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Dress Up Your Book Displays This Halloween

Post by Shauna Griffin
Posted October 17, 2014 in NextReads

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Last year, to help you prepare for the spookiest night of the year, our NextReads Book Display Ideas newsletter included a theme on “dressing up in costumes.” All of the books included were for kids, making this a handy display to generate enthusiasm among small folks who might be a bit frightened of Halloween -- or of the costumes themselves.

But the beauty of our book display ideas lies in the freedom you have to enhance or adjust our suggestions to fit your patron base. Have a strong DIY community? Use books on creating hand-crafted costumes and Halloween decorations (or, given how long some of those projects take, Christmas and Hanukah-oriented projects!). Fill out your display with books on throwing Halloween parties, or holiday-themed cookbooks. Decorate with something as simple as paper garlands in black and orange, or as elaborate as some of the projects found on your shelves (heck, why not host a DIY night centered around one?). If you carry DVDs, you could also add scary movies or TV shows featuring vampires, witches, or aliens.

If that’s too obvious, or if you’re looking for fiction, you could also pull together a pretty varied display of books in which at least one character is in disguise. You’d certainly be able to find plenty of romances to fit the bill, and for the more serious-minded, books on women who dress as men for their own safety, or to fight for their beliefs. For example, there’s an Afghan tradition called bacha posh that allows girls to dress (and be treated) as boys. Or, think spies and double agents -- both in fiction and in real life.

Our other NextReads newsletters can also be used to create book displays; there have been relevant themes in a good number of the newsletter lists, including History (“spooky” history) and Fiction A-Z (life after death, Gothic reads), though Horror of course might be the first place to look. You can also search NoveList for tone words like “atmospheric,” “creepy,” or “gruesome.”

The Book Display Ideas newsletter is a staff-only newsletter, one of 20+ NextReads Newsletters available from local libraries who subscribe to LibraryAware.

Shauna Griffin is the NextReads/ADEPT Supervisor at NoveList.