13 October 2010


I know I've written some weird posts, but...this one is kind of out there (although if, like me, you exhibit OCD tendencies it may appeal :)

I know that many of us in the blogosphere record our TBR or BR (Been Read) lists online, through handy sites such as GoodReads, LibraryThing and Shelfari. But, I have a problem. I've just finished reading the Burning Up anthology...well, not exactly. I've just finished reading the Whisper of Sin (Nalini Singh) and Here There Be Monsters (Meljean Brook) novellas; neither Angela Knight's nor Virginia Kantra's novellas appealed (and I'm trying to listen more to what I want to read rather than reading by rote). And there is the crux of my dilemma. How do I record the reading of half of a book (so to speak)? With previous anthologies I have listed the anthology as a whole as a DNF in my monthly update, but referenced those novellas I did read. But...the OCD part of me has been twitching (in increasing intensity) at the thought of not counting the novellas. If I've read four this year does that equate to a whole book and, if so, how do I record it? *stumped* And where does all this leave my various reading challenges?

In all honestly anthologies rarely appeal (as far as purchasing goes). I'm too likely to run into a novella I'm not interested in (and then I begin to question the expense). In fact I only own two anthologies - Dreams Made Flesh (Anne Bishop) and On the Prowl. The former because it consisted completely of Black Jewel novellas (of varying lengths) and the latter because I fell in love with Charles & Anna - how could I not?

So, I'm curious, how do you, if at all, record the reading of novellas/anthologies?

Edited to add: Because I'm an idiot I've somehow managed to upset my wrists (my RSI has flared again), so instead of visiting y'all *sad* and commenting wildly, I will be sitting on the couch with an ice pack on my wrists. Hopefully they will settle overnight and I'll be back online tomorrow night. (And before you ask, I wrote this post before my wrists packed a sad :)


  1. I do lists of finished books on different topics on my blog. This year I added one for short stories, which allowed me to add the particular stories I read rather then listing the whole anthology.

    I'm like you. I don't read whole anthologies, just the stories I actually want to read. So in places like GoodReads and add the book and rate it on the stories I read, but make sure I include a note that says which were the stories I read in the anthology.

  2. I love anthologies, but don't always read all of the stories in the anthology. When I add the read stories to my monthly list I just indicate that it is a novella or short story, depending on how long the story is - some novellas are longer than others. I don't use GoodReads, LibraryThing or anything like that as updating my blog list is more than enough for me. I also list the individual stories in my TBR pile, and indicate that they are novellas.

    I have found some great authors through novella's, even if I have bought the novella for just one story.

  3. I hope your writs feel better soon, Orannia.

    I love anthologies and usually read them from top to bottom. I find new-to-me authors that way, even though there are always stories that I don't enjoy as much as others in those books. However, there have been occasions when I've only read one or two novellas in an anthology.

    In that case I list the individual story in my blog ie: Here There Be Monsters (from the Burning Up Anthology) by Meljean Brook. But I do count it as a read. I don't put up an incomplete book in Goodreads, though -- at least I don't think I have? I need to confirm that one. Usually only the ones I've read from top to bottom.

  4. I don't read novellas, but personally I would count them. Why the heck not. ;)

  5. I usually mark the star rating according to what I read in the anthology and then list in the comments that such and such story got this rating and blah blah got that rating and then I'll state that I didn't read the other 2 stories. :)

    Sorry about your wrist - hopefully it's feeling better soon.

  6. Ouch, hope your wrist feels better very soon!

    I sympathize with this problem. I don't often read novellas, but once in a while I do. Usually I count it if it's published as a separate book (like The Sevenfold Spell) but not if I read it as part of a collection. The ones that always give me problems are the Miles Vorkosigan omnibuses. Most of them have two novels and one novella so I count the novels as two books but don't usually count the novella since it was originally part of a collection including several other novellas. But it kind of drives me nuts not to count it... Since my rule for omnibus editions is to count a novel as one book if it was originally published as one, though, that's what I stick to.

