Why short stories make perfect holiday reading

I tend to go on one of two types of holidays – either a package holiday where I spend a week doing nothing but lazing by the pool or on a beach, or a holiday where I stay in a couple of different places and get out and about doing things every day.  Of the two, I much prefer the latter.  But this kind of holiday does leave precious little reading time.  I do make a point of reading something every day, but often on “active” holidays, it can feel like I’m losing the thread of the plot and characters, or that the book is beginning to drag when I’m only turning a couple of pages each day.

This year, I tried something different.  My holiday reading was The Breaking Point and other stories by Daphne Du Maurier.  This is a very dark collection and not at all a typical holiday read, however I found that I really enjoyed reading short stories rather than a novel.  I would be able to read each story in a couple of sittings, so I never felt that I lost the thread of anything and I didn’t become frustrated with lack of progress.  I also felt like I had actually got a lot of reading done, as I read and finished several self-contained stories.  I love to read, but it does tend to take a back seat when I travel.  By reading short stories, I didn’t feel as if I had abandoned reading for a week.

I’m completely sold now.  The next time I go away for a break when I know I will be travelling around a lot, I will definitely be packing a short story collection.  I currently have two sitting unread on my bookshelves – Selected Stories by Katherine Mansfield and The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.  Reading short stories is relatively new for me and I am now constantly on the lookout for new collections to add to my shelves, and now also to my suitcase.

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Posted on August 19, 2013, in The Blog and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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