The Horror of Books

By February 15, 2016 BlogPost One Comment

For two years of my life I only read horror books.

From the age of eight to the age of ten I was ravenous for this genre. I would stay up as late as possible reading under my covers, I would read at breakfast, read in the car, after soccer practice, all horror books. I read every horror book my school library had to offer, and when I finished with that I turned to my mother’s collection of Stephen King. I was obsessed.

At home my parents were annoyed, I’d always been an avid reader but this reading to the point of obsession (and keeping my sister, whom I shared a room with, up at night with my reading light). Still they encouraged my reading – reading is reading in their mind. At school though I was met with a less than thrilled response.

My primary school teacher was appalled that I was reading horror books. She was vocal in her distaste for the genre, and vocal in her distaste that I would even think about bringing those books to class. She told me I wasn’t allowed to read them in school and I could not count them as my at home reading. She told me to look for more appropriate reading material. I can’t recall why, maybe I blocked it out, maybe I was just so desperate to make the teacher happy and get a good grade that I gave into her demands (and by give in I just ended up reading ‘recommended books’ in tandem my horror books).

I’m still am unsure why she was so against this genre but frankly I couldn’t care less – her censorship only fueled me to read them more.

One Comment

  • Michael R says:

    I went through this very distinctive Stephen King phase around the same time as you (early elementary school). I spent nights reading ‘The girl who loved Tom Gordon’, and I even made the more frightful jump to things such as ‘Carrie’. The frustrating part was whenever I’d take these experiences of reading horror into the classroom and immediately get shunned for it, not only from my teacher’s but by my peers (I wasn’t reading Captain Underpants like the other boys). And sadly enough, I think all of these factors made me drop reading. For years, I strayed away from that love of reading, and whenever I’d feel the itch to pick up a book I’d just think about how reading certain things almost made me a social outcast.

    Moral of the story: For as much as teachers and their classrooms like to promote reading, there comes a point where we have to accept all types of reading that students do.

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