Free ebooks available for All Hallow’s Read
by Nick Davies
Even though Halloween is now over, it’s still worthwhile to celebrate Neil Gaiman’s latest endeavor:
Two years ago, he decided to launch a tradition that he calls All Hallow’s Read, as a way to add even more terrifying fun to Halloween.
The idea is simple: on Halloween, give somebody a scary book to read. And to celebrate the second anniversary of the event, GalleyCat has put together a list of twenty-five horror books that are available for free.
Gaiman’s original blog post with the idea for the literary holiday is titled “A Modest Proposal (that doesn’t actually involve eating anybody),” though cannibalism would certainly fit the macabre theme he’s hoping to achieve.
In it, he explains that the inspiration came from his realization that, with the exception of World Book Day and the Catalonian tradition of St. George’s Day that begat it, “there aren’t enough traditions that involve giving books.”
Far from discouraging the traditional accoutrements associated with Halloween, Gaiman encourages them, saying in the below video, “We’re not saying, ‘Don’t give candy.’ Candy is important. Fake blood is important, zombie teeth are incredibly important—do they have zombie teeth?—if they have zombie teeth, they’d be incredibly important.” With All Hallow’s Read, he simply wants to add the tradition of giving books into the mix.
In addition to the list from GalleyCat, Gaiman has his own suggestions for spooky books, which include R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series and The Witches by Roald Dahl for young readers, both of which I devoured as a kid.
For adults, he recommends lots of Stephen King novels, including Carrie and The Shining, as well as Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw, and Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black; I happened to watch the film adaptation of the latter this weekend, and I can attest that it is creepy as all get-out. In addition to these, I’d suggest Gaiman’s own graphic novels Coraline and the Sandman series, and Melville House has you covered too, with Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic Sherlock Holmes tale, The Hound of the Baskervilles, among others.
If you missed the chance this year, be sure to check in 2013, as an especially spooky year is sure to inspire some scary (and free) reads.
Nick Davies is a publicist at Melville House.