Since I just finished reading Nathan Englander’s excellent collection of short stories (see last Saturday’s post) I was reminded of my mixed feeling about reading one short story after another, particularly by the same author.
I really enjoy reading short stories. One of the many nice things about reading the New Yorker Magazine is getting the weekly short story. There are so many different authors, including short stories translated from many languages. It’s a real treat to get one a week.
However, I sometimes feel that reading an entire collection of short stories by the same author impairs my enjoyment of the stories that appear later in the collection. As varied as the collection may be, the author’s distinctive style, or use of imagery remains and leaves less of an impact on me as I read.
In addition, after a powerful short story, I need a break of a day or two before I can continue reading. In short stories, words are often even more powerful than in novels and I need time to take in what I just read. Or sometimes I almost feel afraid that the next story will dispel a feeling that the previous story has left me with. This rarely happens with novels.
Despite that, there are distinct advantages to reading such a collection during the school year. It is great when you can read a whole story “at one go”, instead of forcing yourself to stop reading in the middle of a chapter because there are things to be done.
Nonetheless, I’m glad that the next book I’m about to read is a full length novel!
These were taken from our recent trip up North.
The Paeonia Mascula flower only blooms for two weeks a year. We are the southernmost point in the world where it blooms.
Those ARE Cherry Tree blossoms – right here, two hours away from home!