Thursday Talks: What Do You Look For in a Horror Book?

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I’m having a new monthly meme on my blog I’m calling “Thursday Talks”. Since I joined the 2016 Book Blog Discussion Challenge, I decided to have this meme where a certain topic will be discussed and talked about. This will be posted on either first or second Thursday of the month.


This month of October, I always hear the word ‘Halloween’ and as of right now, the sites I’m always lurking on are now talking about Halloween and anything that you could relate to that word. So, for this day discussion, I wanna talk about the things I look for in a horror book and they are all listed below.

  • Spooky Book Cover

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A pretty scary and frightening book cover mostly get chosen and read because people tend to have an idea that the story will be a horror by just looking at its cover. Even me as a reader, whenever I go to a bookstore, I always look for the cover first for me to know if it’s actually one.

Imagine going to a bookstore or buying online a horror book but when you saw some of the book over there and its covers are not intriguing and scary, will you read it? Remember, you are just looking for a horror book here and for me, terrifying covers are really important. It is because of some of us – the readers – love pretty and captivating book covers so it would be really great if a horror book has a good scary cover for us to pick it up.

  • Author Known for Writing Horror Novels

Next is, I want to read a horror book that was written by an author famous for writing this genre. Why waste your time looking for a horror book when you can simply ask for suggestions on whose work you should read this genre?

As for my experience on this, most of my friends and the readers online will suggest you read a book written by Stephen King.

  • Spine-Chilling Synopsis / Blurb / Summary

Next to author is, of course, the short written words on the back of the book, hinting us what it’ll be all about.

A pretty way of hooking up a reader on choosing a horror book is if the synopsis or the blurb was terrifying enough for the book to be read. Readers including me mostly want something that will poke our interest and will make us want that book. If you have read a lame one and doesn’t sound scary, will you still choose it? Nope? Me too.

  • It was Taken from a Popular Ghost Stories and Urban Legends

Oh great! It’ll be more interesting to read if the horror book you choose was taken from a popular ghost story or urban legends.

Just this month, I finished reading a book that was connected with Jack the Ripper and as I love mysteries like that, I immediately read that book after I was freed from reading the other books. So, if you are going to read a horror book and it was inspired by popular ghost stories, will you read it or not?

  • ‘Show, Don’t Tell’

Lastly, I want the book to show what’s happening rather than just by telling me. This one can be ignored if some readers prepared it otherwise.

I look for this on a horror book because I can imagine it and picture it in my mind. I can play the story inside my head and of course, I feel what that character feels.


And these are what I’m looking for when I’m reading a horror book.

How about you guys? What do you look for in a horror story? Comment it for me to know! 🙂

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About Book Huntress

Alyssa Janine is a Filipino book blogger/reviewer, dancer, and math tutor. She enjoys dancing as much as she loves to read books. Being a math tutor let her share her knowledge in Math to people who can’t fully understand it. She's also a book blogger and she posts her reviews and other bookish posts on her blog named Book Huntress' World.
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5 Responses to Thursday Talks: What Do You Look For in a Horror Book?

  1. C.S. Wilde says:

    When reading horror, I look for a book with less gore and a lot of psychological terror : )

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Sunday Post & Giveaways Galore - 10/23/16 - Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  3. Okay, first of all that cover for Unspeakable is VERY spooky — that one definitely does the trick for me! I agree that I love books that are based on popular ghost stories and urban legends.

    Liked by 1 person

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