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Forget the chocolates; buy a book! It's International Book Giving Day 2019

14 February 2019

February 14th has long been a day for romantics to exchange gratuitous gifts and sappy sentiments, but a new tradition has recently taken the world by storm – Valentine’s Day is now also International Book Giving Day. The initiative has taken off in more than 30 countries across the world, and was started in response to the fact that so many children worldwide do not have access to books.

It’s a common misconception that this is a problem faced only by children in developing countries – and these children are certainly among the worst affected – but what may surprise many people is that some of the world’s wealthiest countries also struggle to ensure that children have sufficient access to literacy materials. For example, around one-third of children in the UK do not own books.

Not only is the joy of reading a delight that every child deserves to experience, but increasing literacy at a young age will also increase the lifelong prospects of children from developing countries and underprivileged backgrounds alike, meaning that books are a hugely vital resource. So put a smile on the face of a child this February 14th and help to change the world, one book at a time.

Top 5 ways to make sure your book donations reach a child in need:

  1. Donate to a charity that specialises in children’s literacy such as Room to Read, Indigenous Literacy Foundation or Book Aid International.
  2. Donate a book directly to a library, school or kindergarten in a rural or underprivileged area.
  3. Donate a book directly to a children’s hospital or children’s ward of a hospital, or simply leave it in the waiting room in one of these places.
  4. Give a book to a friend or family member in need.
  5. Post a box of previously-loved books to an overseas orphanage or children’s home.

3 handy hints for picking the most suitable books to donate:

  1. Reading should be a positive experience, so choose books with fun storylines and bright pictures for younger readers.
  2. If you are donating your book to a stranger, avoid anything with intense or controversial themes.
  3. When sending your donations overseas, put some thought into the types of characters and themes that children from the destination country might relate to.

At Hinkler, we love to share our love for books with others all year round, so we often donate products to select charities to benefit people in need. In honour of International Book Giving Day 2019, we have donated a box of books to the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation.