A recent bout of insomnia (fortunately now on the wane, dear reader) has prompted me to reconsider my bedtime routine. For the last few years that routine has more or less involved going to bed at a reasonable hour, grabbing my iPad, catching up on a few blogs—and then sometimes, or sometimes not, switching to whichever app my current book format demanded, and reading a book.

Now, any guide to good sleep hygiene will be pretty consistent in telling us that screens at bedtime are a big no-no. Given that I am now mortally afraid of a repeat visit from the insomnia demon, I have inevitably been giving some thought to giving myself the best chance of a good night’s sleep. And so I’ve decided that it’s time to put the screen away and start reading real books once again.

Something else I’ve struggled with over the best part of the last decade is my reading discipline. We are all so easily distracted these days (and taking my iPad to bed makes it all too easy to dip into that primary source of distraction: the internet). Removing the screen will solve some of the problem, but part of my discipline issue stems from rarely jumping straight into a new book once I’ve finished my current one (mostly because I don’t always have my next read picked out). This gives me ample chance to slip back into bad habits and, before you know it, it’s been another month since I’ve ready anything that wasn’t published on a website.

The solution to a lot of these woes came as I was considering a reread of Stephen King’s The Stand (obviously, in the wake of having watched the fairly decent recent TV adaptation). I’ve read The Stand at least three times already, but I found myself a bit hesitant as some of my recent attempts to reread King favourites have stalled: I got about halfway through It on the last attempt, and abandoned The Shining at about 80 per cent through (both being books that I have read, enjoyed, and completed in the past).

So I thought to myself: why not build up to it? Why not start at the beginning? And that’s exactly what I’m going to do: read every Stephen King novel (and probably the short story and novella collections too) in order starting from Carrie. A lot of his earlier books proved to be favourites when I was growing up, and have had a huge influence on my own writing, so I find myself quite excited about revisiting them with my adult eyes, and also seeing how his writing style evolves over the many decades of his career. I’m also excited to visit several of his books for the first time.

I’m not setting a timeframe for this, and I’m not planning to exclusively read King novels, but let’s see how I go. 

Wish me luck.

Every Stephen King novel
Probably not every single novel .. but maybe …?

The Books

In the interests of keeping up momentum, I have decided to skip: the short story collections (although I do love me a King short story); the Dark Tower books (which I expect I will want to go back and discover once this project is done); and the Bachman Books. I will probably still include the novella collections (mostly cos I can’t go past the chance of giving Rita Hayworth & The Shawshank Redemption or The Body another read).