"I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world." -Richard Dawkins

Monday, November 1, 2010

All Hallow's Read

Yes, that was me, eight years old, taking the books out of the library about UFO's and true sightings of bigfoot and real ghost stories. I think I read every single volume of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark that ever came out, and the weeping, spidery, wandering illustrations of Stephen Gammell still haunt the back of my squishy mind. That was me, believing in the Brown Lady of Raynam Hall and the Shifting Coffins of Barbados and yes, even the ghost on the Tulip Staircase (which I never actually saw correctly, always mistaking the bright gas lamps as a three eyed spirit with a wailing, agonized mouth.) I was mad with jealousy that my best friend in junior high had most every volume of the Time Life Mysteries of the Unknown series. That was me, not sleeping at night.

I love scary stories possibly the most. Enough that I watched The Blair Witch Project more than once. I even watched The Ring twice, and let me tell you, the first time I saw that movie in theaters, I was hiding in my coat weeping for roughly the second half of the film. I literally (literally, not figuratively) thought I was going to die and was sick to the point of vomiting (from adrenaline!) for a week. This is what I do to myself. FOR FUN. Oh, and before I forget anyone else? I love you, too, M. Night Shyamalan.

So when I heard over Twitter that Neil Gaiman was launching a movement to give scary books for Halloween instead of (or is it in addition to) candy, I thought it brilliant. He held a small contest to find the likeliest name for it and settled finally on All Hallow's Read. (Much more cunning than Biblioween*, which was my suggestion.)

Watch this, wherein Neil himself makes his public statement regarding the kickoff of this most excellent holiday twist. (And then when you're finished, go watch him playing a falafel-sitting, smoothie-diving, daydream-haunting cat in this fantastic episode of Arthur! Ro and I have watched it about three times now.)

The moral of the story is, give books. Get scared. Share and enjoy.

*Oh yeah. Yeah I had a little bit of a fangirl moment when he tweeted me back to say that Biblioween was good, but not quite right. I didn't even care, let me lose! Neil HIMSELF just tweeted my ass.

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