Last Updated on May 29, 2022
If there’s one thing I’ve learned shopping at Dollar Tree, it’s that I never quite know what the extreme discounter is going to stock next. Sure, there are certain things I know it won’t carry — no lawn mowers, no swimming pools, no full-sized Christmas trees — but I’ve been surprised at the things DT does manage to stock. I’ve spotted kitchen utensils, imitation Legos, Transformers knockoffs, earbuds, and even movies.
So while I should have been surprised to see books at my local Dollar Tree … I can’t say I’m really surprised.
Because, yes, Dollar Tree does carry a small selection of books. And like nearly everything else in the store, they’re currently just $1.25.
Are these New York Times Bestsellers? No. There’s no Grisham or Steel or Patterson or Evanovich here. These, instead, tend to be lesser-known novelists.
That doesn’t mean the books are automatically bad. In fact, if there’s one thing I’ve learned — and I’m speaking as both a prolific reader and a traditionally published novelist — it’s that there are many unknown authors writing terrific books. (I’ve also learned that just because it’s a bestseller doesn’t mean I’ll conclude it’s my favorite book.) So while these books are certainly cheap, that doesn’t automatically mean they’re bad.
To test that theory, I went and looked up reader reviews for some of these Dollar Tree books. I used Goodreads, whose readers are often a more seasoned (and arguably tougher) reader crowd than, say, Amazon. Here’s a sampling:
- Sisters of the Fire, by Kim Williams. 4.17 stars out of 5. Book 2 in a series. Fiction, fantasy.
- Your Dad Stole My Rake, by Tom Papa. 3.78 stars out of 5. Standalone. Nonfiction, humor.
- The Sky is Yours, by Chandler Klang Smith. 3.30 stars out of 5. Standalone. Fiction, fantasy / sci-fi / dystopian
- I Will Be Complete, by Glen David Gold. 4.13 stars out of 5. Standalone. Nonfiction, memoir.
- Star of the North, by D.B. John. 4.21 stars out of 5. Standalone. Fiction, historical, thriller, mystery.
- Knitting in Tuscany, by Nicky Epstein. 3.01 stars out of 5. Standalone. Nonfiction, arts and crafts.
- Too Dumb to Fail, by Matt K. Lewis. 3.55 stars out of 5. Standalone. Nonfiction, politics.
- Ahab’s Return, by Jeffrey Ford. 3.66 stars out of 5. Standalone. Fiction, historical, fantasy.
- Spying on Whales, by Nick Pyenson. 3.78 stars out of 5. Standalone. Nonfiction, science.
- Thrive, by Dan Buettner. 3.70 stars out of 5. Standalone. Nonfiction, health, self-help.
- America is Not the Heart, by Elaine Castillo. 3.96 stars out of 5. Standalone. Fiction, historical, LGBTQ+.
As you can see, Dollar Tree stocks both fiction and nonfiction, including various fiction genres. Some of the books have better ratings than others, but most of them are at least decent, and some of them are rated pretty well.
So if you’re looking to take a flyer on an unknown but potentially interesting writer, you might try out Dollar Tree. If nothing else, the price is certainly right.