Go Long

One reads for many reasons – education, information, to pass the time – but if one reads voluntarily, whatever the cause, it’s a pleasure.  But it’s also an investment, not only in time, but intellect and, at times, emotion, as one gets to know characters and their lives.  In a recent discussion in my book club, it was agreed (by at least some) that this is why novels were preferred to short stories.  Who wants to make that kind of investment only to have it end after eight pages?  Or, alternatively, short stories are often intentionally episodic, capturing only a moment, at which point I often don’t care, no matter how well written, because I’ve not been afforded the opportunity for investment.  Of course, there are exceptions – Alice Munro, Alice Munro, Alice Munro – but not everyone can pack a novel’s worth of wallop into a few pages.

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