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What's better than Valentine's Day? International Book Giving Day, obviously.

By EMMA PERRY

It’s the middle of February 2013.

Chocolate eggs have been glaring menacingly at me from supermarket shelves from the moment I finished my Christmas turkey. But that’s not bothering me … I never say no to chocolate.

That sickly pink and red is everywhere. And I mean everywhere. That bothers me!

Everything you can think re shaped into, yep, a heart. Valentine’s Day. My eyes start to roll backwards before I start to remember … this year is going to be different.

I know it. I’m prepared this year.

I’ve sorted out the ones we’re finished with. We are ready to let go. I’ve also carefully selected some beautiful, shiny new ones.

My printer has gone crazy. It’s under pressure to churn out the beautifully crafted labels, all from the hands of generous people much more artistically gifted than me.

NOW I’m ready.

Clutching my piles of supplies I head to my car and bundle them in. I’m off.

First stop the local doctors.

I feel a little bit circumspect I have to say. I’m sneaking in. I have no appointment. I hover around the low table in the corner of the waiting room. It’s forlorn, and not very appealing for little ones. I hastily bustle my piles on to the table, stand up and make a swift exit.

Next stop … a beautiful playground. It’s deserted at the moment which makes me feel a little less conspicuous. I tuck one into a bright red play tunnel, one on top of the slide ….

I’m getting into this now!

One goes on to the empty swing seat. I hop in my car and make my way to another playground – ooo, plenty of opportunities here! Bouncy cars, tyre swings, climbing frames & walls. I tuck one into each tempting space.

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THIS is how to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Share the love of books!

Yep – gift a book to a child on February 14th.  The only limit is your imagination.

I adorned my books with bookplates designed exclusively for International Book Giving Day. I fixed ‘Take me home’ notes to the front and left my books for children to discover … all over the place.

On a day synonymous with love, share the love of books with a child & take part in International Book Giving Day.

Why?

The benefits of reading, of establishing it as a habit & pleasurable activity are well documented. Endless studies and research projects consistently report similar findings – reading is a gift, the benefits are enormous.  The problem is that not all children have access to books.

Gift books this Valentine’s Day and take part in this truly international phenomena!  Help a local, national or international charity put books into the hands of the children who need them most. Donate to a local school or playgroup.

Events are taking place across the globe. From Hungary to USA. From the Philippines to India, New Zealand and of course, Australia.

Join the likes of Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton. Wendy Orr & Peter H Reynolds. Dub Leffler & Marc Martin. All of whom have pledged their support of International Book Giving Day.

So what are you waiting for?

Register your support of International Book Giving Day 2014 right here, we can’t wait to have you on board!

A wonderful plethora of goodies await you here, along with plenty of ideas and suggestions to get you started.

Follow the latest news on Twitter @bookgivingday.

Emma Perry is a freelance book reviewer & founder of the popular My Book Corner, a children’s book review and online book price comparison website. An energetic supporter of International Book Giving Day, started by Amy Broadmoore in 2011, Emma is enthusiastically clutching the mantel that was passed on to her this year. At this time of year she can be heard muttering those three little words to anyone who will listen to her … ‘GIVE A BOOK.’

Will you be getting involved with International Book Giving Day? 

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