I love short stories. I think it is the concentrated goodness, or the cutting to the chase that is necessary to cram an entire story into a few pages. Perhaps I love them so much because I am in fact a commitment-phobe, a little gun shy when it comes to fully commiting to any long-term relationship.
This brings to mind the time Richard and I broke up, or rather I broke up with Richard. Aptly entitled 'Richard's Worst Day Ever, and Then There Was the Dog Poop', it's my kids' favourite story. We'll get to that some other time.
Yes, the short story relationship is probably the best one out there. You get the best of the story, skip the unnecessary details, and get right to the point. No idle talk, no messing around, and if there is idle talk, you know it's in there for a really good reason. There is no wasted ink in a short story. It's all good.
I've lost track of how many books I've begun to read, only to lose interest after a couple chapters. Worst, to lose the actual book after having invested my time and interest. Doubly worst, to have forgotten the book on the deck and to have it torn to shreds and eaten by a raccoon (5 books this summer). With short stories, you sit down, you read, your life is forever changed, and you're done.
Short stories. If I were to be given any book as a present, I would hope it was a collection of short stories.