Beginner's Guide to Reading Horror Novels and The Benefits of Purchasing Second Hand Novels
The horror genre is regarded as pulp or garbage by the majority of "serious" commentators. This is nonsense. Serious critics are the worst, as they ruin everything that is enjoyable — horror is a fantastic genre, and "pulp" is not a derogatory term. Here are the fundamentals of the horror novel genre as well as the benefits of buying second hand novels.
Why should you read horror novels?
"What is it about terror that you find so appealing?"
It's a question we are frequently asked. And when we say a lot, we mean a lot. Many people we meet have no idea why we spend so much time reading, watching, and listening to stories about supernatural powers or nasty villains wreaking havoc on innocent people. And it's a question we’ve considered a great deal, as well. But perhaps the most pressing question is: why don't you read horror?
Allow us to make an argument for the genre.
Last year, while participating in a book challenge, we realized that horror has a lot to say for itself. One of the entries was to write a Halloween-themed novel, which was ideal for us. However, while looking for book recommendations on several message boards, we discovered that many booklovers were dissatisfied with the challenge's selection. Most people despised terrifying stories, claiming that they didn't understand why they were being forced to read what they considered to be bad reading material. That irritated us a great deal. We’re not a big lover of romance or spy thrillers, but we try to read them with an open mind because that's what reading challenges are for: to introduce you to fantastic novels you might otherwise overlook.
So, we’re going to beg you, and maybe guide you, to look into horror a bit more, because there's no reason why one genre should be demonized as much as it is.
The most common misunderstanding is that all horror is frightening and intended to make you feel uneasy or keep you up at night, fearing every creak and moan and flickering light. In truth, horror is as diverse as any other genre. Do you like to have a good laugh at creepy things? Horror-comedy is a distinct subgenre, as evidenced by David Wong's John Dies at the End series. Do you prefer things to be a little more grounded? Horror themes are frequently used in thrillers, such as Caroline Kepnes' You, to make the "actual" world more palpable. Don't want to be a part of this world any longer? Consider Keith Thomas' Dahlia Black and Stephen King's The Tommyknockers for examples of cosmic horror and sci-fi horror that will have you staring to the stars where no one can hear you scream.
Books are sometimes classified as horror simply because they contain traditional horror creatures like vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and other ghouls. Other kind of horror, such as Gothic, focus less on blood and guts and more on atmosphere and mood, as in Henry James' The Turn of the Screw and Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House, both timeless tales. Some, like Richard Matheson's I Am Legend, are more specific about what it means to be afraid, while others, like Michael McDowell's masterpiece The Elementals, are more mysterious and subtle.
But enough about the scope of the subject. Let's have a look at what you might get from it.
The most significant lesson we’ve learned from reading horror is that everything can be overcome and survived. While there are numerous horror stories in which the protagonists die, there are just as many, if not more, in which they survive. Life is difficult; no one will tell you otherwise, but terror does not provide simple retreat. It asks you to follow characters' emotional and physical journeys, often to feel what they're going through or to stand in contrast to the horrific things they're doing or seeing. It may feel as if you've been to hell and back at the conclusion, which may not be "pleasant," but is nevertheless rewarding, enriching, and thought-provoking.
Readers and authors alike can use horror to work through fear, trauma, and anxiety in a safe and controlled environment. You can always put a book down, skip pages, come back to a story later, or avoid (or seek out) books about specific topics entirely. Do you honestly believe we haven't flung a book across the room when things were too heated? Despite the fact that A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay has left a dent in someone’s bedroom wall, it remains one of our all-time favorite books.
Is it fun for me to be scared? Sometimes. As we previously stated, life is difficult, and fear frequently plays a role in this. But things don't grow less frightening just because you don't interact with them—in fact, it's often the reverse. Horror has a diminishing value as well. It's a lot simpler to not be afraid once you realize why something is frightening, once the monster is exposed, once you see it for what it truly is. Scary books can peel back the monster's mask to uncover what we're actually terrified of, whether it's external forces, our own bad potential, or something else entirely. Sure, you could prefer something light and airy like a great soufflé, but there's nothing wrong with a rich and dark chocolate cake every now and then.
But, let's face it, no matter what my reasons for reading horror are, many other readers have their own reasons for doing so. Maybe they enjoy the thrill of adrenaline, or maybe they were born fearless and are unfazed by anything. Maybe it's therapeutic, or maybe it's just how they define enjoyment. Whatever your motivation, we hope our fervent, perhaps a little too nerdy diatribe has persuaded you to give horror a chance, even if you're terrified. Who knows, you might be braver (or less frightened) than you imagined.
