Let’s Talk! | Why Do I Love Huge Tomes But Struggle to Read Short Stories?

Let's Talk! Why Don't I Like Short Stories?

I might be a bit of a weird reader.

I see a lot of bloggers and readers saying that they’re intimidated by books with 500 pages and my reaction is always ‘???’ . I might be alone in this, but I consider 500 pages an average size book. 300 pages is short, and 650+ is long.

Now, I love those long books. I get addicted to the feeling of watching my bookmark move further along a fat spine. I know a lot of people wouldn’t enjoy this, and I totally understand that. What I don’t understand is why I can stay glued to a book for 700 pages, but can’t get invested in a short story.

I’ve always had some sort of issue with short stories. In primary school when we were asked to write one that was 1-2 pages long, I produced 11 sides of A4 and was nowhere near done. I’ve never understood this mentality of “short” stories – why have a little bit when you could have a whole novel? Where’s the room for development, character arcs, plot twists?

Obviously, I get the actual idea. I can even see the appeal – especially if you’re short on time. It just doesn’t appeal to me. I would much rather spend time becoming invested in a plot, learning about the setting and getting to know the characters than powering through five stories with no room for development.

Then, of course, there’s novellas. You’d think since I enjoy long books, I’d be all for extra pieces of content – additions that give you more of the world. While I’ve never complained about additional content at the end of a book, or a free novella online, I don’t think I would suffer without them. In fact, I actually struggle to follow the plot in a short story. There isn’t enough time for me to process it all. I think this says more about me as a person – I don’t like to be rushed.

Maybe that’s what it all comes down to. The reason I don’t like short stories is because I can’t fully process them. I prefer more time to let my imagination run wild, for characters and settings to fully develop in my head. In the end, short stories simply aren’t enough for me. They’re nice, but I don’t think I could ever describe one as more than just nice.

What about you? Have you ever read a particularly exceptional short story? What about a novella that totally changed your perception of a series? Or are you like me – do you just think a short story isn’t enough?

Abi Signature on Paint Stroke

8 thoughts on “Let’s Talk! | Why Do I Love Huge Tomes But Struggle to Read Short Stories?

  1. I relate to this post so much– I consider 500 pages average as well and I love big books (and I cannot lie) because you can get so invested in the story and I do think it is a very satisfying and rewarding thing to do. And I struggle with short stories, I think before I can get really into them they are over so I don’t have the same enjoyment with them and I don’t feel like they can have a great plot in a short space.
    And novellas aren’t my favourite thing– I will read them if I love the characters but I think my enjoyment is reliant on me liking the characters beforehand than the actual novella itself.
    I loved reading this and could definitely relate!! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad someone feels the same! I think you summed it up well, you just don’t get the same satisfaction from reading a short story. And I definitely agree with you on novellas, they don’t tend to bring anything except more of the characters. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooh this is really interesting! My average book length is closer to 300-400 pages, but I think I understand what you mean, since I rarely read short stories for fun. I’ve never really thought about why! I guess it’s more difficult for me to get invested when it’s so short, and it’s so much more satisfying to finish a gigantic tome haha. And I was the same way in school when told to write a short story – I always wanted to make it so much longer! Thanks for this really interesting discussion, Abi!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I find it hard to invest money into novellas unless I truly know the author / really enjoy the series it’s from. They just go by way too fast! Also hi, I’m Germaine πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Germaine! It’s great to have you here πŸ˜„ I totally agree about the money – I don’t mind paying 99p for a novella, if I’m keen to read it – of course I want the author to get paid for their work. But (a famous example that comes to mind) I felt a bit uncomfortable seeing people paying $12.99 for the A Court of Frost and Starlight novella. And you’re definitely right, they go by so fast!

      Liked by 1 person

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