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Building The Ultimate Stephen King Collection: Every Book, Movie And TV Series A True King Fan Should Own

Pennywise the Clown in IT
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

One could make a strong argument that no single creator has made a greater contribution to pop culture in the last 50 years than Stephen King. It all began with Carrie, the book in 1974 and the movie in 1976, and the author since then has not only established himself as one of the most prolific professional writers alive, but a cross-medium legend. He puts out at least one new book (be it a novel, a collection of short stories, or non-fiction) annually, and it’s actually rare for a year to go by in the 21st century without seeing at least one adaptation premiere on either the big screen or on television.

Between Stephen King movies, books, and TV, his body of work also happens to be a wonderful playground for fans who see themselves as “collectors” – and if you’re one of those people, we’ve built this feature for you.

I’ve personally spent years building my own perfect Stephen King collection, and knowing there is a wide world of Constant Readers out there I figured I’d lend a hand helping others do the same. From Carrie, to IT, to The Outsider, let’s dig in! 

The Shining by Stephen King book cover

(Image credit: Doubleday)

Stephen King Books

It all starts with the books, so we’ll begin the collecting journey here. More advanced collectors (and those with the available disposable income) may be inclined to go the route of buying First Edition copies of each of the titles (most of which are hardcovers), but this is more of a starter guide that points towards the best commonly available editions of each one (which generally means that they are purchasable at a reasonable price). 

Firestarter by Stephen King book cover

(Image credit: Doubleday)

Must-Own Stephen King Books

If you’re building a core Stephen King collection, it’s a must to start with the classics (Carrie, Firestarter, The Dead Zone), the series (The Dark Tower, The Bill Hodges Trilogy), and the epics (The Stand, IT). The novella collections are special, as are most of his short story omnibi. 

  • Carrie (1974) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Salem's Lot (1975) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • The Shining (1977) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Rage (1977)/The Long Walk (1979)/Roadwork (1981)/The Running Man (1982) – Hardcover (opens in new tab) (Out Of Print)
  • Night Shift (1978) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • The Stand (1978) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • The Dead Zone (1979) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Firestarter (1980) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Danse Macabre (1981) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Cujo (1981) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger (1982) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Different Seasons (1982) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Christine (1983) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Pet Sematary (1983) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • The Talisman (1984) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Skeleton Crew (1985) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • IT (1986) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • The Dark Tower II: The Drawing Of The Three (1987) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Misery (1987) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • The Dark Half (1989) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Four Past Midnight (1990) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Needful Things (1991) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands (1991) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Gerald's Game (1992) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Dolores Claiborne (1992) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Nightmares & Dreamscapes (1993) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • The Green Mile (1996) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Desperation (1996) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass (1997) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon (1999) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft (2000) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Black House (2001) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla (2003) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah (2004) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower (2004) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Lisey's Story (2006) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Under The Dome (2009) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Full Dark, No Stars (2010) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • 11.22.63 (2011) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • The Dark Tower: The Wind Through The Keyhole (2012) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Doctor Sleep (2013) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Mr. Mercedes (2014) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Revival (2014) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Finders Keepers (2015) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • End Of Watch (2016) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Gwendy's Button Box (2017) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • The Outsider (2018) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • If It Bleeds (2020) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Later (2021) – Paperback (opens in new tab)
  • Billy Summers (2021) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Gwendy’s Final Task (2022) - Hardcover (opens in new tab)

Cycle Of The Werewolf by Stephen King book art

(Image credit: Land of Enchantment)

Worth Checking Out

Once you have the essentials, you can expand from there. A number of these are great books – they just don’t have quite the same legacy as the best known titles in the Stephen King library. Some of them are also… bad (we’re being honest today). 

  • Cycle Of The Werewolf (1983) – Paperback (opens in new tab)
  • Thinner (1984) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • The Eyes Of The Dragon (1984) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • The Tommyknockers (1987) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Insomnia (1994) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Rose Madder (1995) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • The Regulators (1996) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Bag Of Bones (1998) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Hearts In Atlantis (1999) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Dreamcatcher (2001) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Everything's Eventual (2002) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • From A Buick 8 (2002) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • The Colorado Kid (2005) – Paperback (opens in new tab)
  • Cell (2006) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Blaze (2007) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Duma Key (2008) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Just After Sunset (2008) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Joyland (2013) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • The Bazaar Of Bad Dreams (2015) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Sleeping Beauties (2017) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Elevation (2018) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • The Institute (2019) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)

Storm Of The Century by Stephen King book cover

(Image credit: Pocket Books)

Optional

You may not feel that you need a coffee table book with Stephen King discussing the creepiness and legacy of gargoyles, but if you’re a completist, you’ll want to have these titles in your collection.They do make for nice additions to any Stephen King library. 

  • Nightmares In The Sky (1988) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • I Shudder At Your Touch (1991) – Hardcover (opens in new tab) (Note: Features the story “The Revelations Of Becka Paulson, which isn’t published in any other hardcover)
  • Storm Of The Century (1999) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Secret Windows: Essays And Fiction On The Craft Of Writing (2000) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Faithful (2004) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Blockade Billy (2010) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Hearts In Suspension (2016) - Hardcover (opens in new tab)
  • Flight Or Fright (2018) – Hardcover (opens in new tab)

Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance in The Shining

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Stephen King Movie Adaptations

Stephen King’s relationship with Hollywood is just about as long as his history as a published novelist, with Brian Da Palma’s Carrie having been released just two years after the novel it’s based on was first published. The author has an awesome big screen legacy, and thus there are a large number of titles to populate a collection. 

