Emmy Perry - Book Giving Day - Story Snug
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Emma Perry talks about organising International Book Giving Day

International Book Giving Day (IBGD) is an annual event that takes place on February 14th and it’s one of our favourite days of the year! Here at Story Snug we’re delighted to be part of the International Book Giving Day team and as well as helping to spread the word about the day we can’t wait to reveal this year’s new poster in just two days time!

Today we have been joined by organiser Emma Perry who tells us more about International Book Giving Day and how you can get involved.

Hi Emma, thank you for joining us on Story Snug. Can you tell us what International Book Day is and how it all started?

Hi Catherine – thanks for inviting me, I love the chance to chat about books!

#bookgivingday started back in 2012. The idea was conceived by American book blogger Amy Broadmoore and her son, just days before 14th February. They saw an opportunity to get books into the hands of as many children as possible, they rounded up a few online friends – including myself … and it’s grown and grown from there into something truly international.

Why was February the 14th chosen as International Book Giving Day?

Amy and her son love books – it made sense to do something book themed for Valentine’s Day.

What does the organization of International Book Giving Day involve for you?

There’s plenty to keep me busy – finding a lovely illustrator is the big, exciting task. A team of lovely bloggers have been behind #bookgivingday since its inception – they are an important driving force behind the initiative as they help to spread the word and inject their own bookish enthusiasm every single year. I couldn’t manage without them!

Each year International Book Giving Day has a new logo. How is the poster’s illustrator chosen?

Ah yes, the official poster. I adore revealing this each year, and my, we’ve been lucky enough to find some wonderful, wonderful people who’ve generously given their time and creative skills to #bookgivingday. Chris Haughton’s poster was wonderfully vibrant, Anna Walker created a beautiful bookmark as did Gus Gordon, Marc Martin, Tim Budgen … oh, there are many more – you must check them out. Wonderful creations to help people give books on 14th February.

International Book Giving Day poster - Chris Haughton - Story Snug

Could you give us some examples of what people and organisations have done in previous years to celebrate International Book Giving Day?

The creativity and generosity of people from so many different countries leaves me open mouthed with wonder every single year.

Books have been sent to child refugees in Calais, France (thanks to one of our founding members Zoe, Playing By The Book); a new library was created in Cape Town, South Africa by one of our team members; in Uganda the Mpambara-Cox Foundation gifted books to children, for many it was the first time they have been given a book of their own. In 2014 Scholastic Australia went to the Melbourne Children’s Hospital and gifted a book to every child. People continue to be creative in so many different ways, all keen to share the love of books. You can see even more lovely examples here.

Can you give us an idea of how many countries have taken part in activities for International Book Giving Day?

Ok here goes – Nepal, India, Canada, South Africa, UK, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Nigeria, Fiji, Czech Republic, USA, Cambodia, Hungary, Philippines, Brazil, Romania … I think that’s everyone.

How can people reading this blogpost get involved in International Book Giving Day? How and where can people give books?

First – subscribe to the website. We currently have over 11,000 book givers being kept up to date – that is very important.

Second – the only limit is your imagination. Gift books to a local school or nursery, hospital or waiting room. Find an established book charity in your country that you can give extra support to on the day, and maybe beyond. The website itself is chock-a-block full of inspiration, there’s even a guide to running your own Book Swap.

Remember to send us your pics – via social media is great – and we’ll include them in our round up during and after the event. Tell us where you are and what you are up to. Remember to use the hashtag #bookgivingday.

What will you be doing for International Book Giving Day this year?

My absolute favourite way of participating is as follows – I print out heaps of bookmarks and bookplates then tuck them into all the books I plan to give away on #bookgivingday. On 14th February itself we go out as a family and leave the books for people to find – playgrounds, benches, waiting rooms etc. Waiting to see who will collect it is great fun. We’ve learnt to put clear labels on the books – ‘Take Me Home’ – as generally people don’t expect to be given things for free!! The rest of my day is spent collating the photos as they come in, and gasping at peoples’ generosity.

For up to date information about International Book Giving Day you can follow on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. You’ll also find more information on the International Book Giving Day website.

It would also be fantastic if you could share this and any other International Book Giving Day posts on social media to help us spread the word. Don’t forget the hashtag – #bookgivingday.

