Monday, February 4, 2013

Interview with Amy Broadmoore

Colin talks to Amy Broadmoore, founder of International Book Giving Day, about this year's celebration, "snowpants hunting," and the trouble with Google search terms. 

International Book Giving Day first launched in 2012. What about that day surprised you, and what are you hoping to see or do come round two? 

I was surprised by how neat and moving it was to connect with people from around the world giving books on the same day.

When I proposed that people celebrate International Book Giving Day, I liked the vision of people from around the world giving books to children for Valentine's Day, leaving books in waiting rooms that lacked good books, and scouring their bookshelves for books that were not being read and finding them a better home. I did not realize how neat it would be for those of us celebrating from all parts of the globe -- from Australia, Turkey, India, the U.K., Ireland, South Africa etc. -- to exchange photos and stories of how we celebrated.

Last year, people exchanged photos and stories via Twitter and via International Book Giving Day's website. You can see some of the photos from last year's celebration here:

This year, we are looking for new ways for people to connect and encourage each other to give books to kids. We are inviting people to plan Beers for Books events in their communities where they can get together, drink beer and raise money for Room to Read. We are also encouraging people to connect with celebrants from around the world. If you give a book to a child for International Book Giving Day, you are invited to take a picture and share it in one of two ways: 1) add the hashtag #giveabook to an Instagram photo, or 2) email me a photo at amy dot broadmoore at gmail dot com for me to share at International Book Giving Day's website. For those of you on Twitter, it is also fun to connect with people celebrating from around the world via Twitter. (See @bookgivingday, #giveabook or #IBGD[location].)

Barney Saltzberg was also moved by the experience of giving books to children on the same day that others around the world were doing the same. When I first invited him to celebrate, his response was something along the lines of: "sure, but I always give books to kids." At the end of International Book Giving Day, Barney Saltzberg sent me this note and poem:

"It was inspiring to be a part of book giving day! I have given many books away over the years, but somehow, yesterday shed a new light on the process. This little drawing and poem zipped out of me last night. 

Thanks for including us.



In addition to founding International Book Giving Day, you created the website delightfulchildren' which makes a point to say that those searching for "moose ears" and "pictures of 2 multicultural kids arguing" will undoubtedly be disappointed by what Delightful Children's Books has to offer. If I can't get "snowpants hunting," what can I expect? 

At Delightful Children's Books, I share picture book recommendations. The website is aimed at parents and teachers who would like to find good picture books to share with students without reading lengthy reviews. I share a lot of booklists -- my favorite picture books on a variety of themes from friendship to trees to jazz music. I make a point of recommending a wide variety of books, including wonderful books that have been around for awhile as well as newly published books that publishers will send me.

I've always thought it would be fun to stand outside a Barnes & Noble and give books to those leaving with stuffed toys and frappuccinos. Assuming that's not allowed, where else can I think about donating books on February 14th?

There are a variety of ways that you can celebrate International Book Giving Day. You can give a book to a child you know as a Valentine's Day gift, perhaps a child, grandchild, neighbor or a child you mentor. You can leave a good book in a waiting room where children are waiting for a haircut or waiting to see the doctor and there are few or no good books available. You can donate a book to a local library, shelter or children's hospital or to an organization that distributes books to children in need, such as Books for Africa (

For those who are interested, we have stickers and bookplates designed by illustrators available to either download and print for free at our website ( or to purchase at our Zazzle store ( We created the stickers especially for those of you interested in depositing books secretly in waiting rooms. You can stick an International Book Giving Day sticker on a book to let people know that the book was left intentionally.

Find out how you can celebrate at Common Good Books!

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