Something really sad happened this week. I returned three novels to the library – unread. Unread! And I just returned them!

{Yes, you’re right. We SHOULD pause for a moment of silence here. Sad, sad silence…}

If you’re wondering why on earth I would have done such a crazy thing, it’s because — as I mentioned on Facebook earlier this week — I have a book problem. Right now I have books I have to read (for work, for my accountability group and for my small group) and a whole stack of books I want to read. Five (FIVE!!!) books by authors or in series I read and adore became available at the library at once. Plus two books that everyone and their sister has read and raved about – available. It’s like the library is out to get me!

So those other three books? Well, I wasn’t nearly as excited to read them and with the other stacks waiting for me, I knew I simply wouldn’t find time for them. SIGH.

What am I supposed to do? I love to read. I really do. It’s pretty much my favorite thing to do. Ever. Always. But life just doesn’t always allow me the luxury of hours spent immersed in a story. So my stack of books gets taller and great novels get dusty or buried or, worst of all, returned.

I think it’s time for a new approach to reading.

Enter my new favorite thing {drum roll, if you please…}: short stories!

Lately I have been LOVING short stories. Novellas are good, too, but they are such an in-between length that I often feel shorted, like I’ve missed half a story. Short stories, however, aren’t just short books. They are intended to be brief and seem to be better at having everything a reader needs in a small package. Um. By “package” I mean words and pages, people. Minds out of the gutter!

(Unless you’re reading romance, and then I suppose that’s where your mind was meant to be.) (ANYWAY!!!)

The beauty of short stories – other than the reduced amount of time required to complete one – is that I don’t have to keep track of a storyline in between moments stolen to read. If I finish one short story and don’t get back to its book for a few days, I don’t have to skim the last pages to refresh my memory. I just start over with the next short story.

Some of the short stories I’ve read recently include:

I’m still reading Five Enchanted Roses. I started reading it because a college friend of mine wrote one of the stories, but I’m reading the rest of it because I love twisted or fractured or revised fairy tales (and Beauty & the Beast is one of my favorites)! So far I’ve read two of the short stories with a Beauty and the Beast theme — one about pirates and mermaids, and one based in a jungle. If you like unique takes on fairy tales, too — and if you have a long book problem like I do — you should try this collection of short stories!

Short stories work for me right now!

Do you have a book problem? Do you like short stories?

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