Booking Through Thursday: Long And Short Of It

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme hosted here. To participate, answer the question, and provide a link to your response in a comment at the host blog.

Which do you prefer? Short stories? Or full-length novels?

I tend to prefer reading novels. I like getting lost in a long story; I love having the time to get to know the characters and the world and begin to feel like a part of it. At first, this realization seemed odd to me, because I would much rather watch a television show than a movie, so why wouldn’t I prefer a short story to a full-length novel? It actually makes a lot of sense to me, though, because a television series also allow you to get to know a lot more about the characters and the place they live in the long run, even if it comes in smaller segments. When I watch four seasons of Everwood or eight seasons of 24, I get to know the characters so much more intimately than if I watch a two hour film. The same goes for texts.

I do occasionally read and enjoy short stories. I like discovering new authors through short story anthologies, and often go on to read novels by people whose short stories I liked. Conversely, if I really love an author’s books, I’ll try to get my hands on everything they’ve written, which often leads me to books of short stories. It’s also nice to pick up a short story when I don’t quite have time to read an entire book.

There are also so many stories that I fell in love with in high school, when we were required to read short stories all the time. I’ll never get most of those out of my head: The Minister’s Black Veil, Young Goodman Brown, The Most Dangerous Game, The Scarlet Ibis, The Lottery, etc. I read so many of the classic short stories in that time, but despite the impression they made, I just never really think to pick those kinds of works up on my own. Maybe that’s something I ought to start doing. I have collections of short stories laying around from library book sales, so maybe this Booking Through Thursday will inspire me to pick those up from time to time.


4 Responses to "Booking Through Thursday: Long And Short Of It"

  • I like the television analogy and I would have to agree with you on that too. Thanks for stopping by today!

    1 Amber said this (June 3, 2010 at 8:40 AM)

  • While I agree that getting lost in a novel is a great thing, I still think there’s an art to telling an effective short story.

    I listened recently to Richard Matheson’s “Duel” and its an effective story in that it tells its story simply without a lot of extraneous material. A short story done well can be just as satisfying as a novel.

    Here’s my thoughts…

    2 Michael said this (June 3, 2010 at 8:42 AM)

  • I have found a lot of good short stories online. I like to explore different genres. However, I like full length novels too.

    It depends on my mood, what I want to read.

    BTT: long and short of it

    3 gautami tripathy said this (June 3, 2010 at 10:28 AM)

  • I had never really thought about the TV episode vs. movie comparison before, but I’ve seen it mentioned several times today. And I have to admit, I probably prefer TV shows over most movies, but also tend to prefer novels over short fiction. Strange but interesting.

    Here’s my long and short of it.

    4 JLS Hall (Joy's Blog) said this (June 3, 2010 at 11:48 AM)