Booking Through Thursday: Short Stories vs. Novels

Which do you prefer? Short stories? Or full-length novels?

I like both, but which I’m inclined to read depends on my mood.  I generally gravitate towards novels – because they take less time, if you can believe it.  By that, I mean that they’re usually divided into chapters, and in my experience, a short story is longer than a chapter of a novel.  So if I’m riding the bus and want to read, I’m more likely to finish a chapter than a whole short story.  But each has its place, and I think some of the best writing has been done in short stories.  Eudora Welty and Flannery O’Connor spring to mind, but there are many others as well.

What about you?

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  1. I also like both. Oddly, I love sci-fi, fantasy, and horror shorts, while I have a hard time warming up to longer novels in the genres. Maybe because plot and idea usually take precedence over character development in short stories, so my usual pet peeves aren’t as pronounced?

    Only sort of related — I found a beat up “Fantasy Annual IV” (edited by Terry Carr? It’s not a series i’ve heard of) at the thrift store that had the original short story version of “The Brave Little Toaster” by Thomas M. Disch. Knowing only the made for TV cartoon, I didn’t expect much, but Wow. It’s one worth checking out, especially if you like fairy tale conventions.

    (Have not read any Eudora Welty. Maybe should check it out? I man a lonely “Doesn’t like Flannery O’Connor” table in most short story discussions.)

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