Neil Gaiman has established a new Halloween tradition. He’s Neil Gaiman, he can do that sort of thing. Essentially, he has decreed that Halloween should be a book-giving holiday, because there really aren’t enough of those. I agree. You can read about the basic idea here.
So I was thinking…I like books. I like giving people books. I like receiving books. I like the idea of a holiday where people do just that. So here is my own modest proposal based on the All Hallow’s Read idea: oh people of the, interwebs, would you like to exchange books with me? I see this working one of two ways. If only a few people are interested, I propose a one-on-one exchange: I give you a book, you give me a book, everyone is happy. If a whole bunch of people are interested, we make a chain: person X gives person Y a book, person Y gives person Z a book, and so on, until we’ve closed the circle.
Based on the original concept of All Hallow’s Read as proposed by Mr. Gaiman, the book would be horror, or horror-esque, including dark fantasy, crime, mystery, etc. Ideally, the book you chose to give would be one that means something to you – your favorite scary story from when you were a kid, the most recent horror title you read that you just can’t wait to share with the world, the book that really freaked you out and made you sleep with the light on for months – that kind of thing. When you exchange said book, I propose you also include a brief explanation of why it is import to you, because, why not? Ideally, the book would also not be terribly expensive – either purchased used, something from your own library you want to unload, or something purchased new but reasonably cheap – we don’t want to bankrupt ourselves here. Although if someone really wanted to buy me a signed, first edition copy of Ray Bradbury’s A Graveyard for Lunatics, who am I to object? (Of course, looking at it now, the book is incredibly reasonably priced, and far cheaper than it was the last time I looked at it. Excuse me, I have to go to the bookstore now.)
Since I’m just proposing this idea two days before Halloween, the books obviously wouldn’t have to be exchanged on Halloween itself. Also, keep in mind you’d have to be comfortable with the possibility of sharing your contact information with a stranger.
So…anyone interested? If so, leave a comment, or send me an email. Feel free to share this with friends, family, etc. or anyone who you think might be interested. Re-post it, spread the word; the more books the merrier! I’m willing to be the point-person/coordinator for linking people up if there’s an overwhelming interest. Think of it as a large, loosely-connected book club. You might make a new friend, or discover an awesome new author, and you’ll certainly get a free book out of it. Any takers?
And speaking of books (boosting the signal, here) Patrick Rothfuss is organizing his annual Worldbuilders fundraiser to benefit Heifer International, and he’s looking for book donations from publishers, authors, and people in general who have books to give away. Information can be found here.
Finally, your completely unrelated Moment of Zen for the day: this afternoon, I walked out of a wedding rehearsal just in time to watch a horse being lead out of an anatomy drawing class, down a hallway filled with historic casts, amidst a gathering of students in Halloween costumes, and loaded into a freight elevator. I then watched the horse casually walked down the street and into a parking lot. I love working in an art school.