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Beyond the Lone Islands

Thursday, 3 June 2010

BTT: Long And Short Of It

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

Usually I prefer full-length novels - or even series of novels - with time to get to know the characters. I can enjoy short stories too; but I often find it hard to plough through a collection of a lot of various short stories in a short time, unless there is something to tie them together - like the same characters, or a common theme. When I have little time to read though, short stories might sometimes be just the thing.

Looking at my own book shelves, I have a lot of novels, but few collections of short stories. In English, I have one paperback collection of 50 Great Short Stories by various English and American writers, which I bought once in a second hand bookshop. I also have a book of "Eerie Tales" which I bought in Britain back in the 70s. I think I might have bought it when we were up at Loch Ness in Scotland, but I'm not quite sure. There is also a Penguin Classics collection of stories by Edgar Allan Poe, a Wordsworth Classics collection of Father Brown stories by G.K. Chesterton, and The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes. I also have several versions of King Arthur tales; and at least four more recently bought books with Celtic Myths and Legends, like the Mabinogion. I have not read all of these through, just looked things up and read some of the stories.


Mersad said...

Just by lčooking at the cover it sets me in a mood to read it. Love novels like these. Love Edgar Allan Poe too.

Ginny said...

"The Particular Sadness Of Lemon Cake" by Aimee Bender. I bought it yesterday, it just came out. A wonderful novel. When the lead character eats anything, she can taste the emotions of the person who made the food. Critics are raving. Strikes me as having the magical realism like Gabriel Garcia Marquez' books. Have you read "One Hundred Years Of Solitude"? It's a classic now and just wonderful. I have lots of Poe, both poems and stories, and have been to his house in Richmond and an exhibit. Would you like to see? Wait till you see the sad desk he wrote from!! I will be back in just a bit and give you the date it's on my blog

Ginny said...

If you go to my blog on August 30, 2009, you will see the Poe things. I have pictures of his dorm room at U.V.A. where he wrote some things. It is preserved behind plexiglass and close to the way it used to be. Then you can see his writing desk, what surprised me was almost no back on the chair, a very sad little pair, but of course he was impoverished.

Sandra said...

My teacher in high school forched us to read all the Poe short stories, they kind of scared me. I like full lenght novels best, but sometimes enjoy short ones like when i am in a doctor office waiting. I liked O Henry's short stories, don't have them, but recently looked up Randsome of the Red Chief which I loved and read it again on line. did you know you can read all the short stories on line by both these authors?

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading your post. I prefer novels.

Anonymous said...

I mostly read novels, but there are a lot of short stories I love. I didn't mention Poe in my Booking Through Thursday, but I love Poe's short stories. The Fall of the House of Usher and The Tell-Tale Heart are some of my favorites.

DawnTreader said...

Ginny, I went back to your Poe post (and also left a comment there); very interesting, thank you.

I can't say I was ever a really huge fan of Poe's but I have one book with a few classic tales by him in Swedish translation, which I got already in my childhood. I bought the more comprehensive collection in English later because his stories are so often referred to in other books and literary discussions and when that happens I like to be able to look things up and refresh my memory.

Sandra, I think by now almost every classic 100 years old or more is available as free e-text on the internet, thanks to Project Gutenberg and similar efforts. I make frequent use of that now for looking things up... But when it comes to reading a whole book or long story I still prefer it on paper. With some books I read in the past I also have sort of visual memories connected to the edition that I read. Especially with books I studied at University and made notes in etc.

gautami tripathy said...

I read a lot of short stories online. I
BTT: long and short of it


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