There are some books that are pretty ubiquitous with the reading experience of children today.
One of them is Harry Potter, other kids will read The Hunger Games, or some other YA literature, but there is one series of books that is checked out of every school library or bought on mass when the book bus rolls through, one where every book in the series has a tagline: Goosebumps.
We have all seen the Goosebumps books on the shelves, and many of us have read a couple of the books. They are a delightfully good and horrifying way to introduce the horror genre to children without overdoing it.
But with so many of these books out there, it begs the question, just how many Goosebumps books are there out there to read? In this article, we seek to find this out.
A Look At ‘Goosebumps’
For those that don’t know, we are not here to talk about the little bumps that form over your body, when you are having a reaction to something that you perceive as scary or as going to be scary.
No, today we are talking about the book series Goosebumps. In this section, we are just going to give a quick overview for anyone who may not know what the series Goosebumps is about, giving a quick overview of the history, ideas, and worlds that Goosebumps encompasses.
The author of all the Goosebumps books is R.L. Stine, and he has had one of the longest and most in-depth writing careers of anyone that has written a highly successful series.
For most, they have a career separate from writing, but Stine’s whole career has been involved in writing in one form or another.
He began writing when he was age 9, when he found a typewriter in his attic and completed his bachelor’s degree in English at Ohio State, before moving to New York to pursue writing as a career.
Originally, Stine worked on humor pieces and comedy books directed at children (If you like these stories, also check out the Magic Tree House Books), but in 1986 he wrote his first horror novel ‘Blind Date’.
While he would continue to write humorous and other genres of books throughout his life, it was this book that set him on a path to writing what would be his career defining books: horror.
His first series of horror books, Fear Street, was directed at teenagers, being a bit more gruesome and fear inducing than his more famous set of works.
Then in 1992, he published the first Goosebumps book, ‘Welcome to Dead House’, with 3 more following that year. These novellas proved so popular with children that they have continued to be published and written to this day.
The Goosebumps books each have an individual plot, with each plot being unrelated to other books – though some of the same characters might be introduced.
The plot structure often involves children being involved in scary situations that are caused by a supernatural or strange encounter.
Stein attributes this to why the books are so popular, he states that the lack of drugs, depravity, or violence means that the scariness of the book is more to do with an idea that can be explained away to children and so parents have little objection.
The inspiration for these books comes from the ‘Tales from the Crypt’ comics that Stein used to read as a little boy and real life situations which he finds himself in.
While the intention of the books is to be scary, it is to do so in a humorous way that is easily calmed when thought about rationally.
How Many Goosebumps Books Are There?
This is going to be a difficult thing to calculate, and you will soon see why. Of the original Goosebumps series, there are 62 total books published between 1992 and 1997, however of the Goosebumps entire franchise there are many, many more.
Not including the autobiographies, the movie adaptations, the misc. collections, or the monster editions, there are a total of 229 within the Goosebumps franchise, each one being between 100 and 200 pages long.
That is an enormous amount of literature to consume, even for children who love to read and spend whole days with noses in books.
Normally, authors don’t get the opportunity to write so many books or have the ability to do so.
However, R.L. Stein’s Goosebumps is the second best-selling book series of all time with over 400 million books sold, which means each book sells on average about 1,700,000 books every time it is published.
The popularity of these books shows why the series will never truly die.
Which Of The Goosebumps Books Should I Read?
With so many books in the Goosebumps series, it is pretty clear that some are going to be amazing and others are going to be terrible.
It is the nature of books that if you produce a lot of them, there are going to be some that no one wants to read. As such, we thought we’d create a list of the best Goosebumps books, so you can read them without worrying:
- One Day at Horrorland.
- The Haunted Mask.
- Night of the Living Dummy.
- Welcome to Dead House.
- Monster Blood.
- Deep Trouble.
- Say Cheese and Die!
Of these 7 books we have picked, we would advise you to start with ‘Welcome to Dead House’ as it is the first in the series, but you can read any of the other ones in whichever order you wish.
They are all fun, strange, scary, and can be quite subversive of the horror genre in general. Luckily, if you don’t like them, there are 222 other books to choose from.
There are 62 books in the original Goosebumps series and 229 books in the whole franchise of Goosebumps, whose numbers have been sustained through the wild popularity of the series in general.
If you are interested in reading some of the books, they are all fairly short, easy to read, and a good bit of fun to have in your free time.