What would you buy if you had $50 to spend on books?

Jessica recently posed the question, “What would you buy if you had $50 to spend on books?” Only books. Heavenly!

When I buy books, I tend to buy ones that I have already read.

The way I see it, libraries are for researching titles and bookstores are for purchasing copies of outstanding works. I find it entirely too disappointing to spend my hard-earned money on a book, only to find it has an unoriginal plot, shoddy writing, or a lackluster finish.

This philosophy extends to children’s books too. I let my daughters have almost-free reign at the library – but we select only the best for our home collection…usually in hardcover format.

Off the top of my head, I would buy:

Protecting-the-GiftProtecting The Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe by Gavin De Becker $1.99 (only available used)

An important read for all parents, teachers, grandparents, and anyone who cares about the safety of children. Also recommended for girls + women from about ages 12 and up. The author provides strong data and excellent, practical feedback about how to keep kids safe from predators. At the end of the book, the reader feels empowered rather than defeated.

The-Quiltmaker's-JourneyThe Quiltmaker’s Journey by Jeff Brumbeau and Gail de Marcken $15.29

We have the sequel to this book (“The Quiltmaker’s Gift“) and both are excellent. Intricate, stunning illustrations paired with eloquent text and an uplifting message about kindness equals classic literature that will withstand the test of time.

Great-ExpectationsGreat Expectations by Charles Dickens $13.13

I’ve always been captivated by this novel, despite the dark and haunting nature of the story. The characters have a way of sticking with you – unfortunate and endearing Pip, charming and haughty Estella, and creepy Miss Havisham in her bridal finery. Why, yes, I do want to own a collector’s copy – bound in cloth.

The-Wolves-of-Willoughby-ChaseThe Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken $22.50

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase has all of the elements of a memorable children’s novel – lovable and brave characters, sinister villains, and an ending that inspires cheers of “jolly good!” [this is English lit, after all]. Why Disney Pictures hasn’t made this into a film, I have no idea. The audio version is particularly good. I spent many summer nights of my childhood, listening with the covers pulled up to my nose, barely breathing. Suspense galore.

Grand total = $52.91. I’ll pay the extra $2.91. ;)

What would YOU buy if you had $50 to spend on books? 


  1. Sarah R says

    Thanks for the book recommendations!

    I don’t know if this is “cheating” and not properly answering the question, but I think I’d donate the money to our library. Like you, I am a strong supporter of the library. I love that libraries give access to a world of knowledge to anyone regardless of age, income, race, etc. Also, since my time for reading is limited, I tend not to re-read books. When I do read a book that really strikes a chord with me, I want to share it with the world and not keep it to myself. I usually end up donating any books I do buy back to the library.

    • says

      “Cheating” or not, I love your answer. Libraries are so important and it’s wonderful that you donate books to your local one.

      I’m not a “re-reader” of books either, but I still like to own copies of my favorite works – to lend, to refer to, and to eventually share with my children.

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