I decided to read some of the many unread short story collections I have here. There are a lot of them. So I picked one each of pulp mystery, straight SF, classic mystery, and fantasy stories and decided I’d rotate through them, one or two stories from each and then move on to the next one and so on. Reading at my normal pace, this resulted in four or five stories a day, depending on length.
What I’ve quickly discovered is that I’m not especially good at limiting my reading to only short stories.
Maybe it’s that I’m switching genres, since the contents of the collections are very different indeed. Imagine reading a classic Father Brown story followed by a fantasy sword-and-sorcery, then a pulp mystery, then a hard SF story. Sometimes the jump is a little too abrupt and I have to take a break before beginning again. That means reading down time. Sure I can read a magazine, go for a walk, etc. but if I’m reading, then I want to be reading not walking about watching the snow fall or the cars sliding by the house on the icy roads, as entertaining as that may be.
My solution? Read a novel and, after a chapter or two take a break and read a short story. Then go back to the novel. My plan to plow through lots of short story collections is going to have to be modified. Less stories, but a novel gets read too.
How about you? Do you read many short stories at a time, one now and then, one a day (as I know Jeff will say) or do you go straight through a story collection?