Monday Memories: Books

Today my Monday Memories post is about a book. Some books stick with you for life. Some books you can’t remember a week later. I am going to tell you about a book that scared me to death, was burned into my brain, and left me wanting more all at the same time.

When I was a teenager I went through a phase where I wanted to read “big” books. I read Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell, I read The Stand by Stephen King, and I attempted to read Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Moby Dick put me to sleep. I never got past the first chapter. I tried multiple times. It was just so boring.


Then a copy of It by Stephen King fell into my lap. I was instantly enthralled. I fell in love with the characters. I developed a phobia for clowns. In the middle of the night I was so scared, I actually didn’t want to get out of bed and make the trek to the bathroom because it was dark. I stayed up all night reading with a flashlight.  When the book was over I missed the characters so much I started reading the book again.

If you’ve seen the made for TV movie version of the book, trust me, the book was a million times better. I think that movie was the worst adaptation of a book I have ever seen. That movies was an embarrassment. If I were Stephen King, I would be screaming about it right now…years and years later.

When I was in my twenties I read The Shining by Stephen King and that book scared me too. Right after reading it I rented the movie. That movie made me laugh and laugh. The effects were so old by the time I watched it that it just seemed silly and ridiculous. The book was heart attack inducing. Good thing I read it when I was young and healthy.

Anyway, I love scary books. At least, I used to. I mean, it takes me days and days to finish a book now. I read a page or two every night before falling asleep with the lights on. Having a small child makes it near impossible to read during the day with all of the, “Mom, I need a drink. Mom, help me get my toy. Mom, I have to go potty. Mom, I need a new dress. Mom, I want to go outside. Mom, I got wet. Mom, I need another new dress. Mom, not THAT dress. Mom….” And that is only about five minutes worth of my day. Reading at night is hard too because I am too tired to keep my eyes open for very long.


I used to be a pretty ferocious reader. I used to read the big books. I used to like scary things. I don’t have it in me anymore. I hope I do again someday. The last scary book I read was The Road by Cormac McCarthy. That apocalyptic nightmare scared me so bad that Jim still talks about the time I read it…five years later. He always laughs about how frightened I was. He didn’t read it. He doesn’t realize how life altering it was. That book is the reason I fantasize about stockpiling food in our basement.

Anyway, have any books changed your life? Do you suffer from an unnatural fear of clowns, the apocalypse, or hoop skirts because of the books you have read? Let me know in the comments. I’m looking for new books to read…even if it takes me six months to finish them. Just don’t ask me to read Moby Dick, because that will only make me cry.


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Monday Memories


14 thoughts on “Monday Memories: Books”

  1. You didnt like The Shining the film?! Oh my…I loved it! Jack Nicholson is da best! But then again, I don’t think I would have watched it again…
    My best reading-tons-of-books moment were in my primary school and junior high. I remember reading Harry Potter books like crazey and then could not wait for the translation so I bought the English version (10 times the price! My parents were furious) and read it with dictionary in the other hand…ah. Good times 😉
    Now I tend to read more magazines and newspapers. As you said, with little kids around its the top of tops for my reading skills right now. At least I remember where I finished reading when I put the newspaper down to help my niece or nephew with…well, just being kids!
    I have already told you, I think, and I certainly recommended it under Quiry Chrissy’s post – Marina Lewycka and her books. Amazing! Especially “Various Pets Alive and Dead”. I think you would like it!

  2. I went through a King phase in college, but never got to It.

    Also, I love that you kept trying to get into Moby Dick. I figured if I couldn’t get past the first 20 pages of the Great Illustrated Classics version, I didn’t have a shot in hell with the real version.

  3. I had forgotten about The Road until I read this. It was so creepy my brain had to force it into the recesses in order for me to sleep at night. I don’t really like scary books, but I didn’t know it was scary until I started reading. By then I was hooked.
    I can’t even read King anymore. I have become a wimp in my old age.
    It takes me forever to read a book, too. I fall asleep within minutes.

  4. The Road: life altering. loved it. i wrote a post about it. it changed me forever, in a good way. it was McCarthy’s love poem to his son, you know that, right? but yes, it was staggeringly profound. i missed it immediately after finishing it; i wanted to start it again, but it’s intense and so so so SO good. i will read it again.
    the writing: none better.

    i am now on a Pat Conroy kick. i love everything that man does. in the middle of “south of broad” deep intense stuff yet funny / clever in places and you can hear his drawl.

    I also love Anne Lamott — Traveling Mercies: fantastic.

    Eat Pray Love — changed me and my thoughts on memoir.

    Life of Pi – what’s not to love about a ficitonal foreword and acknowledgements? It got me on page iii.

    “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin – she was ahead of her time.

    So many books, so little time. And then there’s the ones we want to write ourselves!!!

  5. I probably was affected more by watching old black and white Universal monster movies on TV such as “The Raven”, “Dracula”, “The Invisible Man” than books as a child. Later on a couple books such as *Harvest Home* and *The Manitou* and some of H.P. Lovecraft’s books were pretty scary. I can read them though and sleep soundly. Now at least!

  6. I can’t read scary books or watch scary movies! I just get way too involved and start imagining everything is real. I remember once when I was in elementary school, I started reading a Goosebumps book. About halfway through, I tore the book into pieces and threw into the incinerator, that’s how scared it made me. I understand about not having much time to read with all the demands our little ones put upon us. I used to read all the time… one year, I read 100 books and kept a list of them. Now, I’m lucky if I get to read a few pages here and there too. Thanks for sharing your Monday Memories!

    1. I can totally relate to wanting to burn some books…hehehe. I wish I had kept a list of all of the books I have read. Wouldn’t that be cool to have? I miss being transported to some place. Sometimes, as a mom, I think I need that now more than ever!

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