Reading is my passion. All of the genres are fascinating to me. However, I agree with Paolo Bacigalupi's, an American science fiction writer, opinion of the short story:
Short fiction seems more targeted--hand grenades of ideas, if you will. When they work, they hit, they explode, and you never forget them.
Why choose a short story instead of that stimulating 400 page novel? Lorrie Moore says that it depends on what the reader needs in his life at the time.
A short story is like a love affair, a novel is a marriage; a short story is a photograph, the novel is a film.
I love short stories. A short story can be read in a single sitting, thus the reader receives instant gratification. Many times, the short story combines objective matter-of-fact description with a poetic mood. Like Poe's writing, it presents a unified impression of time and effect. There are limited characters and a simple plot usually with one setting. The author's point of view is established and may or may not change by the end of the story. Many times, the short story leaves the reader wanting the story not to end, but relishing the close connection that was established with the main character.
The short story provides a delicious feeling of intrigue, poignancy, or realism. There are so many good short story writers. Here are a few of my favorites. Stephen Crane="The Open Boat"
Haruki Murakami="The Seventh Man"
Margaret Atwood="Death by Landscape"
Edgar Allan Poe=All of them
0. Henry="The Gift of the Magi"
Shirley Jackson="The Lottery"
WillaCather="On the Gull's Road"
Kate Chopin=All of them
Jack London-"To Build a Fire"
Ambrose Bierce="An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge"
Jesse Stuart-"Split Cherry Tree"
Of course, I like modern short stories as well; however, I chose these particular stories because I have seen my students' actually become interested in reading and discussion after reading these wonderful stories. When a teacher experiences a "macho" high school football player raise his hand and give the summary of an "An Occurrence..." and tell the class,
"If you didn't read this story, you missed out. I didn't want it to end."
After that, for the teacher, all is right with the world.
Yes, I read short stories.