Buying books

Second hand books can be found very cheaply in charity shops and, (if you’re lucky!), at car boot sales. Ebay and other auction sites are also worth looking at.

Cut price new books can be found at The Works; they have stores on many high streets and they also sell online at

The Book People sell discounted books in workplaces and online. They are especially good for sets of books, which would make a really special present or could be split up.

Waterstones is this writer’s preferred source for new books which can’t be found at any of the above sources.They have a great website, but a visit to one of their shops is highly recommended. A happy hour or more can be spent browsing in the children’s department – and there are plenty of seats if the adults want a rest. Waterstones have branches in Birmingham city centre and Solihull town centre, and are online at

A Waterstones voucher is a great present for a bookworm – they can be redeemed in store or online. is much more than an online bookseller and is highly recommended. The site has a bookfinder tool which is great if you’re trying to choose a suitable book for a particular child. Children can review books and also join an online book club – if you have a very bookish child they will like this site. There are also tips on sharing books with children.


“So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookshelf on the wall. (Roald Dahl – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)


Welcome to the all-new Reading Support area on the Starbank Blog.

The aims of this section of the blog are to promote reading and to foster a love of reading in our children. Reading is central to all areas of the curriculum, and being able to do it well can enhance learning, and also provide a lifetime of pleasure. I hope you find the suggestions to support your child’s reading useful.


Providing your child with books

One of the most important things you can do to help your child develop a passion for reading is to let them see you reading regularly. Children also need plenty of access to books and other reading matter. Books are expensive, but there are many ways to cut costs.


Public Libraries

Libraries offer children access to thousands of books absolutely free of charge so should be your first stop. It’s never to early to take your child to the library – they can join from birth, either in the branch or online. A trip with the family to a library is a very pleasant way to spend a couple of hours – even the smallest local branch will have a children’s area with comfortable seats just right for curling up with a good book. Books are available to suit all ages from babies to teenagers, and they can borrow up to eight books each.

Small Heath Library has a good children’s section with helpful and knowledgeable staff. They often run special activities for children, including regular parent and toddler sessions and homework support. The following link will give you more information.

The Children’s Library, which is part of the Library of Birmingham in the city centre is well worth a visit as it has a huge collection of books and holds many events for children and young people and their families.It has books for children written in over fifty languages, many of them picture books. The following links will tell you more about the services offered.

If you haven’t already, you might want to think about joining the library yourself when you enrol your child; it’s free for adults too, and again there are books in many languages other than English. Remember – the best way to inspire your child to become a keen reader is to be one yourself.