Culture Street

By Sophia Whitfield

International Book Giving Day is a wonderful opportunity to share your love of reading with children in need.

For a number of years I have spent time with a son in various hospitals in Sydney. A book is a precious gift in such circumstances. When a child is gravely ill the familiar voice of a parent or loved one reading is reassuring escapism from the distress of a hospital stay.

So this Thursday, as well as celebrating Valentine’s Day, bring a smile to a child’s face by giving away a new or used book.

1. Give a Book to a Friend or Relative.

Celebrate International Book Giving Day by giving a child a new, used or borrowed book.

2. Leave a Book in a Waiting Room or Lobby.

Choose a waiting room where children are waiting and there are few to no good books available. Purchase a good book, and deposit your book covertly or overtly in your waiting room of choice. The goal here is to spread the love of reading to kids, so choose a fun book, nothing controversial.

3. 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. Alternatively, donate your books to an organisation working internationally to get books in the hands of children.

Books for Africa 

Room to Read

Book Aid International

The Book Bus

Indigenous Literacy Foundation

Pratham Books




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