WFMW: A Solution for My Book Problem

WFMW: Short Stories

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?

Photo source

Works for Me Wednesday :: Giving Up on Perfect

It’s time for Works for Me Wednesday. I’m looking forward to your tips, tricks, ideas and inspiration! If this is your first time linking up with WFMW here, PLEASE read the guidelines I shared in this post. Highlights include linking your specific post, not the front page of your blog, and making sure to include a link back to this site in your WFMW. Thank you!!

23 Comments WFMW: A Solution for My Book Problem

  1. Pingback: WFMW – Cheap, DIY hanging hay feeder | Rina Marie

  2. Emma August 12, 2015 at 12:50 am

    I also love reading and love getting books from the library. I have little problem with returning a book unread. I often just wander the aisles and grab a book that looks interesting. If I realize I’m not into it, no problem. The thing that bothers me is when I read 100 or so pages and then decide I don’t want to finish. I fell like I’ve invested 100 pages into it and should see it through.

    I also like short stories. My library has some O. Henry prize collections. This is an award for short stories given each year. These collections have several of these stories in a book format. I can read the ones that look good and skip some others. You may want to check these books out.

    My Bright Blue House

    1. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect August 12, 2015 at 9:47 pm

      Oooh, thanks for the O. Henry prize tip, Emma!

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  5. Lisa Appelo August 12, 2015 at 5:05 am

    I have a similar problem stacked up on my nightstand! And I’m pretty sure I’ve been to that amazing used book store in your pic. It’s worth leaving with a tall stack of books!

    1. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect August 12, 2015 at 9:46 pm

      I mean, really – is there anything better than a stack of books?! ;) (Except maybe that stack AND the time to read them all!)

  6. Lisa/Syncopated Mama August 12, 2015 at 7:12 am

    I have a HUGE book problem, too! I started a 3-book novel series (each one about 1,000 pages) the last night of our camping trip and now that we’re back home and I’m trying to play catch-up, I haven’t been able to keep reading it. I’m hoping that in a week or so, things will settle back down and I can at least soldier on through it for a bit each night, but otherwise, I think I might have to try your short story idea!

    1. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect August 12, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      Whew! You’re going to be due for some short stories after that trilogy! Good luck finding time to enjoy it and finish it!

  7. shari lynne @ Faith Filled Food for Moms August 12, 2015 at 8:40 am

    My husband and I LOVE books! LOL We’ve cut back over the years though’was getting out of hand! I too love short stories..I love any short story that has a great “moral of the story” ending :) Have a blessed week and thank you for the link up!

    1. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect August 12, 2015 at 9:44 pm

      I’ve purged books and sworn to stop collecting them more than once because things “got out of hand”! :)

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  9. Beth August 12, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Sometimes a barrier in our lives creates a new channel of blessing. Sounds like that’s exactly what your packed schedule is doing to your reading list, Mary! I’m glad you’ve found some great stuff to devour at a much faster pace. Thanks also for the linkup, my friend!

    1. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect August 12, 2015 at 9:43 pm

      Oooh, I love the way you put that, Beth – barriers creating blessings. Yeah, I really like that!

  10. chelleybutton August 12, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    Is the college friend anyone I’d know?

    1. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect August 12, 2015 at 9:43 pm

      I don’t think so. Dorian Tsukioka was a senior when we were freshmen, I think. She went to the BSU.

      1. chelleybutton August 13, 2015 at 5:03 pm

        You’re right. :)

  11. Lina August 12, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Yes, Mary! I have the big book problem too! I have too many physical books and now e*books too. I am in book piggie heaven… My latest excuse is that I am moving to CT where we will be snowed in and I will read my life away. (talk about fantasies) LOL.

    I have tried the short stories and I often find them too short. I like to have an ongoing story and then I also read something meaningful that I like to chew on a bit and journal about. I am currently reading that The Trouble with Demons series and The Ragamuffin Gospel. Just to keep balance. =)

    I have the secret belief that there is no such thing as too many books. I was born to and raised by professional hoarders though so be careful.

    Best, Lina

    1. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect August 12, 2015 at 9:42 pm

      I don’t really think there’s a thing as too many books either. And I LOVE your balanced reading!

  12. Susan G. August 12, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Yes I have a book problem!!! Looking at the above photo of the library (?) books room, I started to get a lot of anxiety…thinking that may be just how my house will look one of these days. I love to read too!! And I don’t get enough time….I mean I don’t TAKE enough time to read all the books I have. The books on my library wall, on the bedside stand, in the drawers in the antique chest, in the box under my bed…you get the picture…and I just purchased 4 more online! I guess we all have a choice to make, and I will make the choice to pick out the most important books for the NOW and read, read, read. I actually have 4 different books started (although a couple are devotional books), so I AM reading, just not fast enough, or long enough. I guess when my time here on earth is done, it won’t really matter which books I didn’t read. But I am sticking every day with the most important book of all – the bible!
    Happy reading everyone!

    1. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect August 12, 2015 at 9:41 pm

      I can’t decide if my house looking like that library or bookstore stresses me out – or is my dream come true! ;)

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  14. Becca @ The Earthlings Handbook August 13, 2015 at 9:23 am

    I have the opposite problem: I don’t do well with short stories because I don’t always have the right amount of time available to read a whole story and only one story. I read novels, make myself stop in mid-chapter when I’m out of time, and do pretty well at remembering what’s going on. I read mostly when I’m eating alone (weekday lunch, and some breakfasts and snacks), on or waiting for a bus alone, and nursing my toddler.

    I do like short stories for reading aloud on long car trips. I’ll read one right after we start driving, and then we can discuss it until the next stop. A Night in Funland and To Break the Silence are two anthologies I picked up as a teenager that have some stories my 10-year-old has enjoyed repeatedly since he was about 7.

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