Musings

Sometimes Shorter Books Aren’t Always Better… For Me At Least

There are so many modes of reading: poetry, short stories, articles, novelas, novels, graphic novels. The options are unending, and it has turned into another onerous task in deciding what to read.

Poetry rarely captivates me. I find it to be too short and not the medium suited to me in order to convey a meaning. There are certain poems that I do enjoy and that I will read, but it is rare that I will pick up a book of poems, sit down, and spend several hours drinking in the words. This is an example of a poem that I can abide!

Short stories can be hit or miss. David Sedaris‘ book, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk is extremely entertaining, with day-to-day occurrences portrayed by animals. Also check out One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B. J. Novak. Worth a read, if I do say so, myself! I find that the short stories I enjoy are told with an arc more appropriate to a short children’s book; those that tend to condense a novel into a short story do my head in.

Novelas and Novels have been my jam for many years. I like that you can adapt chapter length to suit the pace of the story. Agatha Christie sometimes uses subchapters which can feel like you’re heading down a rabbit-hole but it works for the most part. Longer length of stories allows for better development and description of the surrounding landscape rather than just the salient points of the story. That being said, I think a good short story is one that provides such a vivid portrayal of the setting with few words.

The real reason I probably enjoy novelas and novels is that it gives me more of a world. It’s not over in a page or 10. I have at least 100 pages in which to indulge in this paper world, and sometimes the promise of 2 or 3 more books to carry me forward. I do enjoy other lengths of writing, as I’ve described above, but something about longer pieces of writing just captures my heart far more.

Do you have any preferences in what length of book you read?

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