It's almost Halloween, which means for us bibliophiles it's a time for reading horror novels and celebrating the Neil Gaiman created holiday All Hallow's Read! It's the very best of the scary and the literary.
Way back in 2010 (eons ago) Neil Gaiman wrote a blog post about how there aren't enough holidays revolving around the giving of books and since Halloween was right around the corner, All Hallow's Read was born. The premise is simple: gift a scary (age appropriate) book on October 31st.
While it would be fun to give every trick-or-treater a book, it also runs the risk of being not very cost effective so here are some tips for having a fiscally responsible All Hallow's Read.
Money Saving Tips:
1. Save and stock up on comic books from Free Comic Book Day held the first Saturday every May at your local comic shop.
2. Look up cheap lots on eBay, whether it be your favorite series (Goosebumps shout-out! ) or a wholesale series of horror books.
3. Check out flea markets and garage sales for great finds.
4. Visit library sales. Some have special days where you can fill up a whole bag of books for $5. As an added bonus, you'll be supporting your local library!
The most important thing to do according to Mr. Gaiman is to give age appropriate books. You don't want to be responsible for giving children nightmares- Or do you?
Age Specific Horror Recommendations:
Coraline by Neil Gaiman: frightening tale of a girl who enters a doorway to another world and meets her Other Mother, a woman with button eyes who is almost too perfect. Dun dun dun!
Bunnicula by Deborah Howe: Bunnies generally aren't scary, unless they're vampire bunnies who drain the color from vegetables. Enter Bunnicula. He wants to suck your rutabaga.
Goosebumps by R.L. Stine: The go to horror series for children that covers everything from haunted houses to maniacal dummies and cameras that depict your death.
The Infects by Sean Beaudoin: Modern day zombie novel that reads like a YA Chuck Palahniuk; blood, full of gore, irreverence, and a storyline that is so weird you won't be able to stop reading.
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson: A modern day murderer is recreating the Jack the Ripper slayings and it's not long before Rippermania grips London. Starring ghost hunters, the paranormal, and “Doctor Who” references!
Peeps by Scott Westerfeld: Making vampires cool again! In a world where humanity is rapidly being stricken with a parasite that takes over the host and turns you into a slobbering ravenous Peep, the cause of the disease may be closer than you think.
World War Z by Max Brooks: The ultimate zombie novel, told from multiple perspectives, is at all times horrifying, uplifting and the best how-to guide for the apocalypse out there.
The Radleys by Mark Haig: Your neighbors aren't always what they appear to be. Especially in this slice of life story about a vampire family trying to abstain from blood and avoid their true natures.
John Dies at the End by David Wong: A dangerous new drug called soy sauce allows its users to witness other dimensions and opens up portals to other worlds. Dark comedy and bizarro at their best!
In order to spread the news of the holiday even further, you can download bookmarks and tags to put with your All Hallow's Read selections to share the love of this newly burgeoning holiday.
You can even leave scary picks in public spaces for victims... I mean, others to find, complete with book drop stickers explaining why the book was left behind.
No matter how you spread the word of All Hallow's Read, the holiday love needs to be shared. Use the hashtag #AllHallowsRead, share this blog post, give out scary novels, and most importantly: share the love of reading with the younger generation.
For Quirk Book horror selections, check out:
Tales from Lovecraft Middle School: Professor Gargoyle by Charles Gilman
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After by Steve Hockensmith