What is the purpose of a book exactly? Does it exist for enjoyment? For escapism? For learning? Does the answer to this question depend on the book's genre?
I recently (yesterday) finished reading His for the Holidays (anthology)...and I loved it! But reading it got me to thinking about the purpose of an anthology. For example, by the end of Mistletoe at Midnight (LB Gregg) I was asking myself why I hadn't read any of LB Gregg's books before now! And I own one! I honestly didn't want the novella to end, and almost felt...peeved that it did and that I had to read something else. But, finishing Mistletoe at Midnight lead me to Harper Fox's Nine Lights over Edinburgh, which ended up being my favourite of all the novellas. This was the novella that lingered (that still lingers)...had me asking questions...and wanting more. The characters (James and Tobias) were wounded and flawed, two character traits that I love. Their journey was not short or easy...and they still have so far to go. Even now, I still can't see the novella ending where it did. Yes, the ending worked, but *stamps feet* I want...more! Doesn't everyone? *grin*
And then I was struck by the 'why' of anthologies. Their purpose is to introduce readers to unknown authors...or to authors they know but are hesitant to try. Yes, sometimes these novellas are part of a series (am thinking of Burning Up, which contained a Psy-Changeling novella by Nalini Singh) but...anthologies are like a taste test. I'm not sure if this happens where you live, but here, if a company wants to introduce a customer to a product (I'm thinking of a food product), they set up a stall in a supermarket and permit the customer to try the product. And that's what anthologies are in a way. Well, not quite as you purchase anthologies *watches analogy fall apart* but they permit the reader to discover an author they wouldn't have otherwise tried. So will I be reading more stories by Harper Fox? Definitely!
So, what do you think the purpose of an anthology is?