International Book Giving Day is celebrated annually on February 14. This special day is marked by book enthusiasts around the world as a time to spread their love for books to others, particularly children who might not have easy access to books. Coinciding with Valentine’s Day, International Book Giving Day emphasizes love not just for books but also for giving and sharing with others. It’s a day dedicated to enhancing children’s access to books and fostering a lifelong love of reading.
The initiative for International Book Giving Day encourages everyone to get involved by sharing books with others. Whether it’s through donating to charities that provide books to children, sharing beloved stories with the young ones in your life, or leaving a book in a public place for someone to find, the day is about making books accessible to as many children as possible. Celebrated in over 44 countries worldwide, this day underlines the universal appreciation for books and reading.
History of International Book Giving Day
The conception of International Book Giving Day dates back to 2012, thanks to Amy Broadmoore, the founder of Delightful Children’s Books and The Curious Kid’s Librarian. Together with Zoe Toft, founder of Playing by The Book, they launched this heartfelt initiative. The following year, Emma Perry, known for her work on the children’s review site My Book Corner and her children’s books, took over the organization of the day’s events. She, along with Catherine Friess of Story Snug, has since been instrumental in promoting the day’s activities and spreading the joy of reading far and wide.
The movement has seen contributions from various creative minds over the years. For instance, the first bookplate for International Book Giving Day was designed by Clara Vulliamy, a renowned illustrator of children’s books. Similarly, the initial logo and header were the work of writer and illustrator Viviane Schwarz. These contributions, along with the efforts of volunteers and participants around the globe, have helped International Book Giving Day grow into a worldwide celebration, reaching over 44 countries, including the U.S., UK, France, Japan, and Nigeria.
Why is International Book Giving Day important?
International Book Giving Day holds significant importance for a variety of reasons. It’s a day that combines the joy of reading with the spirit of giving, making it a unique celebration of literacy and community.
- Promotes literacy among children: By providing children with books, the day helps to instill a love of reading from an early age.
- Encourages generosity and sharing: It teaches the value of sharing with others, especially those who may not have access to books.
- Supports underfunded libraries and schools: Donations on this day can greatly benefit libraries and schools that lack sufficient resources.
- Fosters community spirit: Organizing book exchanges and donations brings communities together for a common cause.
- Helps build personal libraries for children: Every child deserves to have their own collection of books to read and cherish.
- Raises awareness about the importance of books: The day highlights how essential books are for personal growth and education.
- Spreads joy and love for reading: Sharing a book with someone can be a deeply personal and joyful act, spreading happiness through stories.
How to celebrate International Book Giving Day?
Celebrating International Book Giving Day can be as simple or as involved as you’d like. The key is to share your love of books with others, especially children who could benefit from the joy and learning that books bring. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Donate books to children’s hospitals or shelters: These places are often in need of books for young readers. Your donation can bring a lot of happiness to children facing difficult times.
- Leave a book in a public place: Choose a book you love and leave it somewhere it can be found by someone else. Include a note encouraging the finder to read and then re-share the book.
- Organize a book swap in your community: A book swap is a fun way to give books a new home while finding some new reads for yourself. It’s a great way to connect with fellow book lovers in your area.
- Send books to a school in need: Many schools, especially in underprivileged areas, lack adequate resources for their libraries. Research and select a school to send a package of books to.
- Support international book donation organizations: Groups like Books for Africa or The Book Bus work to distribute books to children around the world. Donating to these organizations helps extend your impact globally.
- Gift a book to a friend or family member: Share a book that has been meaningful to you with someone you care about. It’s a personal way to celebrate the day.
- Volunteer at your local library: Libraries often need volunteers for various tasks, including organizing donations or helping with children’s reading programs. It’s a direct way to support book access in your community.
By participating in International Book Giving Day, you’re not only spreading the love of reading but also contributing to a larger movement that values education, literacy, and community engagement.
International Book Giving Day FAQs
Why is International Book Giving Day celebrated on Valentine’s Day?
Celebrating International Book Giving Day on Valentine’s Day underscores the idea of sharing love, not just through traditional gifts like flowers and chocolates but through the meaningful act of giving books. It’s a unique way to combine the celebration of love with the promotion of literacy and reading.
How can I choose the right book to give?
Think about the interests of the person you’re giving the book to. For children, consider age-appropriate books that match their interests or are popular among kids their age. For adults, consider their hobbies, favorite genres, or a book that you personally found insightful.
Can I participate in International Book Giving Day if I don’t have books to give?
Yes! You can participate by volunteering your time to support literacy programs, organizing book collection drives, or even promoting the day on social media to encourage others to give. Every action contributes to the day’s goals.
International Book Giving Day Dates Table
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