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International Book Giving Day (IBGD) 2013 Blog Hop

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Now that the IBGD fever is gradually dying down, we are inviting people to share their stories about how they celebrated Valentine’s Day now redefined as International Book Giving Day.

Here are the hosts for IBGD:

This blog hop will remain live through March 21st and will be up as a sticky post here in GatheringBooks. For those without blogs, you can share your stories through the Comments section here and the linky that you can see below. You can also share photos via Instagram or Twitter by adding the tag #giveabook. You are also invited to email photos to amy (dot) broadmoore at gmail (dot) com, and the stories will be shared at the International Book Giving Day’s website.

Book Drive in Singapore for Pertapis Children’s Home

I thought that the International Book Giving Day was the perfect excuse to do some community service here in Singapore. Thanks to Twitter and a few colleagues, students, and GatheringBooks readers who were willing to share some book love, we managed to collect quite a number of books to be given as donation to Pertapis Children’s Home. Here are a few books that I managed to ‘gather’ in around two weeks’ time.

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“Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction. No, read in order to live.” 
― Gustave Flaubert

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“Isn’t it odd how much fatter a book gets when you’ve read it several times?” Mo had said…”As if something were left between the pages every time you read it. Feelings, thoughts, sounds, smells…and then, when you look at the book again many years later, you find yourself there, too, a slightly younger self, slightly different, as if the book had preserved you like a pressed flower…both strange and familiar.” 
― Cornelia FunkeInkspell

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This was truly a huge loot. Many thanks and special shout out to Pei Yu for sharing her collection of well-loved books with us. I know that this must have taken a great deal from her. I know how attached I am to my books. Pei Yu’s generosity of spirit is indeed much appreciated. I am positive that the children from Pertapis would view these books as portals to enchantment, a breathing space away from life’s troubles.

“The world was a terrible place, cruel, pitiless, dark as a bad dream. Not a good place to live. Only in books could you find pity, comfort, happiness – and love. Books loved anyone who opened them, they gave you security and friendship and didn’t ask anything in return; they never went away, never, not even when you treated them badly.” 
― Cornelia FunkeInkheart Trilogy: Inkheart, Inkspell, Inkdeath

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Special thanks as well to Santhi who made a Twitter brigade which led to a pretty neat collection of books all over Singapore.

“Man reading should be man intensely alive. The book should be a ball of light in one’s hand.” 
― Ezra Pound

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We received an entire box filled with new treasures from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous. Horrible Science, Horrible History, Geronimo Stilton, Captain Underpants are just a few of the books found in this box of goodness. And yes Emily Gravett’s Spells. May you be blessed a thousandfold for this.

“Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I’ll have a long beard by the time I read them.” 
― Arnold Lobel

My Own Book Donation

Here are the titles that I specifically bought from Bras Basah to be given to the children from Pertapis.

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“When the Day of Judgment dawns and people, great and small, come marching in to receive their heavenly rewards, the Almighty will gaze upon the mere bookworms and say to Peter, “Look, these need no reward. We have nothing to give them. They have loved reading.” 
― Virginia Woolf

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“Books should go where they will be most appreciated, and not sit unread, gathering dust on a forgotten shelf, don’t you agree?” 
― Christopher Paolini

Finally the Books are Ready to be Delivered

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“When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.” 
― Maya Angelou

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“Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.” 
― Mary Ann ShafferThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

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With Madam Haloyah Atan, Administrator from Pertapis Home. Many thanks to my husband for printing these lovely International Book Giving Day shirts.

“The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.” 
― Roald DahlMatilda

Storytelling Time

I read a few books with the children. Such pleasure. What a beautiful beautiful way to spend Valentine’s Day. My eleven year old daughter helped me read out a few parts as well. I read David Ezra Stein’s Because Amelia Smiled and Stars by Mary Lyn Ray and Marla Frazee – the latter they loved unequivocally.

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“A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.” 
― Graham Greene

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“Long before I wrote stories, I listened for stories. Listening for them is something more acute than listening to them. I suppose it’s an early form of participation in what goes on. Listening children know stories are there. When their elders sit and begin, children are just waiting and hoping for one to come out, like a mouse from its hole.” 
― Eudora WeltyOne Writer’s Beginnings

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“People take on the shapes of the songs and the stories that surround them, especially if they don’t have their own song.” 
― Neil GaimanAnansi Boys

Books Looking for a New Home

Similar to Fats’ story (which you can read in full here – and please do take the time to visit, such a beautiful heartfelt narrative), I also left a few books around with little notes saying “Please take me home. I’m free! Happy International Book Giving Day!”

