If your kids ring Rebecca Morgan’s door on Halloween, they’ll score a book instead of candy. She has been handing out books since 1995. Her modest idea, to offer something besides candy, has become an international movement.
It started as a way to give something better than candy as Halloween treats. At a library book sale she hit on the idea. She could buy used children’s books for about the same price as candy and give them out instead.
The thought came naturally to the best-selling author of business books. She bought the books, sorted them into age levels, and put them in boxes so kids could choose their own.
Morgan wanted her good idea to spread so in 2009 she contacted Greg Evans, the cartoonist who creates the popular “Luann” comic strip. She suggested he have Luann give out books for Halloween treats.
When you see the strips he created, you can see why they rocketed Books for Treats to a whole new level. Media and bloggers featured Morgan’s idea. She created a toolkit for communities and individuals wanting to start their own giveaway.
For someone wanting to embrace the idea, finding inexpensive books is not a problem. There are plenty of places to acquire good, gently used books, including library book sales, garage sales and friends whose children have grown.
With obesity and diet-related diseases raging around the globe, the annual candy spree is an idea that needs to be re-thought. But aside from that, the idea of giving out books to children is just too delicious not to embrace it.
In 2011 the National Confectioners’ Association estimated Americans would be spending $2.3 billion on Halloween candy sales. That’s a lot of sugar being poured into small bodies.
Imagine pouring those dollars into books instead. Now there’s an idea that gives me hope.
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