The Art of Darkness

Great Book Swap Idea

November 10th, 2010 by Cobwebs

I’m sorry I missed this prior to Halloween. Neil Gaiman posted A Modest Proposal (that doesn’t actually involve eating anyone), a suggestion that everyone inaugurate a tradition of giving scary books to one another on Halloween.

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…

I think that’s brilliant, and will definitely be revisiting the idea next October.

For kids, I think I’d choose The House with a Clock in Its Walls or possibly The Secret of the Seven Crows. For adults, I’d probably go old school with The Turn of the Screw, a collection of Shirley Jackson, or maybe some Poe.

What scary books would you gift to someone?

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