  7. Before anything else: you are NOT an idiot, ever.

    On the anthologies... these are the kind of things that drive me crazy :grin: Like you, I find that I rarely--very rarely, indeed--like more than one or two of the stories in a four or five stories anthology, and if I've bought it, I feel like growling (at myself) for the expense.

    On the other hand, if that one story is, say, part of a series *coughInDeathcough* that I adore, how could I not have it in my shelves?

    As for counting it... see why I refuse to even try to keep track of what I read every month? I can just see myself losing sleep over these questions.

  8. Hope your wrists are better... nothing worse than being in pain :(

    Well I use Goodreads, and they allow you to create "bookshelves". I created "anthologies_not-reading-all" shelf, which I check along with read. I rate the books according to the ones I read. I'll usually detail which I've read (although I've become lazy about it).

    I'm all for anthologies, but if it's an author I know I won't enjoy, I usually just skip those stories. I would love it if they sold the stories separate, or gave you option of purchasing the ones you want, but that's not going to happen.

  9. I've struggled with the same dilemma. I was just looking at an anthology on my ereader, that I didn't know whether to mark as read or not, since I'd already read the stories I'd gotten it for. (I wound up not.)

    I used to love anthologies, but over the last couple of years, I enjoyed them less. And, I much prefer the anthologies that have just a few (usually 4-5) novellas as opposed to many short stories. However, for non-fiction, I still love single author essay collections (like those by David Sedaris or Sarah Vowell).

    Hope you feel better soon, orannia! *hugs*

  10. Kerry - I really like that idea...a list of novellas. To date I've added the anthology to GoodReads as I've been reading it, but then I delete it, so I may not start that now, but..a separate list It's brilliant :)

    ShellBell - another vote for a novella blog list :) And I agree, I have discovered some amazing authors through novellas...and some new series (e.g. Meljean Brook's The Iron Seas).

    Hilcia - thank you. Wasn't sure this morning, but wrists feel a little less sore this afternoon. Will nurse them over the next few days just to be on the safe side as I don't want to be completely banned from going on the computer by the physio *horror* Another blog lister of anthologies - YAH!

  11. heidenkind - so noted :)

    Tracy - I like that idea. It would mean my GoodReads listing would be accurate. And thank you. They are aching a little, so I might head offline shortly and pull out the icepack!

    Kristen - thank you :) And I'm glad it not just me that this dilemma drives nuts!

  12. azteclady - LOL! Well, I just had to have On The Prowl, even though I only wanted it for one story! But the counting is driving me nuts :)

    Mariana - thank you. Think I'm at my online limit for the night - I have to nurse them as the alternative...not fun :( I LOVE your idea - brilliant!

    Renee - I too would love it if novellas could be sold separately, which is why I often borrow them from the library. Maybe eBooks will help hasten that? And thank you.

  13. I am so desperate to have my total number of books read in a year come close to 100 that I count each novella as 1 book. LOLOL!!!

    Okay, that's not entirely true. I'm not desperate to reach 100 books. I accept my ... limitations and I'm okay with it. Really. Not that I wouldn't love to be able to read more than I do within a period of time, but I am what I am, so that's cool.

    I do, however, count novellas as one book when that's all I've read in an anthology. Whether I've read one or all of the stories in an anthology, I count it as one book. My list is kept by me for me, so I make the rules.

    I would love if individual stories in an anthology were sold separately as ebooks! I've always wanted to read Meljean's short in that anthology with the red cover and the woman on it? ... something with "blood" in the title? ... but don't want to buy the whole anthology for just her story. It really bothers me... in fact, I think that's why I haven't budged in that series. MY OCD is keeping me from reading the series out of order and I HAVE to read that story. GAh! THat's so messed up! :S

    p.s. I love The Count! ^_^
    *thunder & lightning*