I like to read horror novels (shocker, I know). They’re my favourite night reads, nestled under the covers and with a hot cup of tea on the nightstand. And though I don’t read horror exclusively, it’s fair to say that as one honing my writing craft, I tend to focus on my own genre.
So I went to Chapters the other day, looking for a few fresh reads to see me through my week off from DayJob. I beelined to the horror section, which has recently been relegated to the far back corner.
There used to be a whole horror aisle: shelves on both sides piled high with scares.
Then horror was squeezed to one side of the aisle, with a shelf or two of overflow on the other.
But now it’s dwindled even more. The horror section is now being encroached upon by true crime, and sports some unsettling bare spots to boot.
What happened? In my personal life alone, I know a handful of horror fans. I know more online (and I’m lucky enough to interact with a number of them, here and through Facebook). I know we’ll never be as big a market as, say, romance, but come on. It was 75 percent Stephen King and the rest was mostly stuff I’ve already read, by a very few authors.
Is it the paper book itself that is suffering, accounting for that tiny sliver of (physical) shelf space? Is it the genre? There are new horror movies out all the time; it can’t be the scares themselves. So what gives?
You’re here, and that almost certainly means you’re on Team Spooky. So where the hell is everyone else?! Should I feel excited at the apparent lack of “competition”, or should I entertain this soul-crushing doubt that tells me the good ol’ days are over?
If you’re out there, speak up! Come say hi! Tell me you exist! Us weirdos need to stick together.