Short Stories to Read

From a young age, I loved reading and exploring new worlds to emerge myself into. Pillows and blankets were thrown into a corner, I nestled in, and cracked into a new universe. From demolishing 500 page books within a day, to missing math assignments because I was too busy reading, I was extremely passionate about learning, interpreting, and experiencing new adventures from the books I so abundantly loved.

But that’s the key word: was.

As I’ve grown up and became busier with school, friends, and community service, my dedication to reading has decreased dramatically. School books made me fall asleep and I couldn’t find the time to read for myself. I continued to buy books, but they pilled up, collecting dust on the shelf. The stress of school got to me, and the desire to read, became a chore instead of a hobby.

When my junior year rolled around, my English class redirected from traditional novels to contemporary short stories. The short, simple, and sweet stories were a quick read but still capturing. The 10 pages were an easy ride and I had still had time to continue my usual routine. I had found a way to emerge my self once more, without the time consumption of a full length novel. Reading short stories allowed me to still read for pleasure while keeping up my grades.

I began with an assigned short story called, “The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane. The naturalist novel intrigued me and I loved it. The plot, characters, hidden meaning, and the reading process helped me to love reading once more. “The Open Boat” stirred something inside me, and I became obsessed with short stories.

If you’re like me, a once avid reader turned book hater, I highly recommend short stories to kick back and start to read for yourself, and not just for those dreaded analytical essays. If you’re having trouble finding a place to start, here are some of the short stories/short novels that helped me rediscover my love for life-long learning.

  1. “The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane
  2. “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”  by Ursula K. Le Guin ( all time favorite )
  3. “Walden” by Henry David Thoreau
  4. “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky” by Stephan Crane
  5. “To Build a Fire” by Jack London
  6. “There Will Come Soft Rains” by Ray Bradbury
  7. “The Sun Also Rises” by Ernest Hemingway
  8. “Demian” by Hermann Hesse
  9. “Siddhartha” by Hermann Hesse
  10. “The Interpretation of Dreams” by Sigmund Freud


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