I took delivery of a couple of books today. I've been really looking forward to getting these for a number of reasons.
As you can see one of them is written by this year's Man Booker Award winner, Lydia Davis. She was quite a controversial selection because she mainly writes short fiction, very short fiction, micro-fiction, if truth be told. In fact, I counted five stories in her anthology which were only one line long - and I may have missed some because I was flicking through the book and it's easy to miss stories which are less than a page in length when you flick through a book.
Long time readers of the blog will know I struggle with reading. Having ADHD doesn't help, but the main reason is that I'm slowly - though less slowly these days - going blind. I can only read regular print when my focus co-operates, and more and more it is not co-operating. At work I now have a brilliant machine which enlarges print for me, but it's not something I can carry around in my pocket.
I have an app on my phone I can use to magnify print, but it is designed - and is very useful - for reading short bits of text; the sort you might find as directions on a medication bottle or your 2-minute noodles.
So, less and less I have found myself disposed to reading in recent years.
Time is also a consideration. Having the time - and mental space is a part of time as well - to read is hard when you're a mother of four kids, doing a PhD and somewhat addicted to crocheting and painting...
So, having set that scene, let me tell you about my discovery, my new-found lust, and the solution to my reading problems (no writer worth her weight in books doesn't read, you know!)...
VERY SHORT FICTION: also known variously as Flash Fiction, Micro fiction, Short-short fiction, Nano fiction, Smoke Long Fiction, Miniature Fiction, Palm Sized Fiction, Five Minute Fiction, and probably a few other names I have yet to discover.
This is what my PhD is about, so it's rather convenient for me that I will be writing flash fiction as well as reading it, and reading about it.
Very short fiction is great for people with not a lot of time or concentration. You can read a story in a few minutes - or a few seconds - and believe me when I tell you well written flash fiction can stay with you a life time, so don't be put off by it's brevity.
What the old saying? 'It's not how big it is, but what you do with it, that counts!'
Get into it, there's no excuse not to read now!
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