Saturday 28 June 2014

Barnaby thinks small

The British economist E F Schumacher used the phrase 'Small is Beautiful' as the title to a series of essays he published in 1973 (The phrase itself is credited to his tutor, Leopold Kohr). The phrase is usually used to champion small design solutions that are reckoned to empower people more.

Barnaby has been wondering how this philosophy translates to books, where it seems that 'bigger is better' is often assumed. A look in any book shop window will reveal the latest blockbuster novels which are often four, five, or even six hundred pages long. Indeed it appears that these books are sometimes sold by the kilo rather than by the quality of the writing. Does this mean that a long novel is, therefore, superior to a short story?

Happily not, for the truth is that it is ultimately the quality of the ideas and the writing that will win out. There is a place for both the long and the short. The long novel allows plots to be developed further and characters to be explored in more depth. The short story allows single ideas to be presented in novel ways and is sometimes the jumping off point to be developed further at some later date. Many times, though, the short story exists simply to provide a few minutes entertainment, or to provoke a new thought.

To this end, Barnaby has been creating short stories for the last couple of years in what he calls 'coffee break' sized pieces. Each can be read in about ten or fifteen minutes, just long enough to accompany your morning coffee. (Of course they work just as well in the bath, on the train, or in bed).

Each book in the Barnaby's Shorts series contains ten short stories in a wide variety of genres. To get you started, Volume One is entirely FREE! here and, as it is an ebook download, it doesn't even weigh a fraction of a kilo.

You can find more of Barnaby's books at

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