You can so easily find wonderful books at your local library, or your child may be able to borrow them from school or pre-school.
To build up a collection of favourites and your own home library, visit charity shops, car boot sales or yard sales to pick up good pre-loved books cheaply. Libraries may also sell off books (often high-quality hard-cover picture books) that are well-used and just need some TLC and repair with invisible tape and/or craft glue.
|Old but still good....|
Free 'online' books are readily available for you to read to or with your child. There are links to sites with picture books or story books for children on my ePuzzlEd website (ePuzzlEd Stories for Children), and in my Pinterest board:
You don't even need to have a book; re-telling old favourites can be wonderful fun, with exaggerated expression and even some actions! You can make up your own stories or tell stories about your childhood. Start simple, ham it up and have fun - you will find you'll get better with practice and your child will tell you if you get anything wrong! If you like, you can use some props (hats, glasses etc., puppets, feltboard) to help tell the story. This Pinterest board may give you some ideas:
The very best way to listen to a story is to have someone read or tell it personally, but you can also find audio books online that your child can listen to when you are busy, on long car trips etc. (see ePuzzlEd Stories for Children page as above for some links to free audio books and stories to download).
Remember that stories are not just a fun activity for children; they are a wonderful way to develop a child's sense of our language- the rhythms, speed and pitch variations, articulation, grammatical structure etc. that are all essential for developing good reading skills - so dig out those stories, get reading with your child and have fun!