The Readers' Advisory Guide to Horror, Third Edition—eEditions PDF e-book

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the author
  • Reviews

Covering the latest in monsters and the macabre, horror expert Spratford's resource is ideal as both an introductory guide for novices and a fount of new ideas for horror-aware reference staff.

Like the zombies, ghouls, and vampires which inhabit many of its books, the popularity of horror fiction is unstoppable. Even if you don’t happen to be a fan yourself, you won’t be “scared” to advise readers on finding their next great fright thanks to the astute guidance provided by horror expert Spratford in her updated guide. This definitive resource for library workers at any level of experience or familiarity with horror fiction

  • details the state of the genre right now, including its appeal factors and key authors, assisting readers in getting up to speed quickly;
  • presents ten annotated lists of suggested titles, all published since 2000, each with a short introduction providing historical context;
  • delves into horror movies, TV shows, podcasts, and other formats; and
  • offers abundant marketing advice, programming options, and pointers on additional resources.

Series Introduction
Preface: Why We Need Horror and Why You Need This Book

Part I
Chapter 1    The Lure of the Dark Side
Horror’s Enduring Appeal

Chapter 2     Horror 101
The State of Terror Today

Chapter 3    Helping Your Scariest Readers
The Horror RA Conversation

Part II
Chapter 4    Ghosts and Haunted Houses
Home Scream Home

Chapter 5    Vampire Menace
Sparkly Vampires Need Not Apply

Chapter 6    Zombies
Follow the Walking Dead

Chapter 7    Witches, Curses, and the Occult
Black Magic Comes for You

Chapter 8    Monsters and Ancient Evil
Creature Features

Chapter 9    Nature Gone Wild
Plants and Animals Attack

Chapter 10    Satan and Demonic Possession
The Devil Inside

Chapter 11    Psychological Horror
It’s All in Your Head . . . Or Is It?

Chapter 12    Lovecraftian and Cosmic Horror
Cthulhu Is Calling

Chapter 13    Body Horror
Our Bodies Betray Us

Chapter 14    Further Explorations of the Dark Side
Whole Collection Options for Horror Readers

Part III
Chapter 15    Staying in Horrific Shape
Horror Collection Development and Resources

Chapter 16     Sowing the Seeds of Fear
Horror Promotion and Programming

Appendix: More Battle-Tested Titles to Suggest to Readers by Subgenre 

Becky Siegel Spratford

Becky Siegel Spratford is a Readers' Advisory Specialist in Illinois specializing in serving patrons ages 13 and up. She trains library staff all over the world on how to match books with readers through the local public library. She runs the critically acclaimed RA training blog RA for All and its evil twin RA for All Horror. She is under contract to provide content for EBSCO’s NoveList database and writes reviews for Booklist and a horror review column for Library Journal. She is a proud member of the Horror Writers Association and currently serves as the Association’s Secretary and organizer of their annual Librarians’ Day. You can follow her on Twitter at @RAforAll. She received the prestigious Richard Laymon President's Award from the Horror Writers Association (HWA) in 2021.

"In the decade since the second edition, Spratford (who blogs at has completely rewritten and updated this guide, with particular attention to diverse voices writing about fear, dread, and terror ... Also important to this new edition is its organization, which is structured around the reader’s level of comfort with the genre. VERDICT Librarians will appreciate the updated recommendations and accessible organization. Those interested in a more complete history of horror fiction will find within a thoughtful exploration of previously excluded authors and emerging talent."
— Library Journal

"While the audience would be mostly public librarians, academic librarians may find this useful for several reasons. For instance, horror has academic value, and librarians who have a basis for recommending titles or horror subgenres such as gothic horror will help enhance student and faculty experience in their university libraries ... I highly recommend this book for those who need an introduction to horror as well as those who are familiar with the genre and strive to advise on the growing number of diverse authors. Academic librarians who need genre related works for their students and faculty, selectors for fiction and popular reading collections, and crave a way to highlight unique collections in a university or college library would benefit greatly from [this guide]."
— College & Research Libraries

Praise for the second edition

"The author's parting words are, ‘horror patrons are not monsters; they just like to read about them'. This guide will be valuable to any librarian who needs to understand one of the most popular fiction genres today. It is also enjoyable reading and is recommended on both levels."
— Australian Library Journal