Friday, 27 October 2017

Chuckles Chat #40 Anthologies

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This week, I'm looking at anthologies.
Anthologies appear all over the bookyverse and are very popular with many readers. The new in-thing seems to be these themed anthologies in genres like paranormal romance, urban fantasy, horror and dystopia. You know the ones I mean...an anthology with a title like trick or treat, filled with stories based on that theme, or others like angels and demons, magic and mayhem and so on. You can pick up these sets sometimes for 99p and get maybe 20 books in it to try. There are also the anthologies put together by a top author which is then padded out with a lot of new authors in the genre, or maybe a horror writer like Joe Hill putting several of his offerings in one volume. Generally with the range of anthologies, there is something for everyone.

I went through a phase of grabbing these sets at cheap prices with the aim of trying the authors in them who are perhaps unfamiliar to me. Sometimes I'd grab one because a short story from a series I'm following has been included in it. I might even have grabbed one written purely by an author I like. Oh yes I had plenty reasons to grab these as they do often look like great bargains. Buy this at 99p and get 20 new authors to try! Sounds great right?

My problem is that after I grab them, they sit and fester on my ereader and I never seem to feel motivated to read them. I think I have about 35 anthologies, maybe more, sitting waiting for my attention! Every time I look at them I think to myself 'I'll get to them eventually' but I never seem to. The problem is I know I'm only going to like some of the content, and the prospect of ploughing through a lot of things I don't enjoy to get to the hidden gem can be daunting. And of course there are occasions when you don't like any of the books! It does take me a while to get through an anthology, even when I DNF the ones I don't like. I usually feel more like reading one book rather than a pile of similar in one volume. 

Quality can be an issue when a lot of books are put together like that. When I talk about that, I'm not referring to the quality of writing. It would be unfair to say that most of it is rubbish and only a few are decent...we all have different tastes in our personal reading so what I think isn't great will thrill someone else. By quality here I mean relating to my personal enjoyment of what is included in the anthology. I find that in a volume of say ten books, I might really like one, think a few are ok and the rest I don't like at all. If you are lucky you get a line or two about each story on the back or dust jacket so it is harder sometimes to decide if an anthology will suit you or not. Often it is easier to view a big blurb for one book and decide!

So is it really worth the effort for a reader like me? I suspect the answer is probably no. I'm picky about my reads and I hate a lot of tropes that seem to pop up in a lot of anthology books so I find it hard to get excited by the idea of reading them now. I think I need to note down every book I have on these anthologies and look them up on Goodreads and cross out the ones that don't interest me and see what I am left with. I could maybe then get through the rest of these sets quicker and get them off the ereader at last! That could take a few days though but I think it needs to be done. Perhaps then I can find a few of those longed for hidden gems that pop up every now and then!

Do you read a lot of anthologies? What genres do you like them in? Why do you like or dislike them? What do you think of overall quality? How do you decide which to read? Do you pick up these 99p or $1 volume? Do you read anthologies by your favourite author? Do you buy them to get a new story in a series you love? If so do you read the rest of the stories or just that one you bought it for?

12 comments:

  1. I read anthologies, but I don’t usually rate them very high because there are always a few stories in them that I dislike. Still, I read them because I like short stories, and they’re a good way to discover new authors.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. I have a pile on my ereader that I need to deal with! Groan! It'll take ages to research each story and decide which to read!!!

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  2. I have mixed feelings about anthologies. I like the ones where one book may have a theme and you get stories/novellas from different authors. The only real issue with this kind is that I'm weird and like to have physical copies of them (I can't seem to get into reading them on ebooks) and 2, sometimes when a story is set in a series I haven't started or read, I feel a tad lost.

    Now when it comes to the 15-20 books with same theme being touted as a "deal" purchase, I don't care for them. Maybe because I feel like I have to sort through what I'm interested in and really don't want/need the rest. But then, I'm weird that way.

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    1. I'm going to have to deal with my pile of anthologies or just delete them! I'm sick of them staring at me all the time! I just find them so awkward to get through on an ereader!

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  3. hummm anthologies are a hit or miss for me as well! I think horror are the one that seem to work best for me

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  4. I'm not an anthology person, but for different reasons than you. I just don't much care for short stories because it takes me a while to actually connect to characters. Sometimes it takes me multiple books in a series to really get there, so a short story usually just doesn't cut it. The exception would be that I might pick up an anthology if it had a story from a series I love already, but that would depend on how much I love the series and how much the anthology costs.

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    1. I'm not the biggest fan of short stories except maybe as prequels to try before committing to a series. There are a lot of things to consider about anthologies, I agree!

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  5. I think you know I enjoy them. I share many. I think I enjoy getting to sample different authors. I can always skip a story if it doesn't work for me too. Of course, that rarely happens as that story will haunt me until I go back and read it. LOL What a coincidence that you posted this today when I also posted a review for an anthology! Weird, right:)

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    1. I certainly have seen that you love them! I think sometimes you need to be a DNFer to get through some of these anthologies!

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  6. I have not read any anthologies, but am getting ready to read Mirrors & Thorns for a blog tour.

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    1. I need to deal with the ones I have but it's yet another time consuming thing!

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