Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Modest Proposal (that doesn't actually involve eating anyone)

I was on a flight home last night, and I thought,

You know, there aren't enough traditions that involve giving books.

There's World Book Day, which grew out of Don Quixote Day/Cervantes Birthday/St George's Day in Spain, where roses and books are given, but really, we need some more instant traditions that involve the giving of books, the kind that spread all over the world.

And then I thought,

Hallowe'en's next weekend...


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...

Give a scary book.

If you don't know what kinds of books there are, or what would be appropriate for the person you're giving a book to, talk to a bookseller. They love to help, most of them. (The ones that don't tend not to be booksellers for long.) Talk to librarians. (Do not plan to give away their books though, unless they are having a library sale.)

That's it. That's my idea.

Scary book. Hallowe'en.

Who's with me?


(And for those of you who protest that, honestly, you need no excuse to give books as gifts, and you do it all the time, and it comes to you as naturally as breathing -- well, that's wonderful, and I'm glad. Think of this as your chance to spread books to people to whom you might not normally give books, or to receive books you might otherwise never read.)


(Also for those of you who think that it's not proper blog post unless it has Dog Photos: Here are four photos by the Birdchick from today: one of Cabal, two of Lola, and one she took of me down by the beehives getting silly with the smoker.)

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