About Emma

Emmy Perry - Book Giving Day - Story Snug

Emma Perry now lives in Bath, UK having spent a lovely 5 years in Melbourne, Australia. She’s a writer, reviewer, founder of My Book Corner and organiser of International Book Giving Day. She studied English Literature at Kent University and teaches at Primary Schools in her spare time.

Emma’s Blog / Twitter / Facebook

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28 responses to “Emma Perry talks about organising International Book Giving Day”

  1. Debbie avatar

    Hi Catherine, picking up a book to get lost in its pages is one of life’s small pleasures and something every child should be given the change to enjoy. When I was pregnant I remember being excited by the books I could read to my children rather than by cute clothes. To this day my daughter still loves to read, my son not so much anymore. which is a shame.International Book Giving Day sounds the perfect way to spread some book joy.

    Thank you for linking up with #MMBC.


    1. Catherine avatar

      International Book Giving Day is one of my favourite days of the year 🙂

  2. Kim Carberry avatar

    How wonderful! I didn’t know this day existed. What a fantastic idea.

    1. Catherine avatar

      It would be fantastic if you could help to spread the word Kim 🙂

  3. Debbie avatar

    Hi Catherine, what a wonderful thing to do. Books are not so easily accessible to everyone, and the joy a book can bring is priceless. To see the expressions children’s faces as they come across the books that Emma plants must make her feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Proper lovely.

    Thank you for linking up with the #MMBC.


    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s a fabulous initiative. I love Emma’s idea 🙂

  4. Acorn Books avatar

    Love this initiative, looking forward to getting involved! #readwithme

    1. Catherine avatar

      Great to have you on board 🙂

  5. Kate avatar

    Such a great post, getting involved for the first time! eek! #readwithme

    1. Catherine avatar

      I saw your great blogpost this morning! I hope you have a fantastic IBGD 🙂

  6. Kate Holmes avatar

    Had not heard of this so good to know about it and may well subscribe

    1. Catherine avatar

      That would be fabulous 🙂

  7. BookBairn avatar

    So looking forward to this! Last year I had grand plans for IBGD but I was struck down with a nasty viral bug and confined to bed. But it also snowed 6 inches overnight that night so I probably wouldn’t have wanted to go out anyway. Looking forward to making up for it this year. Might link to this post tomorrow if that’s ok? #readwithme

    1. Catherine avatar

      You’re very welcome to link to this post – thank you for helping to spread the word 🙂

  8. Carmela Dutra avatar

    Thank you so much for this excellent article! I’ve been celebrating this day for years, so happy to see how much momentum it’s gaining. One way I will be having a share this year is by partnering up with some fellow authors to host a blog hop, and giveaway for #Bookgivingday.

    1. Catherine avatar

      That’s brilliant Carmela. If you tweet your blog hop with the #bookgivingday hashtag I’ll share it for you 🙂

      1. Carmela Dutra avatar

        Awesome! Thank you so much, Catherine!

        1. Catherine avatar

          You’re welcome Carmela 🙂

  9. Yet Another Blogging Mummy avatar

    Sounds a great idea, although I just took a big boxful of books to the charity shop last week, to make space for kids new Christmas gifts. I did find that the first charity shop didn’t want them, but second was happy with them #readwithme

    1. Catherine avatar

      I love browsing books in charity shops. You can find some real treasures 🙂

  10. Sarah - let them be small avatar

    sounds like a great initiative, I’ve saved the website to take a proper look at it over the weekend x

    1. Catherine avatar

      Hopefully you can find some way of getting involved too, even sharing information about the day is helpful 🙂

  11. Chantelle Hazelden avatar
    Chantelle Hazelden

    I hope to join in with this, nice to know more about how it is all put together! Thanks for sharing with #ReadWithMe

    1. Catherine avatar

      That would be great Chantelle. It would be brilliant if you could tweet about any #bookgivingday events that you take part in 🙂

  12. Sarah MumofThree World avatar

    Wow, what a great idea! I especially love the idea of helping the children in Calais.
    I’ve just given a pile of books to my daughter’s school library, so I guess I did my bit a bit early!

    1. Catherine avatar

      IBGD is a fabulous initiative and it’s growing every year. I’m sure your daughter’s school librarian was really happy to receive your books :o)

  13. Jane avatar

    Thanks, Catherine. I’ve just subscribed to the IBGD website and am busy thinking about fun giveaway opportunities.

    1. Catherine avatar

      Yay! Thanks for your support Jane 🙂