February 14 isn’t just for lovers – it’s also for book lovers. So put away that chocolate (or gulp it down quickly) and pick up a book! Valentine’s Day is International Book Giving Day, a day dedicated to getting books into the hands of as many children as possible. The books can be new or used, and the aim is to spread the love of reading to the next generation.

ibgd-blog-badge200pxThe volunteer initiative http://bookgivingday.com/ offers three simple suggestions:

1. Give a book to a friend or relative

This is a great way to get kids you know into the spirit of giving and reading.

2. Leave a book in a waiting room or lobby

Pick a place where you know kids get stuck waiting, and where boredom may be a problem. Doctors’ and dentists’ waiting rooms are ideal. Choose a fun book and surreptitiously leave it lying around where a kid can pick it up.

3. Donate a book

You can donate children’s books to schools, libraries, children’s hospitals or shelters. There are also many international organisations who deliver books to children in developing countries, such as Books for Africa, Book Aid International and Room to Read. Here in Australia we also have the Footpath Library and the Indigenous Literary Foundation. Visit their websites to find out how you can support them.

One of the bookplates available for download

One of the bookplates available for download

Getting involved

To take part, you can do any or all of the following:

  • add your name to the website’s list of people celebrating International Book Giving Day
  • connect with others on social media
  • download posters
  • download templates to put in the books you donate.

Or you can forgo all this and simply give a book to someone who’ll enjoy it!

This is the first year I’ve heard about this, and I’m definitely taking part. Reading was such an important part of my childhood (and it still is), and I love the idea of spreading the joy 🙂

Do you think you’ll take part too? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section!

16 thoughts on “International Book Giving Day

  1. Susi Lovell says:

    Hi Stella, Great ideas in this post – thanks. I’ve never heard about this before. I’d love to re-post this post. Would that be OK with you? I do have to work out how to do that! Susi

    1. Stella says:

      I’m very happy for you to reblog this, Susi. I think you just click on the reblog icon that should appear in the black bar at the top. Thanks!

      1. Susi Lovell says:

        Thanks Stella. The only glitch is that in your first paragraph the apostrophes come up as ? and I can’t get in to edit. I’ll have to research that as it’s bugging me like crazy.

      2. Stella says:

        That’s irritating! If there’s anything I can do from my end, let me know. Thanks again for reblogging 🙂

  2. You’ve informed me too. This idea is like having dessert. Christmas is the main meal – I love giving books as Xmas presents – and now Valentine’s book giving is the added pleasure.
    I wonder if any of the books I gave in December have sequels?

    1. Stella says:

      Thanks! Bit of a long time to wait for dessert, though 🙂

  3. I like the idea of giving books that day. I’m not a big Valentine’s Day person so it suits me well. In a funy way I was brainstorming a Valentine’s blog post sharing my favorite love stories books. As always, great post, Stella.

    1. Stella says:

      It’s a great thing to do, isn’t it? I hope you write your favourite love stories post – I’d like to read it!

  4. Susi Lovell says:

    Reblogged this on Susi Lovell and commented:
    I had never heard of this February 14th tradition – until I read this blog by Stella Tarakson, telling me how to ‘spread the love’.

  5. drharrycarie says:

    I noticed last summer that there was a book giveaway box (a repurposed newspaper box) on Monkland Ave. in front of the Ben&Jerry’s store, filled with old books that were there to be taken. Anyone can put a book in; anyone can remove one. The door has no lock and it’s not an honour system- you can do what you want with the book. It’s the anonymous Book Giving Day box, for those too shy to give a book to someone they know.

    1. Stella says:

      That’s a great idea, thanks for letting us know! I wonder if there are any more like that?

  6. drharrycarie says:

    I know someone here in Montreal who will pick up and box and send books and many other items to Somalia, where they need “everything.” Human Concern international – http://www.humanconcern.org

    1. Stella says:

      Thanks again! I hadn’t heard about this one.

  7. Vasudha says:

    A great idea! Certainly a nice way to spread our common love for books 🙂

    1. Stella says:

      It is, isn’t it? And we’re talking hard copy books, too!

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