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All Hallows Read Book Exchange 2015

All Hallows ReadAs so frequently occurs (to me least), it’s somehow already October 1st, and I’m not quite sure what fold of space/time allowed it to happen. Like a switch being thrown, the temperature landed firmly in the Appropriate Fall Weather category today. The sky darkened, rain fell, and there was a decided chill in the air. Honestly, there are no complaints here.

October is one of my favorite times of the year. I love winter, but there’s something about the in-between-ness of fall I find irresistible. It’s pumpkin season. Ghost season. The haunted time of year when the world is thin. It’s also time for All Hallows Read .

Those of you who know me (and possibly even those who don’t) may have noticed I’m pretty into reading. I’m also pretty into enabling others when it comes to discovering/acquiring new books. All Hallows Read – a brilliant tradition started by Neil Gaiman, and explained by him at the link above – is all about fostering a love of books. For the past few years, I’ve organized my own All Hallows Read Book Exchange. The original idea of All Hallows Read is to give someone a scary book. My ‘rules’ for the book exchange are more relaxed. Basically, if you dig reading, want other people to be excited about books you love, are comfortable sharing a mailing address with a total stranger, and are willing to drop a book in the mail, this is the thing for you!

The way it works is: You drop me a note in the comments and/or send me an email at a.c.wise (at) hotmail.com, and I organize an exchange whereby you send one book to someone and receive one book from someone else. Even though the original idea is to exchange a scary story, it doesn’t have to be horror. It doesn’t have to be a new book either. It can be second hand, well-loved, science fiction, humor, mainstream, whatever you want. Preferably, it will be a book that means something to you, and one you want to share with someone else.

Each time I’ve organized this exchange, I’ve personally found it to be tons of fun. I’ve discovered some amazing authors and encountered books I might not have read otherwise. At least one person has told me they’re interested in participating again this year, which makes me think other people dig it too.  So join in the fun! Give a book, get a book, and share the joy of reading.

(The All Hallows Read image above is from Introverted Wife, who creates a variety of fabulous All Hallows Read posters every year.)

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All Hallows Read (Again)

I’ve been toying with the idea of organizing an All Hallow’s Read book exchange again this year. For those unfamiliar with the concept, I’ll let Neil Gaiman explain it. If you can’t be bothered to watch the video, I’ll boil it down for you: books!

I organized an All Hallow’s Read book swap a couple of years ago and it was a lot of fun. Basically the way it works (at least the way I do it) involves a circular system where person A sends a book to person B, B sends a book to C and so on through as many people are involved, until the circle is closed. Everyone gets a book and everyone sends a book. It’s lovely!

It doesn’t have to be a new book. It can be a much-loved book you want to pass along to someone else. It can be an ebook for those who are into those sorts of things. Heck, if you’re an author, it can be your own book. Despite the original “rules” of All Hallow’s Read, since not everyone is into horror, it doesn’t have to be a scary book; it can be any kind of book you want. As I said, basically, the idea is books!

So, who’s in? If you’re interested, drop me a note in the comments, or send me an email. It’ll be fun, I promise. Did I mention books?

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Sunday Pimpfest VI

First up on the pimping block (I imagine it’s like a chopping block, but with less meat cleavers), Patrick Rothfuss is gearing up for his annual Worldbuilders fundraising extravaganza. At the moment he’s looking for donations of books, geeky crafts, and other fun things that might entice people to donate to Worldbuilders. Not that you should need enticing to support a good cause, but it’s even better when there’s cool shit to be won, too. Worldbuilders supports Heifer International, an incredible organization whose mission is to end world hunger and poverty by promoting sustainable practices that give struggling families and communities the means to feed and support themselves. Even if you’re not into the whole Worldbuilders thing, Heifer is worth your time.

Second, Halloween is only a few days away, which means there’s still time to participate in All Hallows Read. I could explain it, but you should really click on the link and let Neil Gaiman explain it instead. He has a British accent, so it’ll sound much nicer. I tried to organize my own little All Hallows Read book exchange a few years back. I think it was a success. I’ve been far too disorganized to put another one together since, but I still think it’s a fantastic idea. In fact, if you’re lazy like me, may I suggest a virtual book exchange in the comments? Recommend a scary or unsettling book, and I’ll seek it out my own damn self. No legwork on your part required! For my part, I shall suggest The Drowning Girl: A Memoir by Caitlin R. Kiernan. If you haven’t read it, you owe it to yourself to do so, post haste!

Last, but not least, I point you toward a call for submissions for The Flesh Made Word. This anthology of erotica about writing will be published by Circlet Press, and it being edited by my esteemed Journal of Unlikely Entomology co-editor, Bernie Mojzes. It’s going to be a wonderful anthology, so send a story his way. You know you wanna.

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Book Exchange Redux

Back at the end of October I proposed participating in Neil Gaiman’s new holiday tradition of an All Hallow’s Eve book exchange, and some of you were kind enough to play along. So…how did it go? What did you get? What did you give? If you’ve read the book you received, what did you think? Should we do it again next year, and try to get more people to join in the fun? Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments, or link to a post of your own, if you’re so inclined. My take below…

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All Hallow’s Read Book Exchange

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?

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