“Really short book” might sound like a one-off title, or the name of a goofy series, but really short books are, as they sound, books of less than 150 pages.
These slim volumes have been creeping up around registers at bookstores, and unlike the decked out reprinted classics, these books are light weight and simple. Despite their size, though, they dole out hefty lessons and philosophical thoughts.
Seven Brief Lessons On Physics by Carlo Rovelli gives a sweeping, yet detailed look at this branch of science in just seven chapters. Cyclogeography: Journeys of a London Bicycle Courier follows the seven chapter format, and the author, Jon Day, tells about not only his adventures, but the underappreciated importance of the bicycle courier. Little Labors by Rivka Galchen is delivered in a more mixed media form with full length essays and short stories, to single sentences and paragraphs exploring the relationship between babies and literature.
Although we love the serenity of bookstores and the quiet, nostalgic feeling brought on from a picture of stacks of books, most people are impeded by time when it comes to reading. It’s a busy world, ripe with countless ways to spend whatever free time we might have. The anxiety over catching up on the newest Netflix original or staying afloat with the latest celebrity news can make it difficult to sit down and read, but the really short book offers something new. It’s easy to transport, and it can be read from cover to cover in only one or two sittings. The really short book surely appeals to the ever busy culture of today.
Besides being quick and generally easy to read, these brief books all have something wildly innovative to offer. I mean, who could imagine a physics lesson in seven chapters? Or, a pseudo adventure around London with Jon Day? The really short book also gives a format to topics that might not do so well in the longer format, like Little Labors. These short books may be concise, but they’re hardly lacking anything that a longer book can offer.
There’s great satisfaction to be gained from finishing a book, even if it’s really short. What shorter books have you read in one or two sittings?
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h/t New York Times