Just wanted to make sure you were remembering that Halloween is also All Hallows Read, and if you’re in an area that gets plenty of trick-or-treaters (or is that trickers-or-treat?) that you have a selection of books to hand out. The Girlfriend is so enthusiastic about this holiday now that she plans months in advance, and has had a pack of kids’ books set aside for quite some time. Mind you, we don’t purchase them new, but get them from the thrift stores, secondhand book shops, and a book recycling warehouse not too far off. This makes them pretty inexpensive, as well as continuing the recycling thing and, as they say, re-homing some books.
Or if that’s not going to work for you, just pick a few kids that you know and drop a couple of books their way, or find an outlet online to send some books to deserving children somewhere. From our experiences over the last two years, it’s more appreciated than you might think. It’s easy to believe Kids Nowadays all have their noses pressed to their phones and/or the TV, or would be far more motivated by the candy than by dumb ol’ books, but this was definitely not the case on our front steps; just about everyone seemed delighted, kids and adults, and nobody passed on the opportunity. We cleaned out, two years in a row now, and have actually gained a reputation for this practice. This is not a close-knit community, and no one but our immediate neighbors knows us by name or on sight, and even my arcane prowling around the yard late at night with a headlamp and camera flash has not produced ugly rumors about my mental health (to my knowledge, anyway) – but we’ve gotten positive feedback on the Halloween book thing, now and again, from unsuspected quarters.
We’d do it even if we didn’t get this gratification, because let’s face it, it’s a great idea, and really needs to become a more regular practice across the country – but yeah, the positive reinforcement helps more than a little. While the original intention was to hand out spooky books of course, thematically matching the holiday and all that, The Girlfriend makes sure that we present a mix, even for the toddlers that aren’t reading yet (not a lot of spooky books aimed at that age, dog knows why. There may be an untapped market here…)
Credit where it’s due: it was The Bloggess that first brought this to our attention – not personally, mind you, because we’re still not on speaking terms since that incident where, you know, we’ve never met, but through her blog (Hey! Maybe that’s where she got that title!) which you should be checking out routinely anyway. Halloween at her house has got to be totally warped…
* Just had to note: the opening image has been sitting in the blog folder for years, and is a daddy-longlegs, or opilione, that drowned itself in a bucket, but I tweaked it a bit for impact here.