My Problem With Anthologies

What makes you read anthologies? I just can’t do it. Tell me the secret!

I’ve never really been a fan of anthologies sooo it was particularly silly of me to request 3 different kinds when I first joined Netgalley!

My feedback ratio has been abysmal from almost the beginning, so I’m attempting to force my way through the remaining two collections on my ARC list.

I couldn’t understand why I was put off reading them. I’d chosen three different genres- horror, dystopian and fantasy. I love these so why did I keep skipping over them?

There are so many brilliant reasons to read anthologies:
*Bite size stories you can start and finish in a matter of minutes.
*A fun way to discover authors new-to-you without a heavy time investment.
*A wide range of writing styles.
*Higher chance to find a story you enjoy.

So why don’t I like them?
I’ve narrowed it down to these points:


I enjoy a variety of genres and can easily tire of reading the same one repeatedly. I tend to switch genre after two or three books at most. This depends on plot rather than length. I could read two 500 page stories from the same genre back-to-back, but 1000 pages split into several tales feels too repetitive. Weird huh.


How do you guys read multiple books? My memory and concentration span are terrible. Once I start a book I have to read it to the end. If I started a simultaneous read I’d have all my characters and timelines so confused I’d never be able to follow them.
It’s bad enough I frequently go back a page whenever I pick up my current read, sometimes I fall asleep reading but other times its just flown right out of my head.
So when I start an anthology I will try to finish it in one, no back and forth.


Anthologies give me too many opportunities to stop reading. I like my books to hook me in and hold my attention to the very last page. I need the just-one-more-chapter reaction to cleverly placed cliff hangers, the urge to guess ahead, a race to discover how it all ends. I won’t give up in the middle of a novel, but in an anthology with so many endings it’s too easy for me to put it down for later… though later never comes.
I have a mountainous TBR to conquer so if I put down a book I probably won’t pick it back up.

Do you enjoy anthologies?

What am I doing wrong here?


Author: Roxanne Michelle

Dramatic, curly-haired wannabe writer from a nowhere town in Somerset. Stop-starter of all projects great and small. Here to talk books, film, mental health and lifestyle.

12 thoughts on “My Problem With Anthologies”

  1. I am a sucker for good character development, when given the time I can get quite attached. Anthologies make that pretty difficult to achieve, regardless of whether it’s reading one or watching one.
    For me, the stories have to really be on point for me to get invested in an anthology book or TV series, as my slight obsession with Black Mirror proves.

    Nice post x


    1. Ive only got one left to read now but it’s 45 different dystopian short stories. I’m really putting it off, feels like itll be a genre overload.
      Thankyou! And thanks for sharing too, you’re the best. 😘

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Depends actually! Normally I don’t like anthologies.. but sometimes horror stories are great as anthology. Say.. sometimes 3/4 sentences is enough to portrait a super creepy story 😭


  3. I normally read like ten books, and it’s precisely because I’m a mood reader and my attention span in short that I do xD I need to keep “changing the channel” 😀 I don’t struggle with keeping track somehow. But that said, I also don’t enjoy anthologies or short story collections. That’s because I get attached to characters, and with short stories… Man, once I get attached, the story is done! And sometimes it’s done before I even get attached. So most of the time I just can’t connect to the story at all.


  4. Oh, I’m with you all the way here! I keep buying short story collections and anthologies and just never seem to pick them up. You’ve hit the nail on the head about why I can’t seem to get into them. I’m especially with you on not being able to read multiple books at once – that has ALWAYS baffled me! I’m so glad I’m not alone 😀


  5. I like anthologies, but they aren’t a sit down and read in one go thing for me … especially because my anthologies from school are 1500+ pages …

    I’m a mood reader as well, but I think that’s sometimes why I like anthologies. I have a few Victorian Lit and Canadian Lit ones, and they have so many different poems and short stories that I can pick literally from an abundance of genres. It’s pretty nice.


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