This is the interesting question that I mentioned in my previous post about Tor Beta – which I still can’t link to. So here’s the question for you, dear readers. Do you read short fiction? Why or why not? Under what conditions will you read short fiction?
I read mostly novels as that’s what I enjoy the most. I like long stories I can sink my teeth into. I like basking in meatier tomes. It’s enjoyable to me.
But I should note that I usually go through 2 novels a week, more or less, so thicker novels give me more reading time, which is important from the point of view of running out of available reading material. And considering travel, it’s easier for me to bring two or three novels than a very large, very thick anthology of short stories.
However, the husband has a lot of pre-wedding anthologies that I’ve been making my way through here and there, and while I enjoy them, short stories end too soon for me and the disjointed styles from one story/author to the next isn’t as easy reading as a good novel for me. As another person put it, there’s too much cognitive overhead from the task switching. Sure, it’s not the same as switching from doing the accounts to talking on the phone to typing up a letter to the government about this tax issue or another to turn around and deal with… But it’s still task switching.
Added to that that those anthologies are very thick and very large, which means very heavy. With my worsening joint problems, I do fine with a regular thickness novel, but anything any bigger is becoming painful and tiring, so it greatly impacts how long I can hold the book up, and therefore how long I can read it for.
On the other hand, short story collections by a single author or set in a single universe is equally as enjoyable to me as a novel, probably because I don’t have to gear up for a totally different style or universe every ten or twenty pages or so. The task switching is less, as is the cognitive overhead. It works better. For me.
Having said all that, I also know that my brain doesn’t work the same way that everyone else’s does.
What about you? Do you read short fiction? Under what conditions will you or won’t you?
- Sentinel and Short Stories
- Humorous Science Fiction
- Matt’s meme on unfinished fiction
- Basement of the Universe in editing
- Reading stuff can make you smarter
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