2 min read

5 reasons short novels are basically wonderful

5 reasons short novels are basically wonderful

Why read short novels? Well, we can get real fancy on a subject like that...

We can talk about reading in our Age of Distraction. Or we can extol the genius in masterful brevity. Or we can swap stories about hidden wonders, delightful work that's been overlooked just because it doesn't fit publishers' page counts.

That's all valid and smart and worth deep diving. But let's spend some time with the obvious. Consider a few simple-but-still-excellent reasons to read short novels.

Here's what we'll call  5 Reasons Short Novels Are Basically Wonderful

  1. Short novels are a great way to get your "reading fix." Every day, every week. Whenever you do your reading. Do it regular enough, and it becomes "a fix," an experience you crave. Short novels are like a bowl of mac n cheese on demand, whenever you want, always guilt-free.
  2. Short novels are perfect for people who don't have a lot of time to read. No one gives you time to read, after all. And while you're granting yourself that, those "bestselling" heavyweight doorstoppers can be daunting. Short novels can be very inviting that way. Built for modern life, as they say.
  3. Short novels can often be read in one sitting. Of course no one should tell you how fast or slow to read. Some short novels are so thoughtful, you'll want to stop to catch your breath. Others you can't put down.
  4. Short novels are a TikTok antidote. (Here me out.) Both use short formats that take limited commitment. Some short novels can be cute and funny too (without trying as hard). But short novels have the advantage of using words, which work your brain in ways videos only pretend to. (Boom. Topic of the day. Discuss among yourselves...)
  5. They're also a great way to try out authors and genres. Maybe you've never explored a space opera. Maybe a "Nobel prize winner" sounds like a snore. Maybe thrillers only work on Netflix. Short novels are a great way to dip your toe in uncharted waters.

Remember: everyone reads their own way, for their own reasons. Only you know the kind of joy you get from reading. But chances are there are lots of short novels just right for you.

Online booksellers aren't so great at highlighting short novels. But a good local booksellers should be full of suggestions.

The Shortish Project is an evolving database of new and classic short novels from publishers big and small. Find the latest. Discover hidden gems. Search by author, book title or ISBN here.

Or lean in and do a random scroll through the full Shortish database (600 titles or so)!