International Book Giving Day
There is a day coming up soon that should be on everyone’s calendar, but it is one that many people haven’t heard of. International Book Giving Day takes place on 14th February each year. The aim? To get books into the hands of as many children as possible. Frighteningly, most children in developing countries do not own books. In the United Kingdom, one-third of children do not own books. In the United States, two-thirds of children living in poverty do not own books. That is a lot of children in the world that never get to own a book.
International Book Giving Day’s focus is on encouraging people worldwide to give a book to a child on February 14th. They ask people to
1) gift a book to a friend or family member,
2) leave a book in a waiting room for children to read
3) donate a gently used book to a local library, hospital or shelter or to an organization that distributes used books to children in need internationally.
International Book Giving Day has continued to grow & grow. In 2014, International Book Giving Day was celebrated by people in Australia, Canada, South Africa, France, India, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, the Philippines, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Nigeria, Nicaragua, Brazil, Egypt, Poland, Greece, Portugal, Mexico, Macedonia, Malawi, Hungary, Malaysia, Israel, Denmark, Thailand, Indonesia, Jordan, China, Puerto Rico and Bulgaria.
What would your life be without books?
Ask yourself what would my life be like without books? Would I use fewer words? Would I know less about important historical events and scientific discoveries? Would I think differently and have a different perspective? Would I be less imaginative? Answering these questions can help you decide why you want to make a difference and can help you inspire your friends and neighbours. I know how different my life would have been if I didn’t have any books!
Children can organise their own book drive to see how many books they can collect. It’s exciting to set a goal and see if you can reach it. You don’t have to own tons of books or even be a grownup to organize your own book drive. The fun thing is that it doesn’t matter if you are 4, 14, or 74 years old, you can still help get books to eager and needy readers.
Use your imagination to see your books placed in the hands of others who really need them. Realize how simple it is to make a difference. It is a great feeling to know how many valuable resources you will be providing to improve literacy!
Spread the word
Have a go. Join in. I personally think it’s a great idea and will be donating a number of my books. Why not go through your books and decide what you can give?
Happy International Book Giving Day!