Friday, February 14, 2014

Celebrating International Book Giving Day and Sharing Book Love from The Kid's Co-Op

14 Days of Loving-Kindness: Day 14 - Send Love to an Author/Writer/Librarian for International Book Giving Day 

The obvious choice would have been to focus on my husband or kiddos today (on Valentine's Day), but I knew I'd be doing something loving and kind for them today no matter what. So, I went in a different direction. Inspired by International Book Giving Day, also Feb. 14th, I thought it would be perfect to do something kind for an author or librarian today. We'll be dropping Valentine's Day cards off with our two favorite librarians, and writing a letter to an author telling them why we love their book. Of course, we'll also be participating in International Book Giving Day. 

Wild Thing decided wants to give G'Ma  book, so I expect that we'll make her one today. We also had some wonderful friends send us some fabulous new books recently, so Caterpillar and Wild Thing will each pick a book or two for us to give to a local organization that helps children in need. 

If you're interested in participating in International Book Giving Day, their site offers simple ways to get involved. I also wanted to share this Huffington Post article that features 4 great places to donate books, including an organization that even covers the cost of shipping your books and two organizations for sending books to troops serving overseas.

Donating books is actually something we do regularly, since we like to pass along some of our books when we receive new ones. The most common ways we donate or share books include:
  • Dropping books off at our favorite coffee shop that has a children's book corner
  • Donating them to local thrift stores
  • Sending favorites to friends who are having children
  • Having a small stash of books on hand to give to friends at the end of playdates. (We discovered that his helps with the transition of leaving and with car rides home). 
Sometimes, we have specific recipients in mind. This past summer, a friend, who blogs at Capri + 3, told me of another mother she knew who experienced a terrible house fire that destroyed virtually everything that belonged to her 3 children. I was heading over to see the damage myself and share their story with the hope that others might help out this family in need. 

As I prepared to leave the house, I packed up a bag of apples to take to them and explained to Wild Thing (then 3) where I was going and that the children whose house had caught fire had lost everything. He thoughtfully and carefully selected some books to give them. Of the five books Wild Thing selected, 3 were new and 1 was a major favorite of his, The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle. I let him know that the books would now belong to these other children. I made sure he understood this and gave him a chance to select other books to give instead. However, my explanation only reaffirmed his choice. He wanted those children to have some books that were new and books that he thought were really good. (Confession: it was harder for me to accept his selections than it was for him).

He showed me that day what compassion is all about -- the ability to empathize and act from a place of empathy to care for another. I could tell he really thought about what he would want if he were in that situation. I try to carry that spirit with me now with all of our family giving.

Inspired to give a book to someone today? Any of the books on these lists would make great gifts! 

1 comment:

  1. Happy International Book Day! I love the story of your son choosing really good books to give away, so sweet of him.