Share the Love of Books this February

We all know that Valentine’s Day falls on the 14th February each year, but were you aware that is also when International Book Giving Day takes place?

That’s right, it’s a day to not only share the love with one another, but to also share the love of books with children across the world.

Started in 2012, International Book Giving Day is a 100% volunteer initiative aimed at increasing children’s access and enthusiasm for books and to get them into as many small hands as possible!

Shockingly, a report last year by the National Literacy Trust detailed that 1 in 5 children in England do not own any books of their own and suggests the current cost-of-living crisis could harm literacy levels, with 51% of parents saying books are simply too expensive.

The percentage of children between the ages of five and eight who do not have a book of their own at home has risen by 1.9% since before the pandemic and is now at its highest point since 2019.

Owning books is integral to encouraging children to get into regular reading habits. Research has shown that reading in schools does not necessarily provide motivation to read outside of the classroom, and that more is needed to increase confidence and frequency of reading for leisure in our youngsters.

Increasing literacy levels is more important than ever, and the long-term effects of low literacy levels includes being limited with what you can achieve at school, how you are received and can approach the job market as well as even affecting your future physical and mental health.

This February, you can get involved by:

  • Gifting a book to a friend’s child or family member
  • Leave a book in a waiting room for children to read
  • Donate gently used books to a local library, hospital or shelter
  • Organise a local book swap
  • Donate to organisations that distribute books to children both nationally and internationally

Children who own a book of their own at home are six times more likely to read above the level expected for their age. More than that, it offers a chance for children to learn new things, wind down and relax away from screens, as well as feel happier by experiencing escapism into exciting new worlds.