Kindle from the library, but you are not sure you're going to like eReading, and don't want to commit to a whole book that you might not have the time or inclination to finish. Whatever your reasons for avoiding reading an eBook, we would like to suggest the burgeoning field of eNovellas, and, our personal favorite, short story collections in eBook format.
The novella as a form has fallen out of favor, but is enjoying a resurgence right now. They have been around in European literature since the Renaissance, and feature generally "fewer conflicts than a novel, yet more complicated ones than a short story...[they] are often intended to be read at a single sitting" [Wikipedia]. Famous novellas include: Herman Melville's Billy Budd, Sailor; Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea; Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's; and Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. We think you may even love the form already without knowing it!
Here at abcreads, we often feel that short stories as a genre have gotten short shrift lately as well, despite their rich and magnificent tradition, which date back to oral storytelling and fables. Early examples include The Canterbury Tales and The Decameron, both of which feature short stories in the "frame" of a larger story. Early short story masters include Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe, Kate Chopin, Guy de Maupassant, and Anton Chekhov. In the early 1900s, when magazine publishing was flourishing, so did the short story, with magazines like The Strand, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Saturday Evening Post regularly featuring stories. At this time short story writing was lucrative and authors often quickly penned a story for some cash in hand. Some authors published in this era are: F. Scott Fitzgerald; Ryūnosuke Akutagawa (the father of the Japanese short story); Dorothy Parker; and Franz Kafka. The genre continued to be very popular through the '50s and '60s, with its popularity falling off alongside the rise of film and the shrinking of the commercial market for them.
So, check out an eNovella or an eStory collection today! Maybe you just want to kill some time...but you will be breathing life into a literary tradition, and becoming a link in the chain of literary history, all while still being on the cutting edge of technology!
Shipwreck by Maureen Jennings
The Hangman by Louise Penny
Patricide by Joyce Carol Oates
A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows by Diana Gabaldon
Darkness Under the Sun by Dean Koontz
Hollyleaf's Story by Erin Hunter
Chaotic by Kelley Armstrong
High Heat by Lee Child
Snatched by Karin Slaughter
Museum of Final Journeys by Anita Desai
The Variable Man by Philip K. Dick
Stupid Perfect World by Scott Westerfeld
Qissat: Short Stories by Palestinian Women
Mad For It: Short Stories on Football's Greatest Rivalries - Part 1, Manchester Utd. v. Liverpool: Seeing Red by Andy Mitten
There is No Long Distance Now: Very Short Stories by Naomi Shihab Nye
One World: A Global Anthology of Short Stories edited by Chris Brazier
Agnes Owens: The Complete Short Stories by Agnes Owens
Island Boyz: Short Stories by Graham Salisbury
Midnight Pleasures: Four Short Stories of Otherworldly Passion by Amanda
Ashley ... [et al.].
The Jacques Futrelle Megapack: 47 Tales of the Thinking Machine and Others
Dreamsongs, Vol. 1 by George R. R. Martin
Bite by Laurell K. Hamilton ... [et al.].
A list of popular eNovellas from Goodreads
A Brief History of the Short Story in America
In Praise of Short