get on the good side of your librarian, you will often find a few special finds within the piles of books for sale. 

Book Swaps

One of our local cafes recently started stocking children’s books that are free for the taking (as long as they were returned), and it became so popular that regular donations are now received at the cafe. More recently though, children who often came to the cafe started to give one book in exchange for another. A book swap. It’s such a small act, but it means those that can’t access a library are given that opportunity to read something new and they’re not taking from anyone else. 

I love this idea, although it’s sadly not something you see happening often, and when we visit next I hope to bring a few books down for donation. 

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