Thursday, June 03, 2010

Booking Through Thursday: The Long and the Short

This week the BTT topic is about short vs. long fiction: "Which do you prefer? Short stories? Or full-length novels?"

And my short answer is: long. It's not that I don't like short stories – I certainly do, and at one time I read quite a lot of short fiction. Lately, however, I've sort of fallen out of the habit. These days I read many more novels than shorter works; even though a well-constructed short story can be just as satisfying as a full-length novel, and can pack an even greater emotional wallop.

But there's just something about immersing myself in a good long read, getting involved in a new world, a different reality, and sticking with it for a good long time – something about that definitely appeals to me.

Also, when I'm reading a short story, I always feel compelled to keep reading right to the end – almost like having to keep to a schedule. But with a longer work, I don't usually feel any of those time constraints. I don't mind stopping and starting; reading a little now and coming back to read a little more, later; reading a bit from this book, and then a bit from something else. I know that's probably not the most efficient way to get my reading done, but it seems to suit me. So I suppose my preference for longer works could all just boil down to laziness!


  1. I like both, but I definitely tend to read more novels. There are so many wonderful short stories that do pack a punch, though, so perhaps I need to start making more time for them.

  2. I have to be in the mood for short stories. I echo your thoughts on the merits of long novels. Getting sucked into the characters, the setting, the ancillary people. You spend time with story versus wam, bam, thank you mamam!

  3. Yes! Your sentiment's match mine, and I see it from another perspective as well :) Nice blog!

  4. Hi Joy Sweetie...
    Thank you for stopping by and making my day. I also thank you for the prayers for my recovery. I have never been this sick in my life. I struggle just to breathe every day and pray that tomorrow will be better. I get in these coughing spells and can't breathe in or blow out. It is very scary. The pulmonary Dr. feels were are on the right track with my new meds and we just have to hang in there. I am so hoarse that nothing much comes out when I talk, and ofcourse talking makes me cough, so typing is fun for me when I can.

    I have signed up to follow your blog. I so love to read, and I enjoy both short and long novels. I am like you though a short one I will read through the day and night to get to the end, and then am sad because there are no other new books out there at the time by that author and I have to wait, especially if it is one continued in another book. Do you have any suggestions for good books right now that maybe DH could pick up for me at the Book Store? I need a little something to keep my mind going during the day.

    I cannot go outside except for Dr. appointments, x-ray and lab again tomorrow. The Dr. does not want me taking in the air around me outside. It is hard to not be outside.

    Have a beautiful day sweetie. Thank you for sharing. COuntry hugs...Sherry

  5. I agree with you. Short stories are so packed full of story in a small amount of words, I feel I have to finish it before I can do anything else. I think it would be very hard for me to put down a short story midway through, since I have big issues with leaving things unfinished.

  6. I too like to read a bit, pick it up later, start another book, come back...Why should we restrain ourselves ?

  7. Good point! It is very difficult for me to stop in the middle of a short story and come back later. And then there is the issue of whether to start the next story right away or mull over the last one for a while. Or, if I start the next one, will I have time to finish it, which brings me back to the original problem of not wanting to stop in the middle.

    Short stories make me anxious in ways that novels do not.

  8. I hadn't really thought of it, but short stories are harder for me to put down, too.

  9. I just can't get into short stories on a whole unless they are part of a series that I am reading. I guess it is due to reading epic novels when a teenager: North and South type of books.

  10. I, too, like both but read novels more. Partly, it's because I listen a lot of audiobooks and most of them are novels and almost all of my review books have so far been novels.

    I also agree that it's difficult to stop reading in the middle of short story.


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