Do You Wanna Be Scared? Join The RIP Challenge

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Is there really anything better than scaring the pants off yourself when you know you are absolutely and perfectly safe? By day autumn is beautiful as is the crunch of dried leaves under your feet, by night it is spooky and the crunch ominous. There is no better time of the year to hold a scary book reading challenge, which is probably why, now in it's fourth year, Stainless Steel Droppings' Readers Imbibing Peril (RIP) Challenge, is such a success.

The desire for the thrill that comes with this kind of reading drifts in on the autumn winds. You breathe it in and it takes hold of you, tempting you to late nights, book-in-hand, turning pages and starting at every unknown noise. Something wicked this way comes…

I find that kind of melodramatic fear to be a delicious intoxication, one that makes this time of year an especially enjoying time to be a reader. There is enough bad fear in the world: fear of losing one’s job, fear of the state of the world, fear of failure…the list is endless. It is time to reject that fear, embrace hope, and while doing so embrace the fun kind of fear–the kind that had us sitting around camp fires as children, listening to adults tell us ghost stories. The kind that made you want to stay up past your bed time to peek at the late night scary movie on television.

Doesn't Carl just make it sound...delicious? This challenge is very, very hard to pass up and one of the most popular reading challenged out there. I've played at various levels, and sometimes only unofficially because I didn't sign up, since the first year it appeared. And let me tell you, those years I haven't signed up? I was pea green with envy watching other people participate. When I have participated I've read classics like Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Wilkie Collins' The Woman and White and the more contemporary The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. I've horded books and saved them to read exclusively for this challenge. Why read something spooky and wonderful when it's warm and sunny outside when you can read it in the autumn along with everyone else?

We all remember those times we were scared by a book or a movie. Some people love it. Some people hate it. For some people it's a little of both. You'll find readers of all types participating in this challenge.

The Literate Housewife recalls a particularly scary evening.

Between September 1st and October 31st, I’ll occassionally be trying to spook myself through my reading. I’m getting all creeped out just thinking about it and remembering the time I read Pet Semetary while babysitting and, since the noises other houses’ make isn’t creepy enough, I had to walk home (okay, it was just across the street) after midnight. It was the longest walk of my whole life. This is going to feel good!

Rebecca Reads is doing the challenge even though she hates being scared.

Before I begin, I should clarify a few things. I hate being scared, and I hate horror. And I don’t dislike: I mean hate. And I don’t really like Halloween because I don’t even like candy (I’ll take it if you give it to me … but I’m not going to go seeking it) or pumpkin carving.

She's got a really great, long list of books that she's considering reading.

Ann-Kat at Today I read says the ghouls are coming! And she can't wait.

It’s that time of year again when the ghouls and ghosts come out to play their dangerous games and we get to spend our nights tucked in bed with the covers drawn over our heads quaking with fear because of what’s lurking on the other side. I can hardly contain myself!! It’s going to be an awesome good time.

My biggest problem this year, as in many years past, is trying to decide which book or books to read. Or wondering if I want to read short stories instead of books. What about you, will you be reading scary stories and hiding under the covers?

Contributing Editor Sassymonkey also blogs at Sassymonkey and Sassymonkey Reads.

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