It has come to my attention that I am unable to read short stories. I think I’ve always had this particular deficiency, but it’s only been recently that I’ve actually noticed it.
See, the Beloved Husband has recently developed an enjoyment of comic books, so we’re amassing quite a collection. Because I enjoy graphic novels, I figured I’d dive in too, so I picked up a few of the comics when he was finished. But, for the life of me, I could not get into them – not enough to care to move on to the next installment in the series, at any rate.
The same thing happened when I was reading Neil Gaiman’s Fragile Things. The stories were fun – I enjoyed them, but I just stopped reading after a while. And once I stopped reading, I just never got around to picking the book up again.
These two events happened pretty close together and puzzled me exceedingly. I’ve always chuckled that I’ll read just about anything (barring textbooks), but here I was leaving stories unfinished left and right!
I think I’ve figured out what the problem is though.
Short stories are too short.
There simply isn’t enough time or material to really suck me in. In full-length novels, there’s always another page right there, just waiting to be read. That keeps me reading, even when the story itself is lackluster. In short stories and comic books, that “just one more page” attitude that I have doesn’t go far, because I run out of pages pretty quickly.
So, who knew that being an endurance reader would cause problems in the shorter read department? The follow-up question would be: do I force myself to read short stuff and train myself out of this reading quirk, or do I just wait for the compilations/collections of the individual stories to come out?