Stephen King Books: What Reading Order Is Best?

If you are a new Stephen King addict I suggest the following 3 phases to provide you with a reading order.

I suggest you start with his stand-alone novels and read them in publishing order.

There is evolution in his writing style, and experimentation with characters and scenes that you’ll be able to observe if you do so.

Next, try out the first book in the Dark Tower series to see if that one grabs you (it’s not for everyone).

I suggest that you leave Stephen’s collections of short stories until last. Most are very cool, but they don’t have that depth and richness that you get with a novel (however some are very scary and you wonder at the mind it takes to dream up this stuff!)

List Of Stephen King Stand-Alone Novels

  1. Carrie (1974) [Amazon]
  2. ‘Salem’s Lot (1975) [Amazon]
  3. The Shining (1977) [Amazon]
  4. Rage (1977) as Richard Bachman [Amazon]
  5. The Stand (1978) [Amazon]
  6. The Long Walk (1979) as Richard Bachman [Amazon]
  7. The Dead Zone (1979) [Amazon]
  8. Firestarter (1980) [Amazon]
  9. Roadwork (1981) as Richard Bachman [Amazon]
  10. Cujo (1981) [Amazon]
  11. The Running Man (1982) [Amazon]
  12. Christine (1983) [Amazon]
  13. Pet Sematary (1983) [Amazon]
  14. Cycle of the Werewolf (1983) [Amazon]
  15. The Talisman (1984) [Amazon]
  16. Thinner (1984) [Amazon]
  17. It (1986) [Amazon]
  18. The Eyes of the Dragon (1987) [Amazon]
  19. Misery (1987) [Amazon]
  20. The Tommyknockers (1987) [Amazon]
  21. The Dark Half (1989) [Amazon]
  22. Needful Things(1991) [Amazon]
  23. Gerald’s Game (1992) [Amazon]
  24. Dolores Claiborne (1992) [Amazon]
  25. Insomnia (1994) [Amazon]
  26. Rose Madder (1995) [Amazon]
  27. The Green Mile (1996) [Amazon]
  28. Desperation (1996) [Amazon]
  29. The Regulators (1996) as Richard Bachman, twin novel of Desperation [Amazon]
  30. Bag of Bones (1998) [Amazon]
  31. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon (1999) [Amazon]
  32. Dreamcatcher (2001) [Amazon]
  33. Black House (2001) [Amazon]
  34. From a Buick 8 (2002) [Amazon]
  35. The Colorado Kid (2005) [Amazon]
  36. Cell (2006) [Amazon]
  37. Lisey’s Story (2006) [Amazon]
  38. Blaze (2007) as Richard Bachman [Amazon]
  39. Duma Key (2008) [Amazon]
  40. Under the Dome (2009) [Amazon]
  41. 11/22/63 (2011) [Amazon]
  42. Joyland (2013) [Amazon]
  43. Doctor Sleep (2013) [Amazon]
  44. Mr. Mercedes (2014) [Amazon]
  45. Revival November (2014) [Amazon]
  46. Finders Keepers (2015) [Amazon]
  47. End of Watch (2016) [Amazon]
  48. Sleeping Beauties (2017) [Amazon]
  49. Gwendy’s Button Box (2017) [Amazon] novella

The Dark Tower Series By Stephen King

  1. The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger (1982) [Amazon]
  2. The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three (1987) [Amazon]
  3. The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands (1991) [Amazon]
  4. The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass (1997) [Amazon]
  5. The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla (2003) [Amazon]
  6. The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah (2004) [Amazon]
  7. The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower (2004) [Amazon]
  8. The Dark Tower: The Wind Through the Keyhole (2012) *Could also be read between books four and five as is chronologically correct* [Amazon]

Short Stories/Collections By Stephen King

I suggest reading these collections in chronological order to allow you to see the changes in Stephens writing over the years.

  1. Night Shift (1978) [Amazon]
  2. Different Seasons (1982) [Amazon]
  3. Skeleton Crew (1985) [Amazon]
  4. The Bachman Books (1985) [Amazon]
  5. Four Past Midnight (1990) [Amazon]
  6. Nightmares & Dreamscapes (1993) [Amazon]
  7. Hearts in Atlantis (1999) [Amazon]
  8. Everything’s Eventual (2002) [Amazon]
  9. Just After Sunset (2008) [Amazon]
  10. Full Dark, No Stars (2010) [Amazon]
  11. The Bazaar of Bad Dreams (2015) [Amazon]

Entire List of Stephen King Books By Publishing Date

I find this list interesting because you get to see just how consistent he is as an author. He pumps out at least 1 book year after year after year.

