At the garage sale my husband and I put on this weekend, there was a small bookcase we were selling with books in it, around it, and even on top of it. These books were by a range of authors and contained information on a very large variety of topics, from SAT prep to princesses and historical figures. Though there was no rhyme or reason to the organization of the bookcase, one name stood out among the rest due to its multitude of appearances: Stephen King.
It’s no surprise that a name such as his should take up a large amount of a bookcase. He’s one of the best writers of our time and has successfully penned an immense amount of quality novels that attract a broad audience. I haven’t read them all, but I’ve read many of his books and I didn’t plan on abandoning his works, ever.
That is, until my God made it clear that I was to do just that.
I’m not sure where I was or what I was doing when the thought occurred to me, but I suddenly felt immense guilt for taking part in reading about death for pleasure.
Death is a part of life, yes. We all have to come to terms with it. That doesn’t mean we should read with pleasure about how people are dying-no matter how creative the deaths may be. We are drawn in by horror because our minds feed off of the fear we encounter. We are able to put ourselves into life-threatening situations all while in the safety of our own homes, without any real danger looming over us. It’s a feeling that some can get nowhere else.
Although we can all joke about and be proud of our adrenaline-junky selves, it is the desensitization portion of this mess that we seem to forget about. In one of King’s recent novels, a show-stopper event takes place in which a man drives a car into a crowd of people, effectively killing and injuring many. If you haven’t read the book I’m talking about (Mr. Mercedes) then you may be thinking of a situation that took place in France.
My initial reaction to hearing about the situation in France was, prior to mourning, “That’s what happened in Stephen King’s book!”
My first reaction should have been prayer. It should have been concern for the people of France. Instead, I was thinking about a book. This isn’t as bad as desensitization can get, but it was bad enough for me.
After that, I put down my Stephen King books and now read Christian books. I chose to no longer delight in murder and horror stories, and instead, pick up books about the Saints and Christ.
It will be a challenge to walk past my beloved Stephen King works in the library and as they appear on the shelves in the stores, but in my opinion, a pure heart will not let itself be stained by participating in the culture of death. I still respect Stephen King as an author and a human, but now I must turn to God for my entertainment and happiness.
Published by Angeline Hangeline