Why don't Americans read more short stories?

Over at Powells.com, Elissa Minor Rust contemplates something I've been thinking about a lot lately: why short stories don't command more of a market in the fiction world these days.

Short stories are so wonderfully compact, when they're done well, with all the depth and breadth of novels, and yet when I want a really good read, I always choose a novel. Something about picking up in the middle of a story that I've been a part of for days, or even weeks, already, is just so much more satisfying reading. You can't get that with a movie, which is over in two hours (or so), or a TV show. A story that goes on for days or weeks becomes to feel a part of your life in a way that short stories never do.

Or do they?

(via Bookslut.)

1 comment:

Trevor Jackson said...

It's a good question, but if it's just length we're going by we should all be reading poetry.

Poetry and short fiction--when they're at their best--are dense. They require a concentration from the reader that can be less critical from line to line when reading novels.