There are a few exceptions though, some years that are missing and you kind help but wonder what he was up to in those years…

Was he working on something huge? Just taking a break? Hmmmm…

  1. Carrie (1974) [Amazon]
  2. ‘Salem’s Lot (1975) [Amazon]
  3. The Shining (1977) [Amazon]
  4. Rage (1977) as Richard Bachman [Amazon]
  5. The Stand (1978) [Amazon]
  6. Night Shift (1978) short story / collection [Amazon]
  7. The Long Walk (1979) as Richard Bachman [Amazon]
  8. The Dead Zone (1979) [Amazon]
  9. Firestarter (1980) [Amazon]
  10. Roadwork (1981) as Richard Bachman [Amazon]
  11. Cujo (1981)  [Amazon]
  12. The Running Man (1982) [Amazon]
  13. Different Seasons (1982) short story / collection [Amazon]
  14. The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger (1982)  [Amazon]
  15. Christine (1983) [Amazon]
  16. Pet Sematary (1983) [Amazon]
  17. Cycle of the Werewolf (1983) [Amazon]
  18. The Talisman (1984) [Amazon]
  19. Thinner (1984) [Amazon]
  20. Skeleton Crew (1985) short story / collection [Amazon]
  21. The Bachman Books (1985) short story / collection [Amazon]
  22. It (1986) [Amazon]
  23. The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three (1987) [Amazon]
  24. The Eyes of the Dragon (1987) [Amazon]
  25. Misery (1987) [Amazon]
  26. The Tommyknockers (1987) [Amazon]
  27. The Dark Half (1989) [Amazon]
  28. Four Past Midnight (1990) short story / collection [Amazon]
  29. Needful Things(1991) [Amazon]
  30. The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands (1991) [Amazon]
  31. Gerald’s Game (1992) [Amazon]
  32. Dolores Claiborne (1992) [Amazon]
  33. Nightmares & Dreamscapes (1993) short story / collection [Amazon]
  34. Insomnia (1994) [Amazon]
  35. Rose Madder (1995) [Amazon]
  36. The Green Mile (1996)  [Amazon]
  37. Desperation (1996) [Amazon]
  38. The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass (1997) [Amazon]
  39. The Regulators (1996) as Richard Bachman, twin novel of Desperation [Amazon]
  40. Bag of Bones (1998) [Amazon]
  41. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon (1999)  [Amazon]
  42. Hearts in Atlantis (1999) short story / collection [Amazon]
  43. Dreamcatcher (2001) [Amazon]
  44. Black House (2001) [Amazon]
  45. From a Buick 8 (2002) [Amazon]
  46. Everything’s Eventual (2002) short story / collection [Amazon]
  47. The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla (2003) [Amazon]
  48. The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah (2004) [Amazon]
  49. The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower (2004) [Amazon]
  50. The Colorado Kid (2005) [Amazon]
  51. Cell (2006) [Amazon]
  52. Lisey’s Story (2006) [Amazon]
  53. Blaze (2007) as Richard Bachman [Amazon]
  54. Duma Key (2008) [Amazon]
  55. Just After Sunset (2008) short story / collection [Amazon]
  56. Under the Dome (2009) [Amazon]
  57. Full Dark, No Stars (2010) short story / collection [Amazon]
  58. 11/22/63 (2011) [Amazon]
  59. The Dark Tower: The Wind Through the Keyhole (2012) [Amazon]
  60. Joyland (2013) [Amazon]
  61. Doctor Sleep (2013) [Amazon]
  62. Mr. Mercedes (2014) [Amazon]
  63. Revival November (2014) [Amazon]
  64. Finders Keepers (2015) [Amazon]
  65. The Bazaar of Bad Dreams (2015) short story / collection [Amazon]
  66. End of Watch (2016) [Amazon]
  67. Sleeping Beauties (2017) [Amazon]
  68. Gwendy’s Button Box (2017) [Amazon] novella

What Do You Think?

Do you have anything to add? Mention it in the comment section below.

13 thoughts on “Stephen King Books: What Reading Order Is Best?

  1. This isn’t too important, but The Running Man wasn’t mentioned as a Richard Bachman book in the list.

  2. I’ve read dr. sleep and I would say that it could classify as a sequel to the shining despite it not being classified as one

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