This weekend, over on teh Twitter, Neil Gaiman invented a new Halloween tradition. He’s calling it All Hallow’s Read, and the idea is to give your loved ones a scary book on Halloween Night. His reasoning is simple: there need to be more holidays where people give books. I couldn’t agree more.
(Side note: in Spain, on April 23rd, lovers celebrate St. George’s Day by giving each other books and roses. I would soooooo prefer that to fuckin’ Valentine’s Day.)
The only thing I’d add is that I think you should also take twenty minutes on Halloween evening to read a scary story to your kids, or with your friends, or your family. Everyone reads The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve, which is fine, but Halloween is really a time to share a good bone-shaking horror story that will keep your loved ones awake at night. Bonus points if you write it yourself.
I’m going to adopt this as a Halloween habit and I hope you will too. Here’s what Neil said about All Hallow’s Read on his blog, and here’s a brief response to the idea that ran over on Huffington Post. It ain’t easy to start a new holiday tradition on short notice – we might have to take a couple years to build this one up – but I think it’s worth doing.
Tell me in the comments thread who you’re going to give a book to (comics would count too), and which books you’re going to give. Maybe in the spirit, I’ll give some books away right here, I dunno. (And for the record, I’m figuring on giving books to my three boys, and a few friends… will report back on which ones I settle on)
Finally, five suggestions of my own for All Hallow’s Read gifts:
Good scares for 10-year-olds with a taste for necromancy.
Brainy frights for a 13-year-old who yearns to sleep in a coffin.
Cheerfully morbid spook-show for a person who loves skulls ’cause they’re always smiling.
Lushly written freak-out for the reader you know who thinks horror stories can’t be literature.
Ideal for the horror reader in your life who likes his scary fiction wet and red.