International Book Giving Day: February 14th

I know what you are thinking…Shoot, International Book Giving Day is only ten days away, and I am totally unprepared!!! In fact, I have never heard of International Book Giving Day and have no idea how to prepare…and furthermore I could have sworn that February 14th was Valentine’s Day!

First, relax. You totally have time to celebrate International Book Giving Day. Let me explain what International Book Giving Day is.

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

We celebrated International Book Giving Day last year as a family by exchanging books with each other. This year, recognizing that we are blessed with books, we want to dedicate the holiday to getting books in the hands of others. It would be fantastic if you would join us!

Three Ways to Celebrate International Book Giving Day:

  • Give a book to a friend or relative;
  • Wrap up a box of children’s books that your kids have outgrown and get them in the hands of children who could really use a book or two; or
  • Leave a good book in a waiting room or lobby.

1. Give a Book to a Friend or Relative. 

Is there a child in your life who would enjoy receiving a book on Valentine’s Day — I mean International Book Giving Day? In lieu of or in addition to a card or box of chocolates, choose a good book from a bookstore or public library. Do not underestimate the value of a library book lovingly selected and wrapped in pretty paper.

2. Donate a Book. 

Wrap up a box of children’s books that your kids have outgrown and get them in the hands of children who could really use a book or two. Donate your books to your local second hand store, library, children’s hospital, or shelter.

For those of you in the United States, another fantastic organization to donate your books to is Books for Africa. Books for Africa collects, sorts, ships and distributes books to children in Africa. Books for Africa accepts gently used books that are 15 years old or newer and are relevant to an African reader. Boxes must weigh less than 50 lbs each. See the Books for Africa website for more information about which books Books for Africa will and will not accept.

Books can be shipped to:

Books for Africa Warehouse-Atlanta
2971 Olympic Industrial Drive SE, Suite B
Smyrna, GA 30080

Here is a video about Books for Africa’s work:

For those of you in the UK, consider donating your gently used books to books to The Book Bus or Pelican Post. The Book Bus and Pelican Post work to get books to children in Africa and South America.

3. Leave a good book in a waiting room or lobby.

The seed for International Book Giving Day was planted when I was sitting in a Great Clips waiting room reading one of their three horrendously bad children’s book to my kids for the umpteenth time. This, I thought to myself, is a missed opportunity. There are many waiting rooms where kids, stuck with nothing to do, would be happy to pick up a good book if one were available.

First, pick a good waiting room… We are looking for a book desert — a waiting room where young kids are stuck sitting with little to do, and there are few to no good books.

Next, pick a good book… The goal here is to spread the love of reading to kids, so choose a fun book, nothing controversial.

Lastly, deposit your book covertly or overtly in your waiting room of choice.

My son and I covertly depositing a George and Martha book in the aforementioned waiting room. We wrote “Great Clips” in the front cover so that folks would know that the book was not mistakenly left there. We also realized that the waiting room where my husband works is a book desert. We are addressing the issue.

Ready. Set. Pick one of these three ways to celebrate International Book Giving Day, and go!

Please, help us get new, used, or borrowed books in the hands of as many kids as possible this February. Spread the word:

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25 Responses to International Book Giving Day: February 14th

  1. Awesome! Its truly awesome paragraph, I have
    got much clear idea about from this paragraph.

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  3. Abbey S. says:


    This is such a great idea (and we have all of the excellent books in photo except one-great picks!). Caroline and I will be donating books to the “free” table at her pre-school for families to pick up. We also donate a book on her birthday instead of bringing edible treats. This year it will be my *all time* favorite children’s book since I was two years old, A Birthday for Frances.

    I’ll spread the word!


  4. lilyooi says:

    Great idea! We will join this meaningful day.Thanks for the info!

  5. Mary says:

    Hi Amy! I just gave you a Liebster Award because I love your blog! Zip over here to my blog and check it out:

  6. Rachel says:

    Thank you for this post! You can donate a book to low-income children without access to a school library in our nation’s capitol by visiting EnjoyReading is a brand new 501c3 organization serving children and families who need access to books most in our nation’s capitol.

    Children at Washington, DC’s lowest performing elementary school will have the opportunity to borrow the book you donate and read at home with their families!

    Donating is easy online on our homepage!


  7. Anonymous says:

    What a great idea! I donate autographed copies of a lot of my books, but I’ll make February 14th a special donation day! I also just cleaned out my study, and I have a huge box of kids’ books all ready to donate to a good cause. Thanks for making February 14th such a special day!

  8. Becky says:

    Hi Is thish your own idea Amy…I love it!

    • Amy says:

      My 7-year-old son made up this holiday last year. He wanted to have an exciting holiday to celebrate in between Christmas and Easter.

      Now that it is out there, feel free to make this your holiday (and your super good cause) too. No need to cite me on this one. We would love to have as many people as we can from around the world helping to get new, used, and borrowed books in the hands of kids this month.

  9. Khadija says:

    Thanks Everybody; This is the first time I heard of International Book Giving Day on 14th February. But it’s nice to meet with Valentine’s Day for whom the BOOKs are their live and love!

    Khadija Muhsin Ali
    Senior Library Services Officer-Dubai Public Library
    Tel: +971 4 2262788 – EXT:249
    Fax: +971 4 2266226
    Mobile: 0097150-5640465
    P.O. Box 115222 Dubai UAE

    • Amy says:

      Thanks so much for you comment! Do you have recommendation for a reputable organization in or near Dubai working to get books in the hands of kids — in addition to public libraries? What actions would you and others in Dubai be most likely to take to get books in the hands of kids?

  10. Lisa Nolan says:

    Great idea! We will give my son’s used books to a local charity thrift store! Also, I pinned you here: on my Worthy Causes & Great Ideas board!

  11. Books are so important to our family, what a great idea to share that importance with others who may not be able to afford their own books. It is almost impossible to give any of our books away because we love having as large a library as possible but I am sure that we can manage to spare a few.

    • Amy says:

      It goes without saying that books are a big part of our lives too. It is hard to imagine not having access to books.

      We are starting to outgrow our baby books and could afford to donate those. Also, for this blog, I purchase books to read and consider for booklists that we don’t end up reading regularly. My plan is to finally sift through the kids’ bookshelves and donate books that are not being read. I hope my son will be up for helping me with this.

    • Amy says:

      Head on over here and leave a comment to have your name included on a list of people giving books for International Book Giving Day: Thanks!

  12. I did not know about this, but what a great idea. I will be sure to donate books on Feb 14. There’s a great literacy organization that gives books and tutoring assistance to kids who don’t have books. I will do a pit stop there! Thanks for the info!

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