How to Survive a Horror Novel, from Beginning to End
So. You’ve braved the horror section of the bookstore and found the right book to scare the bejesus out of you. You take your book home and nestle into the corner of your comfy, cozy and safe sofa. By the end of chapter one, your once beautifully manicured nails are now gnarly nubs thanks to your incessant nail biting. The question now becomes this: how do you survive getting through the rest of the book without inflicting any more harm to your body?
Don’t Read the Horror Novel Alone
It’s best not to read a horror novel alone. Why? Because fiction can turn to fact in your mind and you will need a level-headed friend or family member to remind you that you’re safe as you swear up and down that you’re seeing shadows moving across the room and said shadows are wielding a knife.
Read the Horror Novel in Public
If you can’t get a willing family member, friend or significant other to hold your hand and sit by your side while you willfully choose to be scared, go to your local coffee shop to read. That way you are surrounded by people and can look up from the book at any moment to remind yourself you’re safe. Caution: the creepy guy in the corner isn’t waiting for you to finish your latte and follow you out. He’s just a creepy guy in the corner…probably. Every coffee shop has one or sometimes two.
Read the Horror Novel with the Lights On
This feels like an obvious suggestion, but some people prefer reading under dim lighting to set an eerie mood. Again, if you’re not the bravest soul and want to make it to the last page, keep the lights on. Like all of the lights inside and outside of your house. And don’t answer the phone. You’re not Drew Barrymore.
Surround Yourself with Blunt Objects While Reading
If you’re not willing to read the novel with someone else in the room holding your hand, in public, or with the all lights on, the next best thing to do is to arm yourself. Hit the garage and dig out a baseball bat, a candlestick and nun-chucks. Pre-warn friends and family you are armed while you’re reading. This will prevent accidental injuries and lawsuits. For extra, extra protection, pour salt around your reading area. You can never be too safe.
If All Else Fails…
Put down the horror novel and overachieve in a different area of your life. No one has to know. It’s your little secret. However, if this book was chosen for your book club, during the discussion just nod and agree with what other people are saying and be sure to repeat their last sentence out loud in a more confident manner. This will ensure that everyone knows that you read it without any issue. Be sure to keep a smug mug on the entire time for the wimps who couldn’t get past chapter one.
And For Safe Measure…
Also, it's better to be safe than sorry, so you should probably pick up a copy of How to Survive a Horror Movie in case those spooky situations you keep on imagining end up being real.
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Jill Effron is a writer of Facebook status updates and blogs. Before that, she spent over ten years working in every genre of television. Outside of the TV world, Effron wrote, directed and produced plays and award-winning short films.