The first book I ever purchased was a Stephen King book. I was 16, working part time at a drug store and one day was flipping thru the paperback shelf and found a copy of “The Gunslinger”. The cover intrigued me, and after reading a page or two, I decided to purchase it. Up until that time, my experience with books had always been in school. This was back in about 1989. I remember fondly reading for my own enjoyment for the very first time.
I still wasn’t an ‘avid reader’. That did not start until college…freshman year, the spring of 1992 to be exact. And probably what prompted it was a girl; the first love of my life. However, that love blossomed around a Stephen King book. I fondly remember laying in bed with her torn copy of ‘Skeleton Crew” in hand reading chapters to each other. We would switch back and forth between who performed the reading. Yes, one could say that any old book may have sparked a deep love of reading in such a setting, but for me…the memory is intertwined with a Stephen King book.
I remember that first summer break from college, devouring books such as The Dead Zone, It and The Tommyknockers. I remember looking in the front cover of one of your books and seeing such a huge list of books written by the only real favorite author I had at the time and thinking…I will never be able to read that many books. During that summer, a High School friend of mine , seeing my new found hobby, mentioned a book called "The Stand" to me. I was intrigued, but at the same time a little apprehensive when he informed me it was 1200 pages long. I think back to that moment now and laugh.
Well, I read The Stand that summer. And that sealed my fate. From that moment on, Stephen King was my favorite author, and The Stand was my favorite book, and I was a constant reader.
I would never dare to say that “I am your number 1 fan” (wink), but during the passing years I have read a fairly large number of your works. I always kept an eye out for a new novel by my favorite writer. I have also re-read many of my favorites. The Dark Tower series especially. Oh, how if I had known all those years ago how long I would wait to read some conclusion of Roland and Jake…I probably would have waited to pick up that very first book. But in a way, I am glad I did not wait. Without it, who knows if I would have ever found the hobby I have so enjoyed over the years.
Thru the past few decades, I found other writers and fell in love with other writing styles. My book case has grown, and even turned digital, and I grew from merely a constant reader of one into an avid reader of many. My collection of books covers many genre’s and authors now, some widely known, some barely, and even some classics intermixed in for good measure.
By now, you must be wondering why I am writing this. I guess… I needed to write it to remember the good times I had with Stephen King books, and the impact they have had on my life as possible closure. I will be honest, when I first heard about this new ‘essay’ and read some of the positions you were taking, I was horrified. I could not believe that someone that should understand the basic premise of the First Amendment could so decide that the Second Amendment should be trampled upon.
I hear that really you only support government bans on ‘so called assault weapons’ and ‘so called large magazines’, however that is a pretty bad imo, and a big step for someone to take that again… should understand the dangers of incrementally removing a Right. It would be like saying, I am in favor of protecting the first amendment, except I think the government should ban any depictions of horror, gore or violence in books and movies. I mean, no one really needs to watch a horror movie...right?
Then, when I calmed down a bit, I decided that I wanted to actually read what it was you actually said, but when I looked at where the proceeds were going, it was like a slap in the face. You decided not to give the proceeds to some charity benefiting victims of violence, but to The Brady Campaign, a political entity whose sole purpose is to remove the Second Amendment right to everyday Americans. Just look to some of the things that Sarah Brady has said, such as “I don’t believe gun owners have rights” and “We must get rid of all guns”. She makes it quite clear in her words what she wants, and it is the incremental removal of a sacred right, until it is left in tatters and is no longer a right at all.
You say that you want to provoke a constructive debate, however by promoting that the proceeds will go to a political entity that is very much a member of the political discourse, you are not provoking a constructive debate at all, but instead are chooses sides along political lines in a very political way.
I ask you to reconsider this decision… as while that is in place I most certainly will not purchase this essay….ever. And as much as it pains me to say it, I will no longer be a Constant reader of yours, in fact I wont be a reader of yours at all. While I possibly could have forgiven you for simply having a difference of opinion on a political matter, I can not in good conscious continue to read your books while you choose to support such a political organization while attempting to disguise it as ‘a way to provoke a constructive debate’, for when you have already drawn the line in the sand and chosen your side…the debate is already closed.
I have no way to know if you will actually read this, but since I have no other way to inform you of how I feel, this is my only recourse.
A former Constant Reader that is now disillusioned