Donating books at Easter time has become a tradition for south-west families wanting to give others the gift of literacy.
Collins Booksellers has again partnered with Bethany Community Support to collect and distribute children's books as part of its Eastertime Book Bunnies Appeal.
The annual appeal launched last week and runs until April 12, with customers encouraged to purchase a book instore to donate.
Collins store manager Michaelie Clark said any children's book, ranging from baby to teenage titles could be purchased for children aged 0 to 17 years. She said books varied in price and could be donated for less than $10.
Collins will cover 25 per cent of the purchase price and match each donated book with another title from the store.
Ms Clark said the appeal, which has been running for five years, was well supported and couples opted to forego chocolate themselves and donate a book in their name instead.
Last year hundreds of books, worth thousands of dollars, were donated.
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"Seeing kids come in with their parents to buy a book for another child and to see them excited about it, is really nice," Ms Clark said. "It's become an Easter tradition for some families.
"It's getting a gift for them as well as helping with learning and literacy," Ms Clark said. "Receiving a book might encourage parents, grandparents or family members to sit down with the children or for the children to sit together and read a book," Ms Clark said.
Bethany Community Support south-west manager Danielle Lavithis said it was a great initiative, especially post-lockdowns when children were unable to attend face-to-face classroom lessons.
"There was a period of time where so many people were experiencing difficulties during COVID-19," Ms Lavithis said. This appeal helps to assist families affected by the pandemic when a lot of children missed out on quality learning.
"We know often people who have other financial responsibilities don't have the opportunity to purchase books for their children," Ms Lavithis said.
She said reading was powerful and children who were exposed to words from an early age experienced many long-term benefits.
"It helps with cognitive ability and preparing kids for school and then there's the bonding with the parent or sibling who reads the books," Ms Lavithis said
"For older children it encourages creativity, imagination and provides escapism. Reading's very important, particularly in this digital age, we know it's important but some people can't afford it," Ms Lavithis said.
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