The Long and Short of It

From The Guardian last week:

“We think this will be the renaissance of the short story,” said novelist Sophia Bartleet, who came up with the idea for Ether Books’s app while desperate for something to read when travelling back and forth to see her ill mother. She believes time-poor commuters, or workers grabbing a 10-minute break, could be tempted into reading a short story here, or a poem or essay there, on their phones.

Well, yes. The only problem is, I saved this article to read later on Instapaper for my iPhone. Combine Instapaper with @LongReads on Twitter, or the new LongForm website, and you have pretty much mirrored the Ether Books model. I worry that this is yet another niche filled by something free.

The longest things I have written on this blog are probably this meditation on Britishness, and this Borgesian theatre review… neither of which are that long at all, really. Writing something longer might be a goal for my thirty-second year, beginning today.

James Brindle archived two years of twitters into a hardback book. Photo by STML

1 thought on “The Long and Short of It”

  1. You can’t really have a ‘renaissance’ for a genre that never got off the starting blocks though, can you?

    The problem is clearly that there is a conflict between what factors inform people’s reading choices, and what factors inform people’s writing or publishing choices. Any genre which places the latter before the former (as the Short Story inherently does) is not one which is going to appeal.

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