Over this past year, I have read a lot of long-form novels.  I’ve also enjoyed reading short story collections by horror authors Stephen King (Skeleton CrewNightmares & Dreamscapes), Jack Ketchum (Peaceable Kingdom), and Ronald Malfi (Ghostwritten).  It’s easy for story stories to be overlooked these days, which is unfortunate since they are just as enjoyable as longer works.

If you’ve never picked up a short story collection, here are some great reasons to consider doing so in 2024.

Faster

You can get through short stories quicker than a long-form novel.  You can still get your reading in for the day, but you aren’t beholden to a more intricate and complex storyline that goes on and on for hundreds of pages.

And while there are long short stories – novellas – like Stephen King’s The Mist or Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, compared to his other works, they are much faster reads.

Start-and-Stop

If you’re reading an anthology of short stories by one author or a collection of authors in a genre, you have the freedom to read one story, do other things, and then come back weeks or months later to start the next one.  You can also jump around to different stories that may interest you in the collection.

If you’re busy and still want to read, this is a great way to keep active as a reader without having to worry about forgetting what happened in a novel you started six months ago and haven’t revisited since.

More Variety in Less Time

Short stories are also a great way to explore different genres without the commitment of a full novel.  Maybe you’re curious about sci-fi stories.  You can find a collection of short stories and see if it’s a genre you’d be interested in in a longer form.  

Short stories can also be a great intro to a new author.  Many authors also have short stories and anthologies, so that’s another way to be introduced to their writing style and the type of stories they write.

If You’re Interested in Writing…

Short stories can be an excellent source of information about crafting a narrative in a limited number of pages.  Find a short story you love, then dissect it.  Examine it inside and out.  Why does it work?  How does the writer convey maximum information in a short amount of time?  What are the story beats?  How does the main character’s story arc as the narrative unfolds?

Writing short stories can be challenging but a fun way to develop and improve your storytelling skills.  

Final Thoughts

As an avid reader, I like to dive into all types of stories.  Whether it’s novels, novellas, or short stories, it’s fun to see how authors create a world within limited page space.  

If you like to read but don’t have much time, I recommend getting a short story collection.  It’s a handy way to have stories available to read without the commitment of a novel or book series.

Happy Reading, and I’ll see you next time!

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