The nice thing about short story collections is that they are easy to put down when you don’t have time to read for hours at a time. They can take the pressure off when you are interrupted a lot or if you fall asleep easily while reading.
A short story is more likely to be finished while you have “just a moment” to read. This is handy when you are on a lunch or coffee break at work; when you fall exhausted into bed at night and can’t keep your eyes open long enough to get through a full chapter in a long book; when you read during the commute to work (you won’t miss your stop because you can’t wait to see if Esmeralda falls off the cliff); or when you’re expecting a phone call or a visitor.
And for some people, this is no small matter: If someone interrupts me during the final showdown in a long book I’ve invested my life in for an entire week and the next paragraph explains how the escape plan was hatched, I get mad. Yes, I succumb to the emotion of the movie in my head. I’m totally wrapped up in the climax of the story and I resent any and all interruptions. It could even ruin my day, set the mood for the rest of it, and I become the Tasmanian Devil of the secretarial pool.
Well, maybe not that bad, but I do like to finish a story I’ve started. And if I don’t have the time to do that, I don’t like it. Short stories fulfill my desire to get to the finish line on my own time, not someone else’s.
Stay tuned here at Thumbnail Books for opportunities to become involved in future projects involving “short writing.”