Friday 25 August 2017

First Remembered Read ~ Horror Novel

Those of us who read, and who are influenced by books, tend to squirrel away our memories of all the stories we have read over the years. 

And yet, there is always that one special book tucked away in the far corner of your mind which reminds you just why you love reading so much…

During July and August I've invited a few friends to share their First Remembered Read

๐Ÿ˜ˆ This week we are talking ....horror ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

I'm thrilled to welcome to Jaffareadstoo

Lainy, blogger at So Many Books, So Little Time

My first horror was IT by Stephen King, I was a kid and had no business reading such a book at such a young age but it kicked off a love affair with reading and horror, I have never looked back. 

I loved watching horror on the TV, back then it was black and white Dracula with Christopher Lee or the slow B&W zombie movies, I have no idea how I got my hands on such a book but I was sucked in.  Like the movies only you get to read and see your own "movie" at your own pace.

Back then it was a difficult time growing up in the conditions we did, reading was a way to completely escape, more so than zoning into a movie.  You could take the book outside with you or curl up with a pillow under the bed, I loved doing that.  The dog would come under too, on a really good day we would secret a picnic of snacks under there too!

I loved it, I re read it again in 2010 and gave it 5 stars.

Not only do I still have a copy of it (hardback 1987 edition), I also have a kindle version of it too.  So funny I picked this email up today, on the way home from our trip I had left my book in my bag in the boot of the car.  The weather was vile so I picked up my mobile and opened the kindle app on it.  I started reading IT on there as the movie remake is out next month and I want to reacquaint with it.  I also watched the original movie a while back with Tim Curry.  When I got home today I dug out my hardback copy and it was the perfect excuse to get my newest bookmark out. 

Since blogging and all the online book clubs I find I have mostly been reading review books, crime, psychological thrillers, chick lit and not read horror in such a long time.  I love books that get you on the edge of your seat.  I am only 130 odd pages in and already we have spooky, supernatural, abuse, friendship, love, death, homophobia.  Whilst the heart of the book is horror there are so many branches and themes and I think reading it as an adult you get a different take on the book.  Still going to be freaked out, Pennywise is such a creepy horrible entity who wouldn't be!  

Helen, blogger at Life of a Nerdish Mum

A lot of people my age started out on Goosebumps books, but I was a Point Horror girl. I still remember the first one that I read and I still own my copy now, it’s battered and beaten but I still love it and will be keeping it until it falls to pieces. (I’d share a pic but some of my books are packed up due to us moving soon).

That first Point Horror was The Cheerleader by Caroline B. Cooney. I picked it up from the library initially, the cover caught my eye with the blood stained shoe and discarded pom pom, which I can still see vividly without even having to look it up! I then bought my own copy at W H Smiths with book vouchers I had won at school. I had enjoyed it that much. It’s weird remembering so much detail, but this book really stands out in my reading history. I remember feeling scared while reading it, but enjoying the feeling and wanting to read on to see what happens. It was what started my love affair with horror.

I don’t read as much horror (or watch it) now as I did following reading The Cheerleader, but I do still enjoy picking up a Point Horror or Goosebumps book if I see one at the library that catches my eye.

Gordon, blogger at Grab This Book

My first horror, I can remember it so clearly as I had held the book in my hand every Saturday for several weeks before I bit the bullet and finally bought it. I should explain…

It was in the late 1980’s and although I was just 14 I had landed my dream job, I was working Saturdays in the local bookshop.  I quickly found that a weekly wage and a generous staff discount were two of the best things to bestow upon a bookworm. It also helped that paperbacks were usually priced around £3.99.

One of my duties in the shop was to dust the books and polish the shelves. I had responsibility for the paperbacks and this included a sizeable horror section. After weeks of shaking down The Exorcist, riffling the pages of Jaws and admiring the quantity of output of King and Koontz I could not resist the lure of trying one of these books. But which one?

I wanted one which would not be too creepy. I did not know if I could actually read through a horror story without freaking myself out. After weeks of deliberation (and plucking up my courage) I went for Pet Sematary. I read it over the couple of days and if I am honest, I was a bit underwhelmed. But I wasn’t terrified in the way I had worried I may be. The next week I bought Cujo, The Shining and Lightning by Dean Koontz. I inhaled them and I spent the next 12 months on a horror book reading binge: King, Koontz, Hutson, Laymon, Herbert.

Pet Sematary is remembered fondly as the book which introduced me to horror stories but, almost 30 years later, I still don’t consider it to be one of Stephen King’s best. Some stories from that horror binge of 1989/90 stay with me to this day and they rank highly amongst all the books that I have ever read…Phantoms (Koontz), The Rats (Herbert), The Dead Zone (King).

One book has never been bettered. I first read it in a wooden cabin in a Norwegian forest, miles from the nearest town, and I maintain that the remoteness of that cabin only increased my terror levels while I read.  IT. By Stephen King.  A masterpiece.  If you only read one book this year, make it that one. 

I am Gordon of Grab This Book (  I still read horror novels to break up my constant intake of crime thrillers and horror reviews do appear on my blog.  If you want a new horror recommendation then the best I have read recently is Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt – that messed with my head…Beware the Witch. 

Whopping big thanks to Lainy, Helen and Gordon for sharing the memories of their first scary story

Hope they have whetted you appetite for a bit of horror.

Huge thanks to all the authors and bloggers who have taken part in this fun feature over summer.

I am sure that you have enjoyed reading these book memories as much as I have

 and hope they have sparked a few memories for you all too.

Happy Reading 



  1. I loved this Josie, thanks so much for having us. Love Stephen King featured a few times (IT twice), will swing by a wee visit to the authors. Count me in for any such themed posts ๐Ÿ˜˜ xxx


    1. Thanks for being part of the fun, Lainy. Glad you enjoyed it :)


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