Anyone who knows me will know that there’s one thing I have no stomach for at all: horror. Whether it’s books, movies or ghost stories, I point blank refuse to endure any of them. Now if you’re thinking “oh stop being so silly, it’s not real” then I agree with you whole-heartedly, but unfortunately that’s just the way I am.
Ever since I was little I have always been scared of the dark; I’m not sure where it stems from, but my twin sister is exactly the same. We both run up the stairs when we have to turn the lights off downstairs and we both refuse to answer the door if it’s dark outside. Luckily when I went to university, I discovered I wasn’t the only 20-something-year-old to still be scared of the dark – which made me feel a lot better. It’s not something I like about myself, and trust me when I say I’d do anything to change it, but it’s just a part of who I am. Unfortunately, even the smallest thing will give me nightmares. I’d like to think that it’s because I have a vivid imagination (due to my immense reading habit) but it may be just because my brain struggles to separate my rational and irrational thoughts.
When it comes to books, I can tolerate violence and I can tolerate suspense and thrillers but what I can’t stand is anything that induces fear. Anything where the aim is to scare the reader and leave them with a sense of dread is not a book for me. I just don’t enjoy being scared. I know some people get a thrill out of it, like an adrenaline rush, but that kind of feeling stays with me far too long, and it becomes hard for me to think about anything else. I get that a lot of people do enjoy being scared, I mean the horror industry is massive, so there’s no denying that I’m probably in the minority.
When the trailer for the new ‘It’ film was released, so many people re-read Stephen King’s famous horror novel, and it was infuriating because I was actually jealous. I want to be able to appreciate the genius of his writing and the complex storyline. I’ve seen so many horror books which seem so popular, but alas I don’t think it will ever be something I will be able to stomach.
And because I am telling you about why I don’t read horror, I thought it would also be a good time to include my worry people. The little people in the pictures of this post are called worry people. My mum gave me some a few years ago (the ones in the first picture) and the idea is that you tell them your worries before you go to sleep and while you’re sleeping, they worry for you so that when you wake up in the morning, you don’t have anything to worry about anymore. They are actually given to children in counselling so that they have someone to talk to about their fears, anxieties and worries. I know I’m not a child anymore and I don’t believe that they are actually little people who can take away my worries, but I like the idea of them. And anyway, if it helps children who have a reason to be scared, then I’m all for them.
These beautifully handmade dolls are from The Worry Doll Store. They sell a variety of dolls, including worry doll bookmarks, which is perfect for a bibliophile like me. They also sell jewellery, clothings, books, and magnets. The worry dolls come with a little card which explains their origin: “According to legend when the Mayan people of Guatemala have worries they tell one worry to each of their dolls and place them under their pillow at night. When they wake up in the morning the worry dolls would have taken their worries away!”
Worry dolls may seem like some folk tradition that is just a load of nonsense, but, as I said earlier if they help children who have something to worry about, from anything as irrational as the dark (like me) to more serious and rational causes, then I think worry dolls are a lovely reminder of the power of a promise like that in the hands of a child.
And because I myself am a worrier, for me, reading is an escape into something better, something profound, somewhere I want to be, I just don’t see the appeal of reading horror and entering a world full of terror and fear.
Do you like reading horror?
** If you want to purchase anything from The Worry Doll Store, then make sure to use my discount code: AMYSBOOKSHELF1 at the checkout!**