I’ve always loved short stories, and found short story collections to be a great (and low risk) way of getting acquainted with new authors. When I’m at a loss for something new to read, short story collections are my typical fallback. These collections are also perfect reading material for those stretches when you don’t have a lot of time to read for pleasure. While good stories are still compelling, they don’t demand the level of commitment that novels often do.
I picked up the 2004 edition of the Best American Short Stories a couple of weeks ago, edited by Lorrie Moore, one of my enduring favourite authors. I’m four stories in right now, and so far her taste is as impeccable as I was hoping it would be – not one miss yet.
On a related note, I’ve recently joined Good Reads http://www.goodreads.com , which is a great site for many reasons, but most of all it appeals to my obsessive love of list-keeping.