By Allison Sadlier
September 26, 2016 at 02:55 PM EDT
John Lamparski/WireImage; MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Stephen King used to laugh about the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency, but the best-selling author doesn’t think it’s so funny anymore.

King opened Saturday’s National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., where the horror-thriller writer was recognized for his work promoting literacy. There, he joked that he predicted the current political climate: “I foresaw Donald Trump. I wrote a book called The Dead Zone.”

He linked the rise in Trump’s popularity to a decrease in everyday recreational reading. “I don’t believe in the so-called dumbing down of America,” King said, “but as everyday reading declines — and it has — analytical thought also declines. Reading is for fun and for me, that’s a big deal, but it also sharpens the nose for the unmistakable odor of bulls—.” Without these analytical skills, King says politicians can “slide by with generalities rather than specifics.”

The author and former English teacher also spoke with Ron Charles from The Washington Post about the election while in D.C. “A Trump presidency scares me more than anything else,” King told Charles. “I would have laughed three or four months ago, but I think Trump has a real shot.”

But King isn’t pleased with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton either. “I think that Hillary Clinton has been a lackluster candidate, frankly, and there’s been a sense of entitlement about her campaign.” He added that he’s thought of moving from his home in Maine to Canada in the event Donald Trump does become president in November.