When I was growing up, it was pretty common to find my mom’s Stephen King books lying around the house. She had a pretty good collection of his cheap paperbacks, which eventually found their way to Goodwill. Even though I’ve always loved reading, I never really got into King’s work in my youth—which is actually when a lot of King’s most ardent fans first encounter him. An early encounter with The Exorcist perhaps kept me away from the genre.
I honestly don’t remember the first Stephen King book I read (another oddity among his acolytes), but I do know I was hooked. I read a few titles in quick succession, but ended up taking a long break for reasons that now elude my memory.
A few years ago, I picked him up again, particularly during the Halloween season. I loved Misery, devoured behemoths Under the Dome and 11/22/63, and in the fall of 2021, I was utterly entranced by his memoir, On Writing, as well as the book that started it all, Carrie.
There isn’t another fiction author whose stories are as compulsively readable.
I knew that I had my next project.
The Stephen King Reading Project
Stephen King has written and published ~75 books over the last 50 years, across a surprising array of genres: horror, thriller/suspense, fantasy, non-fiction, and more.
Most readers make the mistake of pigeon-holing King as a horror writer, but the reality of his catalogue is so much deeper.
Starting with Carrie, I’m reading and writing about Stephen King’s books in chronological order. This is different from other similar projects in that I’m only focusing on the books and not the numerous screen adaptations (I’m far more of a reader than a watcher). I’m also including story and novella collections, which are also often excluded.
Beyond your standard book review, I’ll also get into some real lessons or takeaways to be had from King’s books. The legendary author himself has often said that books should be about something. Thematic elements in King’s work abound and I’m excited to explore those.
There’s no real timeline here. I’ll write when I finish a book, likely every few weeks or so, but perhaps longer. Part of crafting a successful reading project is allowing yourself to read other books too, so as not to get bogged down.