When I was a kid I loved the series of books Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. I think I may have been in the 3rd grade when I was first exposed to the first one. Soon after hearing one of the stories and thumbing through the book, I found it at the elementary school's annual book fair.
Over the next two years I got the follow-up editions More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and Scary Stories 3. The trilogy was a favorite of mine for many years.
The books are fairly simple, consisting of classic American folktales, ghost stories, and urban legends. They're the kind of stories that are a little creepy, but they're okay for little kids, so as not to give them nightmares. On the other hand, the illustrations, those could keep one up at night.
My young friend Brett was telling me a ghost story last week, keeping some of the Halloween flavor alive. The story was enough to remind me of those old books. They're the books that I've held on to since I was his age. They're the books that are always on my bookshelf somewhere, and if they've ever been in a storage box, they haven't been there long. But this time, they may as well have been. Because even though they've been sitting on a shelf, I haven't read them in years.
Even today, as I write this, I haven't even picked them up to read them. But I did take them to Brett to let him read. I'm sure these books are still in print and can still be found at book fairs and Scholastic fliers across the United States. But I do kind of feel that I've passed on some classic creepy stories on to another generation. Now I've done my part. You're welcome, America.