I have always been a slow reader. But lately, my pace seems to have slowed even more. One good book can take months to finish. Maybe my brain is in decline. Or maybe the internet murdered my attention span. Either way, I’ve all but given up reading novels—they are simply too long.

It turns out very good writers—Joyce, Morrison, Wharton, even old Tolstoy, the maker of the longest book I ever read—all wrote novellas. In little time, I make excellent progress. In a flash, I am sated. I am slow, but still hunger for story—for reminders that beauty can exist in even the tiniest of passages.