Recently I have been reading short stories, partly to break up the concentration needed to focus on Les Miserables, and it made me think about how I read. I love an inches-thick tome, or a sprawling, epic series, as much as the next person, but they don’t always scratch that itch: a short, sharp relief in the limited time you have available.
Like an episode of your favourite television series, or a 90-minute feature, having a self-contained narrative you can enjoy in a single sitting is an attractive proposition. Even if it is connected to a larger series, you don’t feel like you’re missing a key piece of the story, or that you’ve forgotten who someone is because it’s been a while since you read the last chapter, because it’s all there.
There are many out there worth taking a look at, such as those by Ben Kane, and I have found them as involving and as enjoyable as their larger sibling.
I’ll close with this thought, the destination this reflection has brought me to. How many times have you had to rush out to catch a train, and forgotten to pick up your book to read on the journey? Or how about your phone battery proving itself less than stellar? I’ve experienced both, and have found myself buying a newspaper or magazine. If there was a kiosk at the station, selling novellas in a similar price range, I know which I’d pick.
I’m sure I’m not the first to have given voice to such thoughts, and I’m equally sure I won’t be the last. It’s something worth thinking about though, isn’t it?
EDIT: On another note, I’ve discovered that tonight sees David Farr’s Troy: Fall of a City premiere on BBC One. As a child, I would say the majority of what I read can be summarised as the adventures King Arthur or Robin Hood, the escapades of d’Artagnan and the Musketeers or the wondrous array of Greek myths and legends. (Who am I kidding, it still can!) I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am about watching this . . . anyone else?