In an informal survey, most of those responding admit they love the anthologies that seem to be gaining popularity, with only one respondent saying flat out that she didn´t like them. Once reserved just for Christmas, these books are everywhere these days, some for holidays like Valentine´s Day, and many more related to no specific holiday whatsoever. (I have one friend who swears if she sees one more of a particular kind of Christmas anthology, however, she´s going to be extremely upset.)
Of those surveyed, many say they buy any with a favorite author. Luckily, since there are many more now than ever before, we have lots to choose from. I admit to buying probably more than my share, and have several friends who do the same. Part of the appeal, according to several of the women polled is the shorter length. It is more convenient for them, since everyone has less time these days, to spend the leisure time they do have with something enjoyable--in our case, reading romances.
And what are some of the other attractions of anthologies? For starters, they are very fast-paced. They have to be, with most weighing in around a hundred pages or so. For the writers, that makes them a bit more difficult to write, making sure that the entire story can be told and understood in such a short amount of time. The plots cannot be too complex, which makes them perfect for a quick, relaxing read, without having to concentrate on whodunit and when.
What it comes down to is that the novellas in these books are love stories, plain and simple, and that is what we´re all after, right?
Another bonus of these books is that there is a variety of stories. We may be buying the book for one author in particular, but we may be introduced to other authors we haven´t read before, opening more doors to us as far as reading choices go, also not a bad thing for those of us who claim addiction. This gives us the opportunity to discover new favorite authors, or at least to check out a different style than normal. For the authors, as well, it is a chance to do something different. I have one book sitting on a shelf with a very well-known author of contemporary romance, yet in this anthology, she´s written a fantasy. I loved it, like most of her millions of fans, I´m sure, and I´ll bet she had a lot of fun stretching her wings.
In any case, next time you see an anthology in the book store, check it out. You may be pleasantly surprised.