I know it’s a teeny, tiny bit early to be talking about Halloween. I mean, come on, the Christmas stuff JUST hit the floors in retailers about a week ago, so why would I go rushing into Halloween?? I bring it up now because I’ve started planning and we are once again doing an All Hallow‘s Read book event on October 31st.
As a review for those who know, and an introduction for those who don’t, All Hallow’s Read is a (somewhat new) book tradition that springs from the mind of author Neil Gaiman. It’s an opportunity to shine a light on the creepy, spooky, and scary bits in literature and celebrate with the gift of a book. The challenge is to give a book to someone on Halloween. Last year, I took it a step further and gave one to any child, teenager or adult who stopped by our house on Halloween. We decorate the house and got an honorable mention in the newspaper last year for our efforts, and that drew in a pretty decent crowd. We gave away over 100 books last year, and this year I hope to repeat or beat that number. I have begun scouring thrift stores and library book sales for books for this event.
Now here’s where YOU come in (yes, you, the one reading this). I’m sending out a call and asking for donations. If you have any children’s books languishing on a shelf or in a storage tub in the garage and are looking for a worthwhile cause to donate them to, look no further! Send ’em my way. Most of our trick-or-treat participants are early elementary school age, kindergarten through 2nd or 3rd grade, and books for that age group are particularly hard to find secondhand. Thrift stores don’t carry many because they aren’t big earners or have been loved on a little bit too much and book sales tend not to have that many because they aren’t good earners, or again, have been loved on a little bit too much. Last year, I ran out of Halloween and Autumn-themed books for this age group and had to delve into other genres to make sure every child received a book. I scrabble, I search, I crawl around the floors of storage rooms for Friends of the Library sales, and even resort to eBay in order to find enough books for this event.
So, if you’d like to help a girl out (Hey, hey, no snickering! I can say girl! Katherine Hepburn said it applied to any woman under the age of 50.) and pitch in some kids books, it would be much appreciated. Picture books, board books and chapter books are quite welcome, and anything that isn’t Halloween or Autumn-themed is welcome as well. I can use those for our Little Free Library (no. 3553) which gets picked clean once or twice a week by school kids. Use USPS Media Mail for shipping – it’s somewhat slower than glacial melting speed, but by far the cheapest rate available, and mail the books to the address below:
PO Box 3444
Fairfield, CA 94533