Leave it to Neil Gaiman to try and make Halloween an even cooler holiday than it already is.
All Hallows’ Read is a new tradition of horror/scary book giving that Mr. Gaiman is hoping catches on.
“I propose that, on Hallowe’en or during the week of Hallowe’en, we give each other scary books. Give children scary books they’ll like and can handle. Give adults scary books they’ll enjoy. I propose that stories by authors like John Bellairs and Stephen King and Arthur Machen and Ramsey Campbell and M R James and Lisa Tuttle and Peter Straub and Daphne Du Maurier and Clive Barker and a hundred hundred others change hands — new books or old or second-hand, beloved books or unknown. Give someone a scary book for Hallowe’en. Make their flesh creep…” Neil Gaiman
In my humble opinion, it’s a great idea. In this age of ipads and electronic media it’s important not to underestimate the power of the printed page. The way it feels in your hands, the way the pages crease and age, as a bibliophile I appreciate the tactile sensibilities a book holds. My favorite uncle used to gift me books when I was young. Scary, interesting books filled with weird poems and wonderful illustrations. He was a university professor and he taught me the love of reading through the books he gave me. This is how I know it is such an important thing, because I was given that gift. Thanks Neil, for recognizing something so small such as a gift of a book, can mean so much.
What does Neil recommend we read this Halloween?
Stephen King – Carrie, Salem’s Lot, The Stand
James Herbert – The Magic Cottage
Peter Straub – Ghost Story, Mr. X
Clive Barker – Books of Blood, Damnation Game
Joe Hill – Heart Shaped Box
Susan Hill – The Woman in Black
Any Short Story Collection by Edgar Allen Poe, H.P Lovecraft,
or Robert Aickerman.
And For younger readers he recommends:
Roald Dahl – The Witches
Clive Barker – The Thief of Always
Ray Bradbury – The Halloween Tree, Something Wicked This Way Comes
Neil’s complete book recommendation list is available in PDF form at allhallowsread.com
“Science Fiction & Fantasy writer Neil Gaiman put a great idea up on Twitter a few days ago: This year make Halloween All Hallow’s Read. Neil suggests giving someone you love a scary book on the 31st. I think it’s a great idea. It can be one of mine but it doesn’t have to be. Have a great Halloween!” Stephen king