Simon Kernick’s novella Wrong Time, Wrong Place is billed as a Quick Read. With the decline of the pulp magazines and the advent of the paperbacks, the novella got short shrift by publishers. It was easy to stick a 20,000 word novella in with a fistful of short stories and leave readers feeling like they’d gotten a bargain. When the paperbacks came around, the general length in the 1950s and 1960s was 50,000 to 60,000 words, which wasn’t too much of a stretch from the occasional pulp “novel” that ran 40,000 words.
Still, the ability to sit down and read a novel in a single sitting was lost to readers. Happily, with the emergence of epublishing, this art form is once more enjoying a Renaissance that writers and readers are enjoying.
I digress, but I do so in order to point out this viable entertainment that our busy lives can use. We work more now than ever, so we need to find entertainment that can be enjoyed and COMPLETED in a much shorter time. Even television has gotten away from this in the continued arcs that jump from one episode to the next, so that – in effect – you’re watching a long novel in weekly installments. Not a bad thing, but I’d rather binge watch a series like that, and when I do, it takes careful planning to avoid exhaustion and frustration.