Weekend Distraction: Read Short Stories on your iPad through the App called Paragraph Shorts

Screen shot 2013-01-25 at 4.38.28 PMI have no trouble finding books to read. My “waiting list” is very, very long, and gets added to almost daily.

But short stories? Hmmmm…. I have to think about that.

Honestly, I’m not that much of a short story fan. I like to get lost in the fiction I read, get swept up by the plot, and make friends with the characters. The longer the better. I like to fuss as I get closer to the end, because I don’t want the experience to be over. To me, it’s a great book when I regret turning the final page.

Can you feel all that with short stories? I don’t know. I did read an excellent collection a few years ago, but I found myself constantly feeling short-changed, left with one foot in the air, incomplete and wishing the stories were longer.

However I do know that there are many excellent short stories with awesome authors producing superb fodder for numerous outlets, including magazines such as The Atlantic and The New Yorker.

And now, with a new iPad app called Paragraph Shorts, you can read short stories gathered from these and many other sources (all for free!).

You can also save them to read offline (a lifesaver for traveling).

Now I am excited to give short stories a try.

Beautifully presented, once you download the app from the iTunes store, you will find it in your Newstand. With the app downloaded, you will regularly receive collections of short stories.

You can see here, I have so far received 4 copies full of short stories WITHIN the app. I have downloaded the two most recent copies and have not yet downloaded the first two. To download them, all I need to do is tap on the cover. This is how they appear within the Newstand App.

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Tapping on number 4 brings up the collection to full screen. Glancing through the author list, you can see there will be selections this time from Elizabeth Gilbert, Tobias Wolff, and Alice Munro among others.

Wow, huh?

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Tap on this cover image and the display opens as you see, below. Notice the symbols next to each story. Some are readable, some are to be listened to, and occasionally there is video, as well.

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Paragraph Shorts for the iPad is FREE in the iTunes store and is getting sensational ratings… 5 stars!


10 thoughts on “Weekend Distraction: Read Short Stories on your iPad through the App called Paragraph Shorts

  1. This looks very interesting, SC. Unlike you, I LOVE good short stories, with sharp, snappy beginnings and crisp, surprising endings. But writing a short story is really a specialized art form. Often successful novelists approach it as though they were just writing a chapter out of one of their books, and it just doesn’t work like that. But some of my favorite books are anthologies, and I have a whole shelf full. I might buy one because there is a story in it from a favorite author, but I often discover other very good writers in the collection. It gives me a chance to sample various writers without having to invest in a book for each of them. Like you, when I’m involved in a good book, I am sad when it is over. I, too, get invested in the characters and care about each of them. But sometimes my day might only allow me to read ten minutes here or fifteen minutes there, and I hate getting interrupted over and over during a good book. This is where short stories are wonderful. You can often read one from beginning to end in that time, so they are perfect fillers, until you can finally curl up with your big book for the evening.

    One question…do you have access to authors of your own choosing, or are the stories culled from the various sources and presented to you for selection? I’m guessing the latter? Either way, let us know how you like the app.

    • You’re right, it’s the latter, presented kind of like a magazine. The ‘cover’ I showed above listed the authors on the cover for #4, and then below that, I grabbed the screen shot to see how it ‘opens’ to allow you to pick your content. So, yes, they are gathering the content and presenting it within the app. 🙂

      • Okay, I see now. The app is actually a magazine. (I must have read your post too quickly. Or I’m wearing down as the day goes on, and getting stupid. Dusk Brain strikes again!) Free short stories are still good. And they give you a chance to “taste” the work of writers who might be new to you. Then you have a feeling for if you want to read more by that author. I think it sounds like fun. Sadly, I don’t have an iPad. I don’t suppose it’s available on iPhone? (I’m really being lazy, aren’t I? I can easily check that out myself.) As always, you are on top of new things for your readers. Thanks!

    • Hey Marcia, I am not a writer, but I used to write in talehunt App, Its really cool… anyone can write short stories there , the only constrain is we need to write stories within 250 chars, the top stories are selected each day by number of likes each stories get. my handle in talehunt android app is @carolyn , please check my profile in the app to view all my stories.. Would love to hear your feedback…

  2. Daniela says:

    I think you might find short stories enchanting … or at least some of them -:)! There is a quite a skill involved into ‘compressing’ the plot into a short story format … the skill I often ‘envy’!

    All the Best,

    • I agree, Daniela. It’s an art form all to itself, and one many very gift authors never master. But a good short story will pull you in from the first sentence, and leave you moved by the last one, whether it’s funny, spooky, romantic, or mysterious. And there’s a lot to be said for a fifteen minute read. SC, I can’t wait to see if you find them more pleasurable than you imagined.

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