Happy International Book Giving Day!

You might already have been wished Happy Valentines Day, but maybe I am the first to wish you a Happy International Book Giving Day! This takes place on 14th February each year and aims to get books into the hands of as many children as possible. If you’d like to help celebrate you could give a book to a friend or family member, leave a book in a waiting room for children to read, or donate a used book, in good condition, to a local library, hospital or shelter. If you don’t have a suitable book to hand, there are many charities such as Book Aid International which would welcome your support.

I’ve also just found out today about a Crowdfunder to set up an international Directory of Independent Publishers. The founders want to make it possible for readers to discover exciting new titles, for writers to discover publishers that align with their interests, and for publishers to reach them.

I’ve enjoyed the gift of reading all my life and I want to pass it on. These two initiatives are a great way to do that.

International Book Giving Day

IBGDWhat is International Book Giving Day? It takes place on 14th February each year and aims to get books into the hands of as many children as possible. Some facts:

  • Most children in developing countries do not own books.
  • In the United Kingdom, one-third of children do not own books.
  • In the United States, two-thirds of children living in poverty do not own books.

To support the day, you could give a book to a friend or family member, leave a book in a waiting room for children to read, or donate a used book, in good condition, to a local library, hospital or shelter. You can download book-plates from the site to include in your gift.

There are also numerous charities that work year round to give books to children. Ones I like are:

In the past I’ve sold an old banger and donated the (meagre) proceeds to Book Aid, collected books for Brownies, and taken part in an international book swap. This year, I’m supporting the Norfolk Children’s Book Centre which is acting as a focal point for sending books to the refugee camp in Dunkirk.

Happy Book Giving!

Journey’s end

In 1993 my mother-in-law bought a new car, a VW Polo, and then died very suddenly a month or so later. It seemed sensible to keep it, given the instant depreciation in value a new car has when it leaves the showroom, so we did. Now, I’m not interested in cars and I don’t like driving much – a car is just a box to get me from A to B with as little trouble as possible. However, I have taken a sort of inverse pride in this old Polo which has kept going for 19 years, has only broken down on me once and hardly ever needed anything major done to pass its MOT. For most of its life it has been a second car, so it also has the incredibly low mileage for its age of 71000. Despite all that, today I waved it off, with a tear in my eye, to the car breakers. My Dad has recently given up driving and I have taken over his car, which has 4 doors and is therefore easier to get elderly passengers in and out of, and the Polo is now surplus to requirements.

My original plan was to use a company which collected old cars for scrap and donated the proceeds to the charity of your choice. Because it was close to International Book Giving Day, I selected Book Aid International. However, the pick up arrangements proved problematic, and in the end I used a local firm and donated the proceeds (such as they were) to the charity direct. Here’s the poor old car just before it went – at least, being in full working order, it was driven away and didn’t have to suffer the final indignity of being towed.

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I have to say well done Volkswagen. They certainly knew what they were doing when they made this one.