International Book Giving Day – it’s easy to get involved!

posted in: 2. Illustrators and Authors | 18

International Book Giving Day, February 14th, is a day dedicated to getting new, used, or borrowed books in the hands of as many kids as possible.

You choose a book (or more), you choose a recipient (or two) and then you bring the books and the people together – that’s all there is to it! A simple action, but one full of great joy and fun, wrapped up in a bundle of generosity.

Amy, who writes at Delightful Children’s Books, and I are working together this year to try to get as many books in to as many children’s hands as possible. We’re encouraging friends, Romans, Countrymen all to join us in this simple, enjoyable act to spread (y)our love of beautiful books and great stories.

Here are some ways you could celebrate International Book Giving Day:

  • Donate a book to a literacy/reading charity
  • Give a book to a friend or relative
  • Leave a good book in a waiting room or lobby
  • Gift a book to your children’s school library
  • Pass on the baby books you’ve finished with to a local playgroup
  • Leave out a book for a family to stumble across in your favourite child-friendly cafe
  • Buy a book for your local children’s hospital / ward / hospice
  • Borrow a new book for your own children from a library new to you
  • Lend a book to your best buddy to read to their children
  • Get your children to swap a book with a friend

  • As many of you know I collate an annual list of reading/literacy charities. When I published my most recent list, I said I’d donate 50p per comment to the chosen literacy charity of person who made the most helpful comment as to how to make the list more useful. I received 19 comments, so I’ll be donated £10 to Sara’s chosen charity… I’m looking forward to hearing which charity she’ll choose.

    I’ve started work on improving my charity list so now you will be able to find all charities which accept book donations. The list will, in time, be available as a Google spreadsheet, which you will be able to sort by various criteria. In the meantime some charities which accept book donations include:

  • Books for Africa (based in the US)
  • The Book Bus (based in the UK, but works in Africa and South America)
  • Pelican Post (based in the UK, but works in Africa)
  • Give a Book (based and works in UK)
  • Benjamin Andrew Footpath Library (based in Australia)
  • Reading Tree (based in Canada)

  • Please, help us get new, used, or borrowed books in the hands of as many kids as possible this February. You can spread the word by liking International Book Giving Day’s Facebook page, by following @BookGivingDay on Twitter and by encouraging others to celebrate via email, Twitter, Facebook, etc. You can also post the International Book Giving Day badge (on the left) on your website.

    Once you’ve decided what you’re giving to whom, please let us know! I’ll be giving some of our finished-with books to our GP’s surgery, selecting some new books to be put into the book swap at my girls’ school, and sending one book via Give A Book. I’ll be posting the final details of my book gifting on International Book Giving Day’s Facebook page where I hope I’ll see you soon!

    18 Responses

    1. This may sound odd, but when we have books to give away I can put them in a box on the curb. I live in an urban neighborhood with lots of children and passersby will simply choose some books that they want. Once I noticed that a few books I had set out were now in use at the child watch at our local YMCA. That made me so happy!
      Storied Cities recently posted..Panel City: Shouting Out About Books!

    2. In Paris and some other big cities in France, we have “Circul’livre”, the principle is that you can give books (or not), borrow books (it usually takes place in the street, so you have to pay attention to the agenda) and give them back when you have can, so that the books can go to another house.
      here is the blog:

    3. Wow, Storied Cities, that sounds brilliant. I think people here would think a box of books left on the pavement were meant for the recyling van…

      Sophie, I love the sound of Circul’livre! Thanks for sharing.

    4. We have a number of Brailled children’s books to give away so if anyone knows of a child they think may benefit please let me know and I can arrange for a book or two to be sent out.
      sarah zama recently posted..Words Words Words at Selfridges

    5. Becky from babybudgeting

      WE are goingt o take a bunch of books to each of my childrens classes as gifts

    6. I love this idea, and will be participating in it myself. The Four-Year-Old recently donated a bunch of puzzles she was too old for to the children’s section of our library and she was thrilled to see them out on the table being played with the last time we were there.

      Once she got over her residual possessiveness, that is.

      Anyway, I wanted to let you know that I have nominated you for the 7×7 Link Award.
      Shala Howell recently posted..In which I become an Award-Winning Blogger

      • That’s just great news Shala, I’m really pleased to hear you’ll be joining us in celebrating International Book Day! Thanks so very much for the award. I’m honoured! And I look forward to passing it on.

    7. This is such a lovely idea. I am an expat and those in my community often pass on English books to each other when they are no longer needed or have been read in any given household. From time to time one of our former books comes back and my daughter comments ‘didn’t we have that book’!!

      For the Book Giving Day we have just finished translating one of our favourite Japanese books into English to send to our friends in Australia so they can take it to their school library! I hope they like it as much as we do!!!

      • That sounds brilliant achan! What’s the Japanese book? I’d love to hear more about it.

    8. What a wonderful way of sharing the joy of reading! Would certainly like to join in. I have over the course of a year handed over many of our old books to A’s school library. Will use this occasion to pass on some more.:)
      sandhya recently posted..It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…please sir, I want some more!

    9. Hi Zoe, I’m not sure if you know but our blogiversary was also devoted to donating books to disadvantaged public schools in the Philippines last year – we called it the 1:4:1000 initiative (1 year, 4 schools, 1000 books). It was a beautiful (albeit exhausting) experience.

      As I have mentioned to Amy, will also spread the word by doing a blog post about this on Sunday. 🙂
      Myra from GatheringBooks recently posted..AWB 2012 Database

    10. Hi Myra,

      Sorry, I didn’t know about it, but it sounds like a wonderful project. Worth all the effort! Thanks (in anticipation) for spreading the word about Book Giving Day!
      Zoe recently posted..When were you last a princess?

    11. What a fabulous idea! I love the idea of leaving books for people to find. thanks for passing the info on.
      Jo recently posted..Our Candlemas plans.

    12. […] posts to spread the word about International Book Giving Day. Thank you especially to Zoe of Playing by the book, my co-conspirator, who has been putting a lot of effort and energy into promoting International […]

    13. […] but there are plenty of charities that would love to have more books to give – Zoe from Playing by the Book has an extensive list of charities that accept book donations, along with more […]

    14. We’re in! I just wrote a post about it to share the news.
      momandkiddo recently posted..Valentine’s Day: It’s About Book Love

    15. […] that they are promoting International Book Giving Day on the 14th of February (see another post here) and encouraging more people to participate, I knew that we’d do our little part to join in […]

    16. […] but there are plenty of charities that would love to have more books to give – Zoe from Playing by the Book has an extensive list of charities that accept book donations, along with more […]

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