I am very much a novels person. I love grabbing a chunky volume off the shelf and curling up with it, and I've found that my favorite novels tend to be at least 500 pages long. I'm also very much a details person in that I find that I need to know everything, and that's what long novels usually give me: painstaking detail.
This is also why I am generally not a big fan of short stories.
But--I've been reading a lot of Stephen King's short stories recently. Maybe it's just that it's him, but I've been enjoying them quite a bit. One of the advantages is that if I'm not necessarily very into a story, I don't feel bad skipping over it. It's also an advantage that I can tell myself it'll only be a few more pages and then it'll be over--it's not like trying to plod through a novel that I'm not enjoying.
They're also just cool little pieces of the author's mind. It's so interesting to me to think that an author could be struck by an idea and create an entire story in pretty much one sitting.
I feel like I've always resisted short stories unless I had no choice--by which I mean, if I wanted to read something by Edgar Allen Poe, it would probably have to be a short story. The desire to read short stories just never really translated to authors that had written things other than short stories. My fiancé wanted me to read a collection of James Thurber's short stories once, and after not really getting into the first few, the book sat guiltily on my nighttable until he asked if I was ever actually going to finish. I said I might, but short stories just really weren't my thing. It was difficult for me to enjoy them because right as I was getting drawn in, the story would be over.
I think now, though, after reading a few of Stephen King's short story collections in a row (Everything's Eventual, Night Shift, Skeleton Crew, and now I'm working on Nightmares and Dreamscapes for a second time), I'm starting to appreciate the format a little bit more. It's kind of cool to have neat, easily digestible, read-in-one-sitting stories that I don't necessarily need to get invested in (even though I do).
That actually leads me to a good metaphor: short stories, to me, always felt like the one-night-stand of the book world. No commitment, minimal time spent, just wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am and we're done. I've always been a deep, committed relationship kind of person when it comes to my books. But now I think I'm ready to play the field a bit more with some more short stories.
So, that being said, a question those of you who are connoisseurs of short stories: where do I start? Or, I guess, where do I continue? What are some of your favorite short stories? Did you have to learn to like short stories like I did, or have you always liked them? Which do you like better, short stories or novels? Let us know in the comments!