If you’re like us, you may have signed your children up for the Books on the Go summer reading challenge and then thought,
“Wait – where will I find 10 books in English that they haven’t already read?”
Look no further!
1. The Prague City Library *Books on the Go Sponsor!*
The library system has more than 1500 children’s books in English. Most of this collection is located at the Korunní branch in Vinohrady, but there are usually a few English children’s books at most locations, and you can order a book from their catalog and have it delivered to any branch for only a small surcharge. Books checked out after June 16th can be kept until the end of the summer! Children’s library cards (up through age 14) are free of charge! Contact: www.mlp.cz
2. Prague Christian Library *Books on the Go Sponsor!*
The Prague Christian Library, which is located in Prague 3, has more than 2000 children’s books in English. They’re open Monday through Thursday and two Saturdays each month as well. A 3-month family membership costs 175 CZK (annual membership is 500 CZK), and members can check out up to 6 books for 3 weeks at a time.
3. School Libraries
Check your school library’s policy for summer lending – policies vary from school to school.
4. Brown Box Books *Books on the Go Sponsor!*
Brown Box Books offers more than 5000 used children’s books in English ranging from board books to chapter books at great prices. BBB has an on-line shop and makes frequent appearances at schools and markets all over Prague. Their bricks-and-mortar shop will open in August 2014.
Contact: www.brownboxbooks.cz (catalog) and http://www.facebook.com/brownboxbooks?ref=br_tf (event/store info.)
5. Usborne Books *Books on the Go Sponsor!*
Usborne sells thousands of titles for beginning readers through young adults. Their books, which are sold though sales agents, include fiction not sold through other publishers and readers designed for ESL / English learners.
Contact: Kara McAllister (sales in Prague) *Books on the Go Sponsor!*
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org GSM: 773 218 160
and http://www.usborne.com/ (catalog)
6. Amadito & Friends *Books on the Go Sponsor!*
This children’s bookstore in Prague 5 is the first to focus exclusively on foreign-language children’s books. They offer approximately 1000 children’s books in three languages: English, French, and German. Amadito also features a reading area in the back of the store and offers activities for children.
7. English-Language Bookstores
Sadly, with the closing of Big Ben and Anagram, the selection of children’s books in this group of stores has narrowed. Currently, Oxford Bookshop has a large selection of ESL readers, and Shakespeare & Sons and The Globe (which offers occasional storytelling for children) offer some children’s books.
8. Czech Bookstores
While Czech bookstores have increased their selection somewhat over the years, their English books can be quite expensive. Neo Luxor is probably the chain with the largest selection of children’s books. Most Czech used bookstores (antikvariáty) will have a few children’s books in English, but it’s very much the luck of the draw.
9. Free E-Books
If you have a library card from a library in an English-speaking country, you may be able to have children’s books sent to your Kindle, Nook, or other E-reader at no extra charge. Check your hometown library’s website! You can also download children’s books in the public domain from Project Gutenberg (www.gutenberg.org). Although these tend to be older books, the site is a good source of classics for older children.
10. Books On Line
Children’s Story Books Online (www.magickeys.com/books) and several other sites provide children’s books on the internet for free. For a subscription fee, MagicBlox and Raz Books provide access to books that children then read over the Internet. These are good resources when you want something to read quickly.
If you’ve ever purchased books overseas, you know that delivery times can be long and shipping fees exorbitant. However, there are some ways to minimize the disadvantages.
11. Used Booksellers
If you’re looking for a particular book, www.abebooks.com will search independent used bookstores for you – they have millions of titles, and you can filter the search by country. Unless you’re picking them up in the U.S. or the UK, however, the shipping fees usually make them more expensive than local options here.
12. Auction Sites
On any given day, eBay will have tranches of books being sold by everyone from attic cleaners to retiring kindergarten teachers. Keep in mind that many sellers will only ship domestically).
LAST BUT NOT LEAST!
13. People You Know
Friends with children are an underestimated resource. Don’t be shy about offering to trade a few books for the summer! You could even plan a book swap for your next meet-up – the kids bring 5 books they think others would enjoy, everyone swaps, and someone keeps a list of who borrowed what (the last step is necessary only if you want your books back…).