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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