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?