The Book That Made Me A Reader
Stephen King on Dr. Seuss
I guess the book that really made me a reader was The 500 Hats Of Bartholomew Cubbins, by Doctor Seuss. It was my first encounter with a horror story, because poor Bartholomew was going to get his head chopped off if he couldn't take off his hat for the king. Every time he doffed one, there was another beneath. Of course I didn't understand the existential nature of his dilemma when I first read the book (I was in the second grade), but I never forgot how the hooded headsman, with his gigantic ax, made me feel. That story had it all: suspense, danger, an intrepid, good-hearted hero, and…best of all…a happy ending. I couldn't wait to find other stories that so completely engaged my heart and mind.
Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine in 1947, the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. He made his first professional short story sale in 1967 to Startling Mystery Stories. In the fall of 1973, he began teaching high school English classes at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine. Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels. In the spring of 1973, Doubleday & Co. accepted the novel Carrie for publication, providing him the means to leave teaching and write full-time. He has since published more than 50 books and has become one of the world's most successful writers.