Few people would disagree that America today has what I like to call a “microwave mentality.” We want things when we want them – right now – and sometimes we are willing to sacrifice quality in the name of brevity. Just like microwaving a frozen dinner instead of taking the time to prepare a quality meal.
So why don’t we read more short stories?
I’ve never understood this paradox. We think a three hour movie is absolutely unbearable, yet we often overlook a twenty-page story and instead grab the 400-page novel. Why is that?
It has nothing to do with the quality of the short stories. There are some amazing authors writing short stories right now, as well as some classics that can send you into the world in a “what did I just read?” daze. It’s almost like having an entire novel jam-packed into 5,000 words.
Click here to find these short stories in our library!
I admit, I’m part of this contradiction. I use my microwave way more than my oven. I tend to pass over the fresh fruits and veggies for the lasting-until-the-end-of-time canned variety. Even so, when I see a new book of short stories, I generally skip over it without even trying a tale or two.
It’s not like it would take that much time. Certainly it would feel like I’ve wasted less time if I don’t like it than slogging through half a novel and then pitching it. So why don’t I read them? What’s my beef with short stories?
I have no idea. This is another question without an answer for me. But I think that perhaps the next time I’m looking for something new, I’ll try a book of short stories. What do I have to lose, right?