“Short stories are tiny windows into other worlds and other minds and other dreams. They are journeys you can make to the far side of the universe and still be back in time for dinner.”
If I had to choose one type of storytelling to read forever, I would very likely chose the short story. I find it amazing how the best short stories can affect me more and tell a larger and more complex story than some novels take thousands of pages to do. Some of the stories and phrases that have stuck in my head when I don’t remember anything else come from short stories – little sudden bursts of emotion, be it horror, love, shock, joy, that have embedded themselves firmly in my brain and heart.
Particularly, I enjoy the strange tales. The tiny glimpses into worlds and scenarios where so many unseen and unspoken things and happenings and creatures lie just outside the narrative, and even without ever having actually seen or heard them, they burrow into your mind and make you think peculiar thoughts.
“A short story is a different thing all together – a short story is like a kiss in the dark from a stranger.”
My collection of short stories is quite impressive, ranging from well-loved masters of the art to small unknown story tellers trying to impress their passion upon the world. And for all of them, it is true that despite their tiny physical natures, I often forget to give them the attention they deserve when they compete with the novels for my reading-hungry eye.
It makes me sad to realise it when I’ve passed them over, knowing that they require so little of me while having the potential to give so much!
Therefore, as of today, I will endeavour to read 1 short story every day without being bound by having to read a whole book, but rather just dive in to stories that strike my fancy. Taste and sample from the large variety of morsels that wait on my shelves.
I’ve never been any good at reviewing a whole short story collection – it hardly ever seems reasonable to give just one rating or general comment on what is a motley gathering of many different stories – and thus, I often end up bypassing sharing my love of short story collections despite a book perhaps containing one of the most touching stories I’ve ever read.
So, I can’t tell you how this is going to play out. Whether I will be able to write reviews of single stories, or even just gush about the ones that strike me particularly.
More than anything, this is to promise myself that I will no longer neglect those little pieces of wonder that I love so much and have so much potential in their tiny forms.
“A short story is the ultimate close-up magic trick — a couple of thousand words to take you around the universe or break your heart.”
Do you love short stories as much as I do? Are there any fantastic authors/books I should add to the list (as if it wasn’t long enough already)?