A few years ago, Neil Gaiman suggested a “modest proposal” that became All Hallow’s Read, a tradition in which we give people scary books to read for Halloween. Seems simple enough, right? And while it may not yet be as popular as, say, trick-or-treating or giving people presents at Christmastime, it has certainly caught on with a few people, and seems to be especially popular–perhaps unsurprisingly–among authors, editors, and publishers.
Here at Clockpunk Studios, we love books, and we love to read. After all, all of us are writers in our own right, and since most of our clients are writers, too, we really believe in the importance of reading. Partly because it’s how we all make our living, but more because we wouldn’t have gotten into being writers in the first place if we didn’t love books, and really believe in their power to change lives. We also love Halloween and scary stories, so we’re big fans of the idea of All Hallow’s Read.
Maybe the best part comes with the idea of being able to share something you love with someone else who will love it, too. So if you’re interested in participating in All Hallow’s Read, find some good, age-appropriate scary books, and give them to the people you care about this Halloween! Share some of your favorite scary stories with some of your favorite people, or with total strangers through donations to your local library or other charity programs. Need help finding good scary books for the people on your list? Last year, Harper Collins put together a list of suggested All Hallow’s Read titles for kids of all ages, but kids aren’t the only ones who enjoy scary books, and there are plenty of great lists of scary books all over the Internet as we get closer to Halloween.
If your local library isn’t already doing something for All Hallow’s Read, maybe mention it to them. Libraries are generally all for anything that will encourage people to read, so chances are they’ll jump at the opportunity to do something suitably fun and spooky for the Halloween season.
Many people already have yearly reading traditions around the Halloween season. For some it’s Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree. For some it’s Roger Zelazny’s A Night in the Lonesome October. And for some it’s probably Neil’s own Graveyard Book. Whatever your Halloween tradition, why not add another one to it and pick up a few scary books for the people on your list this year? After all, there’s no such thing as a bad excuse to buy more scary books…