Why I Read Horror?
A review by Tav @readswithdogs
Lately, a few people I know have discovered I read a lot and have an Instagram dedicated to books. This has led to a lot of questions about why I like to read such dark books; namely horror.
I love to read and will read literally anything available (I used to read the phonebook and pick out weird names and businesses for fun) but the horror genre is my favorite to read. Ever since I started reading I’ve read primarily to escape from the world and enter a new one and horror novels are an excellent escape. Reading about terrible and gruesome things happen reminds me that I actually have it pretty fucking good in life and it could always be worse; I could be stuck in rural Maine with an evil clown/dog/car out to kill me! Or I could be living in fear of being dismembered and eaten by folks who crave human flesh! Either way, all things considered, I’ve got a nice life.
Reading a horror novel is a full-body experience because it engages all your senses: you’re using your eyes to read something that if done well will have you freaking out with fear and thinking every little noise you hear is something sinister as your home alone. Later you’ll be shopping for dinner and the grocery store butcher case will have you recalling the scent of carnage you’ve read about and gagging. If you’re a tactile person like myself, you’ll find yourself gripping the pages of a book tightly at an intense part and later vow to take up running so you can run faster when the inevitable serial killer/zombie is after you.
Some of the oldest stories told are horror; Hansel and Gretel are abandoned in the forest and “saved” by a cannibalistic witch, Briar Rose aka Sleeping Beauty is raped while asleep and wakes up to discover she has had two children.
Most of the time I read horror as a cautionary tale, but sometimes it's nice to just see someone who’s treated people terribly get treated equally atrocious and horror will always deliver that for me even when real life won’t.