All Hallow's Read: a Campaign to Give Trick-or-Treaters Scary Books

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Halloween is about dressing up, feeling spooky, and eating candy. A new campaign started by author Neil Gaiman wants to add another item to the list of traditional Halloween activities: reading scary books. The All Hallow's Read website explains its mission: "in the week of Hallowe'en, or on the night itself, you give someone a scary book." The site offers a recommendation for how to get trick-or-treaters to find books as fascinating as candy:

You can give out scary books or comics to trick or treaters on Hallowe'en if you want to, obviously. (We recommend looking the child in the eye and saying, "Take it. Read it. Trust me... around here... a book can be... safer than candy." Then chuckling to yourself, as if remembering something unfortunate that happened to some of the local children only last year.)

Not surprisingly, scary writer superstar Stephen King approves of the project. He wrote on his blog earlier this week:

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!

Interested in participating? May we suggest handing out copies of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark? Or anything by Edgar Allan Poe? And there's always the classic Washington Irving short story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" (it's worth reading even if you've already seen the Johnny Depp movie version).

Learn more at the All Hallow's Read website.

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Eleanor Barkhorn is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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