7 Reasons to Give Books This Holiday Season
Books are the best. They take you to faraway places, and make you feel more at home in the world. They introduce you to new things, and deepen connections with the things you love.
But not everyone has the opportunity to own new books. Over 44 percent of the nation’s children—more than 32 million kids—live in low-income households without access to age-appropriate reading material and educational resources.
This year marks our 5th annual Give Books campaign, that special time of year when we encourage everyone to give books during the holidays. For each pledge, we’ll donate a book through First Book, a nonprofit that sends new books to the schools and neighborhoods where they are needed most. Our goal is to donate 30,000 books, and we need your help to get there.
So how do you pledge? Head over to givebooks.co or use the hashtag #GiveBooks on your favorite social network. We’ll be keeping track throughout the coming months, so please use the hashtag as many times as you want—each use counts as a new book in the hands of a child, and a testimonial to the magic of reading.
To kick off the campaign, we’d thought we’d list out exactly why you should give books.
1. Because it’s the quickest path from the head to the heart.
"I #givebooks because it’s the quickest path from the head to the heart. It’s sometimes difficult to talk directly about life’s daily struggles, but a book helps mediate an expression of concern while keeping the message crystal clear: you are not alone, and somebody really cares about you." —@kjaller
2. Because you should only give gifts you’d like to receive yourself.
"I #givebooks because I only give gifts I’d like to receive myself. I don’t like to give things that will clutter up your house, or junk that will end up in landfill. I don’t want to ask what size you are, and I don’t want to cop out and get you a gift card. I don’t want you to have to buy batteries or have to assemble anything. I like to give gifts that I have some experience with, that we can talk about together. Books fit that criteria. I particularly love to give cookbooks that I have tested out myself and can vouch for. This is one of those cookbooks. I’ve read every chapter and cooked almost every recipe. Trust me when I say it’s a good one."
3. Because reading from a beautiful, well-crafted object is a magical and irreplaceable joy.
4. Because books say “this is who I am” and “this is what I know and love about you.”
"I #givebooks because books say 'this is who I am' and 'this is what I know and love about you.' Love, Loss and What I Wore is a genius little illustrated memoir that filters 50 years of fashion and history through the lens of one woman’s ordinary, beautiful life. Through childhood and teen years, home-sewn skirts and party dresses. Marriage, children, career and divorce. Wedding gown, suit, maternity dress and high-heeled boots. When I give this book, I’m saying 'I love pretty clothes, and I think you’re a snapper dresser.' And 'I’m fascinated by personal stories, and am grateful to be a part of yours.'” –@larastarr
5. Because introducing someone to a book that they have never read is exhilarating.
"I #givebooks because I get such a kick out of introducing someone to a book they've never read, and one that I know will change their life for the better. I always give the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books to parents of young children because I adored them as a child and had such fun reading them to my kids, who loved them just as much as I did. They were written by Betty MacDonald in the 1950s and illustrated by Hilary Knight (of Eloise fame), about a magical little woman who cures children of their bad habits. Each chapter is named for the cure: "The Won't-Pick-Up-Toys Cure", "The Interrupter's Cure", "The Never-Want-to-Go-to-Schooler's Cure". The stories are full of magic, wit, and wisdom, and are delightful to read out loud (which is a good thing because kids want to read these books over and over again) and they really do help parents "cure" their kids of bad habits!"
6. Because special moments in our lives deserve to be celebrated and remembered.
"I #givebooks because special moments in our lives deserve to be celebrated and remembered! I’ve gifted this pregnancy journal to several expecting friends over the last year and immediately picked one up for myself when I found out I was pregnant a few months ago. My mother recently showed me the baby book she kept for me, where she jotted down notes throughout her pregnancy and my first year, and it was such a fun and special moment for us to read through it together. My husband loves reminding me to fill it out—and occasionally pitches in with his own notes—so that we’ll have this sweet keepsake for our little guy, for years to come. And my friends can do the same for their little ones!" –@jujucarvalho22
7. Because you’re giving someone a bit of what it means to be human.
"I #givebooks because when you give a book, you give ideas and inspiration. You’re giving someone a bit of what it means to be human, handpicked for the person you think will enjoy it most. milk and honey is the first poetry book I’ve read that is written by someone who's my age, and its simplicity struck a chord with me. It’s a good poetry book for someone who doesn’t typically read poetry but is interested in starting. As soon as I read it, I immediately bought copies for all of my girlfriends." —@jn_na
So let’s give books this holiday—to our family, our friends, and the children that need them most.
Why do you give books? Share your response in the comments or take it to social media. Check out givebooks.co for more details.
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