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 love planning our own events as well as revealing the book giving day poster!
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.
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.
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.
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.