“A book is a dream you hold in your hand.”

-Neil Gaiman

I couldn’t agree more, which is one reason that I absolutely LOVE the SpReAd the Love Children’s Book Challenge.  Books have always been a big part of my life.  I’ve been an avid reader since childhood and I chose a profession that can be decidedly bookish in nature.  My bookshelves overfloweth!  Not surprisingly, my kids also have tons of books…the one thing that I almost never refuse to purchase when asked.  Each of them has a mini library ranging from childhood favorite picture books to age appropriate (and inappropriate – hard to find age appropriate books for a nine year old who reads at the high school level – MiniMe is currently reading Divergent) books of both the fiction and non-fiction variety.

In addition to being active readers, both of my kids are emergent writers with huge imaginations.  It’s no wonder that the thought of children without access to books is heartbreaking to me.  For kids whose real lives are full of far too many, far too adult realities, a book really can be a dream.  A paperback means to escape from that reality and immerse in imagination for awhile.  The SpReAd the Love Children’s Book Challenge helps make this possible.  My donations this year are a childhood favorite and a slightly sinister selection of award winners which I dropped off this week.

Here’s a really cool bonus that I stumbled on last year…a way to get “more bang” for your donated books:


From March 1-31, Half Price Books (which has locations in several US states) will match donations of children’s titles book for book.  The Half Pint Library Book Drive culminates in Giveaway Events held in the month of April where the books are given to schools and non-profit organizations.  It’s a great event that puts books into the hands of children who might not otherwise have them.  MiniMe had the day off of school on Monday (for some undetermined reason) so we (MiniMe, sleepover buddy and me) headed off to drop off our books.  My selections plus a few more that MiniMe and Showbiz parted with, added up to 20 books…which became 40 books when we placed them into the donation bin.  It’s a good feeling for sure!  The links will take you to more information about the drive.  If you are close to a Half Price Books location, it’s definitely worth taking a look.

I also really dig their mascot…what is that?  A bookworm?!

“A house that has a library in it has a SOUL”….Plato: SpReAd the Love Children’s Book Challenge Revisited

Yesterday was March 31st, and it was a glorious day in my part of the upper Midwestern United States…approaching 60F (today it snowed!)  Weather aside, it was also the last day for me to capitalize on the Half Price Books Half Pint Library Book Drive (HPBHPL?!  Hardly an acronym that flows off the tongue is it?).  In the month of March, Half Price Books was matching all donations of new and gently used children’s books which will be distributed to qualifying local non-profit organizations this weekend.  Of course, never one to be too hasty, I let the entire month slip away from me, so MiniMe and I had to haul a** to bring our donations in yesterday afternoon.

Ready, set...DONATE!

Ready, set…DONATE! (she is her own stylist…I just man the iron!)

In addition to the books we featured here during the SpReAd the Love Challenge, Mini Me also cleaned out her bookshelves so that our total number of books donated was 24.  With Half Price Books matching us book for book, that means we helped to put 48 books into the hands of kids in our area.  Not a bad days work!


Tempus Fugit: SpReAd the Love Update

Good Lord!  Where did the last week go I wonder?  Between drama at work and a crushingly busy weekend followed by parent-teacher conferences for my oldest last evening, I completely lost track of time and updating everyone on our SpReAd the Love progress.

celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday March 2 by donating a book to a needy child

celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday March 2 by donating a book to a needy child

The book challenge has gotten underway with posts from Trudy Brasure and Servetus on favorite children’s books.  I really do need to get going on this…I’ve been re-reading my selection.  I will also have a guest post from my daughter MiniMe who, I think, has made her final book selection, but that may have changed since yesterday.  There is still time to write a post if you’d like, of if you’d rather not, you can always get in on the act by simply donating a children’s book where it can be of use.  I also found a fantastic triple dip opportunity for many in the US….

Half Price Books has stores throughout many parts of the US

Half Price Books has stores throughout many parts of the US

This means if you choose to donate to the Half Pint Library, Half Price Books will match your donation, and if you let us know about it, we’ll count it as well and money will be donated to Richard Armitage’s Just Giving charities – that’s a lot of impact for the donation of one small book  🙂

After meeting our first challenge goal in only 6 weeks, we are still steadily tallying kindness from all over and I am confident that we’ll reach our second matching gift donation with kindness to spare.  It’s really clear to me that for many people in this wonderful community, kindness and generosity are a way of life, not something most find needful of credit.  SpReAd the Love’s main goal is to highlight and celebrate the amazing capacity for kindness that so many Armitage fans embody, and if we can raise a little money for some worthy causes in the process,  that much the better.  As of Sunday February 23rd, we’ve recorded 226 kindnesses given or received.

In the spirit of the recently completed Sochi Winter Olympiad, I’ll leave you with a pretty cool Olympic kindess that Jazzy passed along to me

olympic kindness