In today's day and age, we could say that the attention span of the current generation has certainly been impacted by social media. So what makes short stories perfect? Well, they are short for a start -- but not only in the sense that they have less words. No, short stories are fast paced with single-minded plot and concise form. Most written literature conveys a message, they explore real worldly themes, events and ideas even if they are completely based in fiction, within magical realms or written from the point of view of animals.
Short stories allow authors to do this without the lengthy character building, plot development and other lengthier activities involved in creating a novel. By their nature, they are more accessible to more categories of readers, especially students as they provide a more concise format than full-length pieces. This is extraordinarily helpful for those of us who enjoy reading but often find it difficult to take out enough time to properly dedicate to a novel -- which they very much deserve.
While there is no end to the number of short stories you can find, here is a list of five which you could begin your reading journey with or add to your already ongoing list. In the coming winter ahead, it is always such a fantastic feeling to be warm and drink all your favourite hot beverages. Add a short story to this and rekindle your love of reading in your bits and bouts of free time.
The Yellow Wallpaper
This short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is my all time favourite. It is a very harrowing story, but so beautiful in its execution as Gilman realized that writing was one of the only forms of existence for women of her time when they had very limited rights to express themselves.
Written in 2017 by Kristen Roupenian, Cat Person became increasingly popular online and that was how I first came into contact with it. Almost immediately, I learned why -- the plot almost perfectly captures the concepts of modern dating by exploring many of the uncomfortable situations they face.
The Haunted Mind
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s fascination with the realm between sleep and being awake is wonderful because we are allowed to experience it as well through his work in this short story. Gothic, terrifying and transcendental.
For Esmé—with Love and Squalor
J.D. Salinger explores the inglorious aspects of war at a time when a romantic version of it is to be expected and everyone deems to be patriotic. This is done so by addressing many of the burdens soldiers carry once they have returned home and is considered a tribute to those suffering from PTSD.
F. Scott Fitzgerald's story of a man trying to reconnect with his young daughter in the wake of his past mistakes, tackles themes of alienation, guilt and hopelessness among others. A classic Fitzgerald piece.