I remember when The Exorcist came out in paperback decades ago. I was probably 13 then. The hardback had already caused quite a controversy, so even though I was barely a teenager, I decided I had to read this. It was heavy reading for someone that young, but teachers had always told me to stretch for things that were a little too difficult.
When it came out in paperback, it immediately sold out all over town. I called every bookstore in town and finally found one that had three copies left. They said they would hold one for me.
I asked my mom, "can you take me across town to Straughan's Bookstore?" When we got there, I said, "can I have three dollars to buy something?" 😆 I went in to get the book. Straughan's was run by two very elderly ladies who looked grisly to someone who was 13. They said, "there ya go sonny" as they slid my book into a bag like I was buying a Penthouse.
I went back to the car. My mom saw the book and only said, "eww". My parents really didn't give a shit what I read. They were just pleased that I was reading. I liked it that way.
I did a report on the book for school. The teacher was shocked that I would read such a novel, but she was impressed with my effort. My propensity for all things bizarre had started so early.