So what is All Hallow’s Read?
All Hallow’s Read is a Hallowe’en tradition. It’s simply that in the week of Hallowe’en, or on the night itself, you give someone a scary book.
Scholars have traced its origins as far back as this blog post.
Is this instead of Trick or Treat? Because I don’t want to get egged, and the kids around here are mean.
Not at all. Trick or Treat is Trick or Treat. This is All Hallow’s Read, a great excuse to give someone a book.
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.)
What kind of scary book?
An appropriate one. If you’re giving a kid a scary book, make it a kid-appropriate scary book. You wouldn’t give the same kind of scary book to one person than you would another, any more than one book is right for everyone. People like different things.
Do I have to buy it new?
Obviously, we support bookshops and authors, but more than that, this is about making a holiday tradition of book-giving. So feel free to give second-hand books or books from your own shelves. And feel just as free to buy a beautiful new book from a small independent bookseller, or from online or… look, there’s no wrong way to buy a book. You can even gift it to their Kindle.
How do I choose an All Hallow’s Read book?
If you do not know what scary book to give someone, talk to a bookseller or a librarian. They like to help. Librarians will not mind even if you admit that you are not planning to take out a book, but instead you are going to buy one and give it to someone.
What about the apostrophe in “All Hallow’s Read”?
We are not sticklers for it. In the Twitter hashtag it has to be #AllHallowsRead.
Apostrophise or not. We shall not judge you.
Can it really be that simple?
Not necessarily. It’s All Hallows Read, a tradition we just made up. You can fancy it up as much as you like. Just make sure you give someone a scary book this Hallowe’en…