Kathy Bates as Annie Wilkes in Misery

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Must-Own Stephen King Movies

Not only have some great movies been made based on Stephen King books, but there are some downright iconic ones too – and it’s primarily those titles we are calling essential for any collection. Some titles are considered among the best horror movies of all time… and considered among the best movies of all time period: 

Corey Haim in Silver Bullet

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Worth Checking Out

These Stephen King movies aren’t quite up to the high standard set by the brilliant adaptations above, and in some cases more liberties are taken with the source material, but there’s still plenty of good stuff, including a few solid anthology films. 

Guy looking in a mirror in Thinner

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Optional

It’s tricky to recommend these Stephen King movies because they ride so low on the quality scale, but they exist for you to get if you’re a completist. 

  • Graveyard Shift (1990) – Blu-ray (opens in new tab)
  • Thinner (1996) – Blu-ray (opens in new tab)
  • Carrie (2013) – Blu-ray (opens in new tab)
  • Dreamcatcher (2003) – Blu-ray (opens in new tab)
  • Secret Window (2004) – Blu-ray (opens in new tab)
  • Dolan's Cadillac (2009) – Blu-ray (opens in new tab)
  • Riding The Bullet (2004) – DVD (opens in new tab)
  • Mercy (2014) – DVD (opens in new tab)
  • Cell (2016) – Blu-ray (opens in new tab)
  • The Dark Tower (2017) – 4K (opens in new tab)

Pennywise in Stephen King's IT

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Television Distribution)

Stephen King TV Adaptations

A huge part of what makes Stephen King’s books so great is their attention to detail – and while this typically means that the tomes wind up getting pretty damn heavy, it’s also an element of his style that has led to there being a great relationship between King and the TV world. These adaptations provide the runtime real estate that regularly let adaptations be remarkably faithful to their respective source material. 

Kurt Barlow in Salem's Lot

(Image credit: CBS)

Must-Own Stephen King TV Adaptations

If you’re looking for the cream of the crop material when it comes to Stephen King’s history on the small screen, you’ll find it below. Admittedly the legacy isn’t quite as iconic as the theatrical material, but we’ve still seen some fantastic adaptations for the small screen. 

  • Salem's Lot (1979) – Blu-ray (opens in new tab)
  • It (1990) – Blu-ray (opens in new tab)
  • The Stand (1994) – Blu-ray (opens in new tab)
  • The Langoliers (1995) – DVD (opens in new tab)
  • The Shining (1997) – DVD (opens in new tab) (best version in Triple Terror Collection)
  • Storm Of The Century (1999) – DVD (opens in new tab) Based on original script by Stephen King
  • The Dead Zone (2002) – DVD (opens in new tab) (Complete Series)
  • Kingdom Hospital (2004) – DVD (opens in new tab)
  • Salem's Lot (2004) – DVD (opens in new tab) (best version in Triple Terror Collection)
  • Nightmares & Dreamscapes (2006) – DVD (opens in new tab)
  • Haven (2010) – DVD (opens in new tab) (Complete Series) (Note: Each season was released on Blu-rays, but copies of Season 4, Season 5, and Season 5.1 and beyond can be difficult to find)
  • Under The Dome (2013) – Blu-ray (opens in new tab) (Season 1) & Blu-ray (opens in new tab) (Season 2) & Blu-ray (opens in new tab) (Season 3)
  • 11.22.63 (2016) – Blu-ray (opens in new tab)
  • Mr. Mercedes (2017) – Blu-ray (opens in new tab) (Note: Region-Free Complete Series)
  • Castle Rock (2018) – 4K (opens in new tab) (Season 1) & Blu-ray (opens in new tab) (Season 2)
  • The Outsider (2020) – Blu-ray (opens in new tab) (Season 1)
  • The Stand (2020) – Blu-ray (opens in new tab) (Complete Limited Series)
  • Chapelwaite (2021) Blu-ray (opens in new tab) (Note: This a Region Free release from Australia)

Ron Perlman in Desperation

(Image credit: ABC)

Worth Checking Out

Quality-wise, these TV adaptations range between “middle of the road” and “downright awful. Some of them definitely have their redeeming qualities, and will certainly be of interest to any Stephen King collector who is also a completist. 

  • Sometimes They Come Back (1991) – Blu-ray (opens in new tab)
  • Golden Years (1991) – DVD (opens in new tab) Based on original script by Stephen King
  • The Tommyknockers (1993) – DVD (opens in new tab)
  • Quicksilver Highway (1997) – DVD (opens in new tab)
  • Trucks (1997) – DVD (opens in new tab)
  • Rose Red (2002) – DVD (opens in new tab) Based on original script by Stephen King
  • Carrie (2002) – Blu-ray (opens in new tab) (Out Of Print)
  • Desperation (2006) – DVD (opens in new tab)
  • Children Of The Corn (2009) – Blu-ray (opens in new tab)
  • Bag Of Bones (2011) – DVD (opens in new tab)
  • Big Driver (2014) – DVD (opens in new tab)

Becka Paulson in The Revelations of Becka Paulson episode of The Outer Limits

(Image credit: Syfy)

Optional

If you’re looking to get absolutely every Stephen King adaptation, including the anthology shows that turned the author’s works into single episodes, this section is for you: 

  • The Twilight Zone (1985) – DVD (opens in new tab) (Season 1) (Note: Episode “Gramma” based on the Stephen King story of the same name)
  • Tales From The Darkside (1984) – DVD (opens in new tab) (Season 1) (Note: Episode “Word Processor Of The Gods” based on the Stephen King story of the same name) &