That same day that we delivered the books to Pertapis Home, I also had a mass lecture with more than 160 teacher-students in my institution in the evening. It’s a graduate class on Educational Research and I made sure that I left two books around in the classroom randomly for the taking. I also read oliver jeffers’ the heart and the bottle as my international book giving day and valentine gift to my teacher-students at the end of my lecture.

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Life of Pi by Yann Martel

“A man who tells secrets or stories must think of who is hearing or reading, for a story has as many versions as it has readers. Everyone takes what he wants or can from it and thus changes it to his measure. Some pick out parts and reject the rest, some strain the story through their mesh of prejudice, some paint it with their own delight. A story must have some points of contact with the reader to make him feel at home in it. Only then can he accept wonders.” 
― John SteinbeckThe Winter of Our Discontent

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Paul Theroux’s Saint Jack

“Do not, under any circumstances, belittle a work of fiction by trying to turn it into a carbon copy of real life; what we search for in fiction is not so much reality but the epiphany of truth.” 
― Azar NafisiReading Lolita in Tehran

I also left a few books around: in a fast food chain, my daughter’s school, a waiting shed/bus stop. I am hopeful that my books have found a new home.

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Scarpetta Factor by Patricia Cornwell

“We don’t want to feel less when we have finished a book; we want to feel that new possibilities of being have been opened to us. We don’t want to close a book with a sense that life is totally unfair and that there is no light in the darkness; we want to feel that we have been given illumination.” ― Madeleine L’EngleWalking on Water

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The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World by e.l. konigsburg

“You forget everything. The hours slip by. You travel in your chair through centuries you seem seem to see before you, your thoughts are caught up in the story, dallying with the details or following the course of the plot, you enter into characters, so that it seems as if it were your own heart beating beneath their costumes.”
― Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

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Lloyd Alexander’s Book of Three

“We don’t need to have just one favorite. We keep adding favorites. Our favorite book is always the book that speaks most directly to us at a particular stage in our lives. And our lives change. We have other favorites that give us what we most need at that particular time. But we never lose the old favorites. They’re always with us. We just sort of accumulate them.”
― Lloyd Alexander

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The Picador Book of Contemporary Chinese Fiction edited by Carolyn Choa and David Su Li-Qun

“What better occupation, really, than to spend the evening at the fireside with a book, with the wind beating on the windows and the lamp burning bright…Haven’t you ever happened to come across in a book some vague notion that you’ve had, some obscure idea that returns from afar and that seems to express completely your most subtle feelings?”
― Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

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Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

“As you read a book word by word and page by page, you participate in its creation, just as a cellist playing a Bach suite participates, note by note, in the creation, the coming-to-be, the existence, of the music. And, as you read and re-read, the book of course participates in the creation of you, your thoughts and feelings, the size and temper of your soul.” 
― Ursula K. Le Guin

How about you, dear friends, how did you celebrate International Book Giving Day? Please add your links to the linky below.



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9 comments on “International Book Giving Day (IBGD) 2013 Blog Hop

  1. I LOVE Inkheart and Inkspell. Just need to read Inkdeath! :D

  2. Congratulations Myra in everything you did. I didn’t do many things, but did take a pile of books to a shelter for the kids there. You’ve done so much! Glad you had a very good time!

  3. A worthy cause! And I agree: read to live.

  4. Marvelous – so glad you were able to read some of the books with the kids, too. Great job!

  5. What an amazing effort! Wow WOW!

  6. Thanks so much for sharing your story, Myra! It’s wonderful to see all of the books you collected! And, lovely to see that you spent part of Valentine’s Day reading stories with kids. Where did you get your t-shirts!? -Amy

    (Be sure to add a link to this post about how you celebrated to our blog hop.)

  7. LOVE the quotes in this post and yes, what an incredible effort! Feel privileged to have played a small part. And now I want to go to Bras Basah, and free some books too!

  8. […] we were able to gather up quite a number of books here in Singapore and I was able to donate a box-full of books to Pertapis Home. I also did a storytelling session with the kids there, as you can see in the photo […]

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