Graveyard Shift Readers Share Which Stephen King Novel Is The Best To Start With

Voting Rules
Vote up the Stephen King books that would be best for a first-time reader.

If you're a lover of all things creepy, then you know Stephen King is the undisputed master of horror. He's been terrorizing audiences for decades, and he isn't slowing down any time soon. Going down the Stephen King rabbit hole can be overwhelming since he's one of the most prolific writers of all time. So many of his novels and short stories are considered classics, it can be difficult to figure out where to start.

We asked Graveyard Shift fans to tell us which Stephen King books are the best to start with, and they had some seriously solid suggestions. Which of these creepy tales would you also recommend to someone who's just getting started?

Comments have been edited for length and clarity.

  • The Shining
    Photo: Anchor
    51 VOTES

    From Facebook commenter Teri Chambers M:

    The Shining was the first Stephen King book I read. It was so good, I started at 7 pm and finished at 4:30 am. I was hooked!

    51 votes
  • 'Salem's Lot
    Photo: Anchor
    56 VOTES

    From Facebook commenter Bonnie T:

    The first one I read was 'Salem's Lot. Quickly followed by The Stand. Both incredibly immersing and addicting.

    From Facebook commenter Melissa W:

    I second 'Salem’s Lot - I think that was my first, too!

  • From Facebook commenter Samantha K:

    Needful Things was the first of his that I read.

    From Facebook commenter Lynne A D:

    One of the best reads by Stephen King in my opinion, but I’ve read them all. My favorite was The Shining and then Dr. Sleep.

    50 votes
  • Night Shift
    Photo: Anchor
    50 VOTES

    From Facebook commenter Nichole F:

    Night Shift was my first. I think it’s a good one to start with, due to it being short stories.

    From Facebook commenter Marla M:

    Loved it. I was a kid when I read it - my mom was a big fan and I picked up everything she put down. I was hooked after that.

    50 votes
  • The Stand
    Photo: Doubleday
    51 VOTES

    From Facebook commenter Amber W:

    The Stand was the first novel I read as a kid, and I got hooked on Stephen King. Great story, wonderful read.

    From Facebook commenter Romany A:

    I’m a heretic. I read The Stand when it first came out in paperback (1980, IIRC), and I will always prefer that version to the one with all the Dark Tower references.

    I liked the mystery of not knowing exactly where Flagg went the times he disappeared. The only part of the later publication that I found worthwhile was the interlude with Trashcan Man and The Kid. 🤷‍♀️

  • 6
    34 VOTES

    From Facebook commenter Rachael K:

    I’d honestly go with Carrie. It’s the first one he wrote and it’s not the longest. I also really enjoyed Christine, Desperation, Tommy Knockers, 'Salem’s Lot and Cujo. Some of my personal favorites and first reads by that author. Long Walk is also good as well as Thinner. I’ve read a lot of his books.

    From Facebook commenter Erin B:

    I loved Carrie the book. So much more detail to the story.

    34 votes