Apr 1, 2013

Posted by in Question | 10 Comments

Question – How Do You Read An Anthology?

Thanks to my self-imposed reading marathon last week (Lover at Last, Love Irresistibly, Rising Darkness, *squee*) I didn’t have the brain capacity to come up with a new Question for you this week.  So I’m recycling this one from October 2010.  I think this is a good one, and it’s about Anthologies, something we don’t often talk about.  So here is goes…

Anthologies. They are becoming more and more common…and many mainstream authors are submitting pieces for them. Anthologies are a chance for readers to discover new authors and for authors to perhaps tell the story or a beloved secondary character from their book series.

I like the idea of Anthologies — how you get many stories in one book and how you get to sample different authors. After all, the Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance is what convinced me that romance novels were not the devil and that they were…well hot and totally worth reading (even though I giggled profusely at the man on the cover with the beautiful eyes and the creepy little mustache…*giggles*). But I find that now that I am buried under a mountain of a to-read pile, I don’t have the patience to read through a whole anthology. I’ll pick one up if there is a story by one of my favorite authors about some of my favorite characters and only read their story. Then I’ll put the book down. Unless I start reading books written by one of the other authors, I won’t pick it up again.

Which leads me to my question for you: How do you read an anthology? Do you read it cover to cover or do you just focus on the authors and story lines that you are familiar with? Or do you skip them altogether?

  1. I usually read my favorite authors’ stories first, then later go back and read the rest of the stories/novellas.

  2. I read the authors I follow first then read the other authors…gives me a chance to find out if I would enjoy them.

  3. Sapphire says:

    I read authors I know, and might go back later to read the others. I’ve only read one all the way through. I don’t read them often.

  4. Readsalot81 says:

    If it’s a bigger collection (like the pic above) I tend to skip around to the authors I know & like first. But if it’s only 3 or 4 stories.. (like one of those little mmpb deals) I tend to just read straight through.

  5. Actually, I find myself shying away from romantic short stories unless they’re from favorite authors. In romances, there tends to be an aspect of “wham/bam/thank-you ma’am” that I find off-putting. That makes anthologies by definition less appealing to me. I realized that when Joey Hill released a couple short stories separately earlier this year, and I jumped on them. I wasn’t willing to pay for the anthologies to get to them, but snapped up the singles without question. There was a time when I would read an anthology cover to cover, but I’ve become too impatient to wade through stories that don’t seem as well written to me as the ones I like.

  6. I don’t usually buy anthologies. I usually wait until the author I like publishes their own short stories together or puts them on their website for free. I find enough new authors from the blogs I read and can get samples from amazon on my kindle to see if I like a new authors voice enough to buy their full-length books.

  7. Good question Julie. It depends on what other books are calling my name. I try to read all the stories, and review them, but sometimes I just read my favourite author and never go back for the rest. I have been trying to read those in the bath tub, but that isn’t working very well either.

  8. I agree with Aurian, I try to read them all but usually end up reading my fave author and thats it. For me the longer the better so short stories in an anthology usually aren’t hits for me.

  9. Jessica says:

    I’m not a huge fan of short stories, so I never pick up Anthologies. I’ve seen some well done, but for the most part they do not appeal to me. They give me just enough of a taste to get me interested, and then leave me hanging. With pure Fantasy short stories (which I used to try to read years ago), they were often a bit depressing too. I read Brandon Sanderson’s shorts, and shorts from my favorite authors when they tie into the story I’m already reading, or connect two books in a series (IE: Sierra Dean’s shorts for Secret). If the short is about a side character, then I’m not interested. And if it’s the same story told from the perspective of the guy, I am absolutely in no way interested. In my experience, reading the Male POV’s of stories already published sort of ruins the original story for me (like Edward’s POV on Twilight, or Moning’s DarkFever short from Baron’s POV – ugg).

  10. Rebe – Me too 🙂

    Diane – Finding new authors is a big plus for anthologies.

    Sapphire – I don’t read them all that often anymore either.

    Readsalot – Come to think of it, I do the same thing 🙂

    Mzcue – I totally agree with you. It must be difficult to write a short story that holds an ‘entire’ romance because it’s hard to find really good ones lol

    Liz – I also find that more and more authors / publishers re-release anthology novellas alone a few months down the line in digital format. I am happy that seems to be a trend now.

    aurian – The bathtub is a great idea for reading anthologies. Nice short reads! Smart idea…even if it’s not totally working for you 😉

    Lexi – I hear ya.

    Jessica – I don’t mind male POV, but it really has to be done right. Gordon Andrews Curran POV are exceptionally done. You really feel as though they are HIM and not another Kate. I find it interesting that you aren’t into reading about side-characters. Then again, the side character really needs to have a good story or I guess I wouldn’t be interested either lol

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