Terror vs. Horror
The horror vs. terror distinction relates to two separate scare strategies used by authors. The simplest one to carry off is horror, which is just an attempt to shock or surprise you. Think of jump scares, blood and guts, and horrific sights when you think of horror movies.
Terror is more polished; it's all about setting the tone and gradually increasing the unease and suspense until the climax.
The pulpier, less talented writers are mostly interested in horror. Anyone who sees a cockroach crawling out of an eye socket will cringe. Great writers, on the other hand, will take their time to create fear. It's a far more difficult task because it takes time to create, and a single blunder can completely deflate the tension established earlier in the novel.
Some writers, such as Shirley Jackson, who is arguably the greatest of all time, rely only on dread. Most, on the other hand, are more mercenary, as Stephen King revealed in his nonfiction book Danse Macabre:
"I believe that horror is the most powerful feeling, thus I will attempt to scare the reader. But if I can't terrify, I'll try to horrify, and if that fails, I'll go for the gross-out. I'm not proud of myself."
If you're going to dig into horror fiction as a genre, it's important to know the difference because it'll help you spot the masters.
Second Hand Novels
While all books are lovely, ardent readers are particularly drawn to second hand books. It's fantastic to know that the stories here have been lived by someone else and have traveled a long way to reach you. Even if you're looking for more practical books, buying them new is a terrific method to get what you need while without depleting your bank account. Here at Usedbooksfactory, we love buying and selling second hand books, and we want to share that enthusiasm with you. Here a few reasons why you should always buy used books.
Benefits of Buying Second Hand Novels
Second hand novels help you save a lot of money.
Buying second hand novels, like anything else second hand, is a great way to save a lot of money. New novels are frequently pricey merely because they are new. What's more, guess what? Whether the book is brand new or has been treasured by readers before you, the words are the same! Second hand novels from places like Usedbooksfactory can be found for a fraction of the cost of new books. This is especially true of larger books, such as textbooks, which can significantly increase the cost of your purchases.
Second hand novels make it possible for you to read more.
A well-stocked bookcase is never enough for true bookworms. Buying second hand novels is the easiest strategy to keep oneself a constant supply of fresh books to read. Not only will you be able to obtain more novels for your dollar when compared to new books, but the sheer number of books available second hand will also ensure that you have a diverse range of genres to read. Buying second hand novels ensures that you never have to feel the agony of not having another book to read.
You have the ability to broaden your horizons with second hand novels.
Chain bookstores only stock the most recent books, which are likely to be picked up by everyone who reads. If you're tired of reading the same popular novels as everyone else, buying second hand novels is the best way to avoid it. Given that second hand novels can come from a wide range of people from all walks of life, you never know what you'll find at a used bookstore's back corner. It's crucial to keep an open mind when reading, and extending your mind to topics or concepts you've never considered before can be quite beneficial to your life.
You Get to Take Pleasure in the Search of second hand novels
When you walk into the same chain bookstore you typically go to, there isn't much that will surprise you. As a result, all you have to do is head over to the genre you currently enjoy and take a brief look to see if there is anything new. Searching through second hand novels, on the other hand, is like going on a treasure hunt. If you delve deep enough, you never know what you'll find. Who knows, maybe you'll come across an obscure novelist's esoteric out-of-print book, a thesis on a little-known historical event, or simply something with a cover that makes you chuckle. However, you never know if a book will be your next favorite unless you give it a chance. Finding new books is part of the enjoyment of being an avid reader, so take advantage of your local secondhand store's used book area.
Buying second hand novels beneficial to the environment.
At the end of the day, books are merely collections of paper—paper that was made from a large number of trees. Throwing away outdated books is a waste of both the book and the paper used to create it. By keeping these worn books out of the garbage and on a bookshelf, you may play a little part in saving the environment. When there are so many editions of an second hand novel with cool new covers still in stores all over the place, resist the impulse to buy a new edition with a cool new cover. This helps us to circulate knowledge and stories while simultaneously safeguarding the environment.
Second hand Novels've Already Been Cracked
Let's face it: books are supposed to be read. When you buy second hand novels, you know that someone has already gone through the arduous task of breaking the book in. When it has already seen a few owners, you don't have to worry about cracking the spine, folding the page corners, or spilling your morning coffee on it. Anything that hinders you from reading, such as a desire to preserve the beautiful finish of a brand-new book, is not a beneficial attribute in a book. You won't have to worry about putting them through their paces if you buy them used.
It's possible that you'll come across something truly extraordinary when buying second hand novels.
Buying second hand novels is your best chance to locate something truly unique to add to your collection, whether it's a limited-edition cover or an author introduction that only appeared in one edition. Even novels you've read before can be found in a new version that you've never seen before. There is no better place to locate hidden jewels for the avid book collector than the second hand novel department of your local secondhand store.