All Hallow’s Read: Kelly and Cassie-la’s Money Saving Tips and Scariest Picks

For those of you who don’t know, All Hallow’s Read is a newly formed tradition created by fantasy master, author, and all around awesome guy Neil Gaiman in 2010.

The premise is this: there are not enough holidays/traditions which revolve around book giving, so why not give away books to Trick or Treaters or friends on Halloween? All Hallow’s Read is all about gifting people with scary books over gum disease.

This year, there was the added tradition of dropping books around town in public places for people to find, with an All Hallow’s Read sticker inside explaining the books appearance.

For more information on All Hallow’s Read, go to the website: and bring the tradition to your neighborhood.


All things considered, if you want to give out books to all the ghouls and goblins showing up at your door, the tradition can get a little expensive. Which is why we have the following money saving tips to make your celebration fun and cost effective.

1. Stock up on Free Comic Book Day: The first Saturday in May, comic book shops hold what is called Free Comic Book Day, which is exactly what it sounds like, free comic books for all. Our suggestions is to stock up on a variety of fun, scary, age appropriate comics and store them for a few months to give out to Trick or Treaters. What kid wouldn’t love a comic book on Halloween? For participating comic book shops in your area go to:

2. Search for lots on eBay: Auction sites have what is called lots, for large collections of similar things. As discussed in this post Cassie-la recently purchased a lot of almost all the Goosebumps books, and the deal she got equated to about $1 per book. Obviously you can purchase much cheaper lots of 20 or less books to give out and still save more money than you would purchasing individual books. And sellers have more than Goosebumps, we have also come across Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and lots of random lots with scary books for teens and children.

3. Go to flea markets and yard sales: At yard sales and flea markets you can get books on the cheap, sometimes for pennies, so why not stock up on scary books throughout the year to distribute later? For the same amount of money you can spend on a bag of candy, with smart shopping you can save the same amount on a box of books.

4. Visit library sales: Throughout the year, an organization called Friends of Libraries hold books sales (some even occurring in October) which allows patrons to buy books on an affordable scale. You can either go early to purchase books for $0.50 to $1.00 each OR even better you can go on a day when they have a bag sale and get as many books as you can fit into a bag for only $5.00. Added bonus, purchasing from these library sales SUPPORTS YOUR LIBRARY. To find library sales occurring around you, visit your local libraries. They could use your patronage.


The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree by Jan and Stan Berenstain
Recommended for: The storybook crowd, kids who don’t mind a good scare

I had two older sisters, so not a lot scared me as a kid. But one story that terrified me beyond all others was this Berenstain Bears book. Sure, go ahead and scoff. Normally, the Bears have cute adventures with morals to learns about cleaning up and not fighting with your siblings. Not this one. The kids go to a spooky ass tree far from home, and navigate their way through it only to be chased by a giant monster at the end. Adults can make this even scarier for the kids with creepy sound effects.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Recommended for:
 Middle-grades, fans of realistic fantasy

We’d be remiss if we didn’t include a book by the man who started this holiday – the wonderful Neil Gaiman. In this creepy tale, Coraline lives in a large old house with her very busy parents. She’s soon explored every inch of the grounds… except the the 14th door. Beyond it lies a seemingly perfect mirror world – very attentive parents, plenty of delicious food, and people who say her name correctly. It sounds great, except for the creepy button eyes of the parents and their strong desire to keep Coraline with them… perhaps forever.

Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry
Recommended for: Fans of real life horror stories

Growing up, I knew Charles Manson was that psycho who killed a bunch of people in the ’60s. South Park also mocked him in one episode. Beyond that, I didn’t know much. After reading Joan Didion’s The White Album, I wanted to know more about this case. Two words: holy shit. Even at 700 pages, this book will keep you up at night, turning page after page. The in-depth study is equally fascinating and horrifying. Probably the scariest part is how absolutely random the murders were, and how much control one crazy asshole had over his followers.


Wormwood Gentleman Corpse by Ben Templesmith
Recommended For
: Fans of graphic novels, the absurd, and witty reanimated corpses.

This 3 volume trilogy about a talking worm who inhabits the body of corpses is written and illustrated by my all time favorite comic book artist Ben Templesmith! Ultimately, this wise talking part worm part demi-god views it as his job to protect the world from the apocalypse, often spending his time at a strip club where ex-girlfriend Medusa houses a gate to Hell.

The Celery Stalks at Midnight by James Howe
Recommended For
: Children and children at heart who love rabbits who drain color from vegetables.

Having been raised with the Bunnicula stories, I would love to pass on this awesome story to the next generation. That makes me sound so old, why does that make me sound old? In this tale, vampire rabbit Bunnicula goes missing, and the other animals worry that the vegetables he’s fed from could rise up as his vampire slaves. What follows is a hilarious adventure featuring toothpicks and white vegetables.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Recommended For
: Classics lovers, Oscar Wilde enthusiasts, anyone who likes upscale horror stories.

As a huge Oscar Wilde fan, I cannot recommend his famous story- about a man who wishes a painting would age rather than him, and he disastrously gets his wish- enough. What follows is a superbly written tale of morality, decadence, and a touch or two of hidden homosexuality. This is Oscar Wilde after all. If you haven’t read it, I will force you to read it. Wait until you get to that ending.

Well? Have we piqued you interest? Inspired you to to get in on the tradition? Do you have All Hallow’s Read recommendations for us? Let us know! And have a very literary and scary All Hallow’s Read.

2 thoughts on “All Hallow’s Read: Kelly and Cassie-la’s Money Saving Tips and Scariest Picks

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