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Must-haves for your back-to-school book list

Building a back-to-school book list is no easy task, and it doesn’t necessarily get easier with age. However, even those who haven’t can benefit from thinking about what makes a book list great. Hopefully, by the time the school year comes back around, you’ve already started considering your or your child’s book needs.

From scouring back-to-school deals to choosing books that will encourage learning, social support and emotional stability, selecting a solid book list can make or break the school year — so it’s worth making sure you do it right.

Tips for your back-to-school book list

1. Think about age and development

People perform best when met on a developmentally and age-appropriate level. Consider what books are age-appropriate for you or your child and which might challenge you or them to grow. Whether just beginning to read or seeking an upper reading level, knowing what books are meant for you or your child’s age and developmental level can help you get the most out of reading time.

2. Focus on education and well-being

Finding books and supplies supporting education and well-being is equally crucial to considering age and development. Children and college students alike may need specific books for their classes. However, you can also read books at home with young children to support their educational and emotional needs. Many young children also get the first-day jitters when September comes around, and choosing books around this theme can help ease nerves.

3. Seek out the deals

Back-to-school deals aren’t rare, and online retailers like Amazon make them easier to take advantage of than ever. Certain school items, such as pens, pencils and erasers, can be purchased in bulk and used for multiple years. You can also find deals on other things that may benefit your reading, such as tablets, reading lights, planners and more. Either way, stocking up on affordable goods can help you make your reading nook great.

4. Choose the right backpack

Using a backpack is essential when carrying books to and from school. Most backpacks can fit multiple books, pens, pencils and other school supplies. Choosing a backpack that fits several books and supplies simultaneously can make the time in between a little easier.

5. Consider non-book supplies that will share space with books

When building your book list, think about what items may share space with your books, whether in your backpack or on your desk at home. This will also depend on the classes you or your child is taking and what specific supplies may be on their school’s supply list. For students reading higher-level books, pencils can help write annotations that you can later erase. Younger students may require arts and crafts supplies, such as glue, crayons and more.

6. Set attainable reading goals

Setting guidelines for your or your child’s reading can help you keep closer track of accomplishments. You can do this using a daily planner, and while you don’t even necessarily have to reach your goals, setting reasonable ones can make them more doable and help motivate you to keep going along the way.

Best back-to-school book list items

Best Panda Planner Pro Non-Dated Daily And Weekly Planner

Panda Planner Pro Non-Dated Daily and Weekly Planner

This daily and weekly planner includes dates you can fill in yourself and is designed for all ages. This can be a valuable tool for anyone hoping to set and achieve reading goals and keep track of your progress throughout the school year.

Sold by Amazon

Best Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light With Adjustable Brightness Settings

Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light With Adjustable Brightness Settings

This simple reading light is perfect for nighttime reading, featuring six brightness levels and three color temperature modes. When used, it sits around the reader’s neck and you can bend it to your preferred angle.

Sold by Amazon

Best Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 8 GB Reading Tablet

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 8 GB Reading Tablet

Some readers across age groups skip hard copies of books altogether, instead electing for a reading tablet like the Kindle. This lets you carry around as many digital books as your tablet’s storage can fit, rather than stuffing several physical books into a backpack. It also has a non-glossy, paper-like screen for minimizing the backlight’s impact on your eyes.

Sold by Amazon

Best Apple 12.9-Inch iPad Pro Tablet With 128 GB Of Storage

Apple 12.9-Inch iPad Pro Tablet With 128 GB of Storage

An upgrade from low-end reading tablets, the iPad is a powerful machine that you can use for more than just reading. Students of all ages can use this for reading, writing, planning and more, and usually for several years.

Sold by Amazon

Best The North Face Vault 26-Liter School Backpack

The North Face Vault 26-Liter School Backpack

This is an excellent backpack for older students, offering a good balance of volume and comfort for holding books. You can buy this backpack style in 14 colors and designs, each including a laptop or tablet sleeve, a large main compartment and mesh pockets for non-book school supplies.

Sold by Amazon

Best Fjallraven Kanken Mini Classic Backpack For Everyday Use

Fjallraven Kanken Mini Classic Backpack for Everyday Use

Fjallraven’s backpacks are in style and with good reason. This basic backpack from the company is small enough for most young children or older children carrying fewer supplies. You can also buy this backpack in 65 different colors and designs, which is more than most backpacks.

Sold by Amazon

Best The Day You Begin Hardcover Childrens Picture Book

“The Day You Begin” Hardcover Children’s Picture Book

This book is perfect for young children with first-day jitters, encouraging readers to understand how brave they are for taking those tough steps. It’s also available in Spanish under the translated title “El Día En Que Descubres Quien Eres,” and both books are rated for readers ages 5 to 8.

Sold by Amazon

Best Master Lock Set Your Own Combination Lock

Master Lock Set Your Own Combination Lock

Older students may have too many books to carry around at once, which is why many use lockers with a combination lock. This combination lock is perfect for keeping books held safely behind a locker door, letting users make their own combinations to make it easy to remember.

Sold by Amazon

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Peter McGuthrie writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money. 

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