Let’s Talk Bookish: Can books be effective horror?

Hello and happy Sunday!! I’m really excited for today’s post, and even though I’ve read very few horror novels, I have a ton to say about the topic. So, I’m going to go right into the post!

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly discussion post created by Rukky @ Eternity Books and is hosted by Rukky and Dani @ A Literary Lion! This week’s topic, suggested by Dani is can books be effective horror?

Some people love to be scared – others not so much. When it comes to reading do you think books can be scary?

I definitely think books can be scary. I’ve been terrified by books before: why I was pretty young, my dad tried to get me to read the Guardians of Gahoole series. They aren’t meant to be horror or anything, but it absolutely terrified me. Although I’m sure I’d be fine reading it today, I still can picture perfectly the scenes that scared me, and I won’t ever forget them.

A book I read more recently that I was scary is Horrid, by Katrina Leno. Horrid is written in a really amazing way, and the author’s descriptions of everything as well as the terrifying plot lines was what made the book so eerily real.

So my answer to this is yes. Books definitely can be scary.

Are you less scared because there are no pictures?

For me personally, no. This depends on the person, really, and how much you picture things while you read, but I have a really vivid imagination, so when I’m reading I picture a lot of what happens.

I don’t usually have specific images of characters while I read, usually that comes in rereads and after I look at fan art, but with different settings, action scenes, or interactions between characters I do often picture what is happening in my mind while I read.

If a book has really good writing, specifically with description, it’s a lot easier for me to visualize what I’m reading, and that can make me scared if I visualize parts of a book that are meant to scare the reader.

Do you feel other mediums such as film are more effective for horror?

I think that all mediums can be very effective for horror, it just depends on how each one is done.

Like I said before, with books, if the writing and description can really bring a the pages to life, then the reader can visualize the more horrifying parts.

With film, creepy special effects can be used, and scary sound effects can add to the overall experience of watching.

Overall, it just depends on how the book or film is made, and how the whole thing is executed.

Have you ever been kept up at night by a book?

Yes, and in multiple ways.

There have books that I’ve stayed up reading because I was so invested in the plot that I couldn’t stop reading. That’s less because of horror though, and is usually if I’m in suspense of what could happen next, or if I’m loving a book so much I just can’t put it down.

And then there are the books that kept me up after I finish them. These aren’t only horror, but all have some creepier or spookier elements. Or maybe just a grosser or more violent thing that I kept seeing in my head over and over. An example of the first one is The Silvered Serpents, a book that emotionally wrecked me in many ways. An example for the second would be Six of Crows; there’s a certain incident involving Kaz Brekker and an eye that still grosses me out to this day. (If you’ve read the book, you probably know what I’m talking about.)

And then there are books that end on cliffhangers, where the sequel hasn’t even come out yet. Those 100% keep me up at night sometimes. These Violent Delights, I’m talking to you.


Wrapping this up…

Horror is such an interesting genre, and I loved thinking more about it. Writing this post has made me want to read more horror, so if you have any recommendations I’d love to hear them in the comments!!

Do you think that books can be effective horror? What’s a horror novel you like? Do you like horror in general? Chat with me in the comments below!

3 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish: Can books be effective horror?

  1. Great post! I personally agree with you about the effectiveness of books as a medium for horror. I remember reading Coraline when I was 10/11 years old (without having seen the film) and while the illustrations are spooky enough, the writing is just as haunting!

    Liked by 1 person

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