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Bookshelf Tour: The Scary Side of the Rainbow by Cassie Daley

Rainbows probably aren’t the first thing that spring to mind when you think of the horror genre, I know. Bright, happy colors don’t really scream “I’M SCARY!”, and I understand the confusion I get sometimes when people go from a quick glance at my Instagram feed to actually pay attention to the primarily indie horror-fueled content that I like sharing the most. I am what I am, and what I am is a girl that’s really into the juxtaposition of blood & gore against magical unicorns! 

I love sharing book reviews talking about the authors and stories I love, but I thought it would be fun to do a little highlight in a more general sense of what’s on my shelves and my organizational process.

Bookshelf Tour: The Scary Side of the Rainbow

Up until I joined the bookish community online, I will admit that indie horror was woefully underrepresented on my bookshelves. Over the last few years, I’ve made leaps and bounds toward supporting the genre where my heart spends the most time perusing pages, but you’ll notice a lot of more ‘big name’ authors at first glance - Stephen King, Clive Barker, Dan Simmons (who I have since removed from my collection thanks to his yucky views coming to light). Still, indie horror is where it’s at! I hope to grow my collection much more in future years!

My personal library was born when I was just ten years old, and I still have some of the same books that I had then! I have a particular devotion to Christopher Pike, who I credit for turning me onto horror & sci-fi in books at a very young age. There’s a long story I won’t fully detail here about a school librarian who gifted me a huge collection of books too old for me when I was a kid, and she doesn’t know it, but she changed my reading life forever! I still hold onto and collect Pike’s books, and love revisiting the stories from time to time - so they obviously needed a prominent place front-and-center on my shelves!

I put together a list of 10 authors I have multiple books by, recommend, and will automatically buy future releases of when I’m able to because I’m so confident in their writing abilities. You may spot some of them in these photos, or in my book cart posts on Instagram! If you haven’t checked out some of these folks, definitely do so - so much talent!

  1. Sara Tantlinger
  2. Adam Cesare
  3. Gwendolyn Kiste
  4. David Sodergren
  5. Hailey Piper
  6. Calvin Demmer
  7. Stephanie M. Wytovich
  8. Johnathan Janz
  9. Ania Ahlborn
  10. Adam Nevill

When organizing my bookshelves, I tried lots of other ways before finally settling on by color. While alphabetical works, I don’t find it much harder for me to remember an area or the color of a spine on a particular book. I think the visual appeal of being in what essentially sometimes feels like my own personal ‘rainbow library’ definitely outweighs the ease of access some might say other organizational methods provide - for me at least! No shade to anyone else organizing any other way, you do you booboo! I love seeing other people’s shelves and getting to know them a little bit more by seeing the sorts of things they read and how they store their books. 

For rainbow enthusiasts specifically, my preferred organizational pattern for color normally starts with yellow and then follows a gradient either starting next with orange or with green. I am a teensy bit neurotic about the color-order, and have been known to stop mid-task to reorganize something if a new book throws a shelf “off” somehow, ha! Pink is my favorite color (but don’t tell the others - they’ll get jealous!), so I try to keep it as a focal point so it’s the one I see the most. A lot of the time, I get lazy with stacking and just go with a sort of semi-rainbow stack ‘cause books are heavy and taking photos of them gets tiring - surely someone else can relate?!

And finally, I figure since I get asked the most about my various rainbow King books, I’d include a little PSA here for anyone wondering about that particular section of my bookshelves. The main rainbow spine ones are editions made by Hodder & Stoughton Publishing in the mid-2000s, released in the UK. You can get them in the US if you search for specific ISBN numbers online, but sometimes it requires luck - I’ve been sent the wrong ones before despite the listings assuring otherwise! I’ve also lucked out a couple of times in used book shops! 

The specific covers for the Dark Tower book series is a regular mass market paperback from the last few years, with artwork by artist Tony Mauro. When you line all the books up, they make a huge overall picture. I found a majority of these at my local Barnes & Noble but struggled to find the last 2 due to availability. Luckily, I have a wonderful friend - shout out to my sweet friend Tracy, who is an amazing member of the bookish horror community! - who came through with the last 2 I needed when she found them at a bookstore near her. My only advice for these is to try online as well!!

Thanks for sticking around to read about my colorful shelves, the authors I love, and the method behind the madness of my rainbows. Fly free, and curate your own rainbow horror bookshelves!

Cassie is an avid bookworm & rainbow enthusiast. She creates artwork sold in her Etsy shop focused on color, horror, and pop culture. In addition to the Night Worms blog, she writes about and reviews horror fiction on her blog, Let's Get Galactic.

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