Do You Read Novellas? Let’s Discuss!

Posted December 4, 2015 by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction in Let's Discuss / 43 Comments


You all know that I have major issues with finishing series – I often find myself way behind. But even those series that I’m on top of, I’ll sometimes realize when I hop over to Goodreads or see a review that I’ve missed something – the novellas.

It seems like more and more often lately, every series has novellas attached to them, but I very rarely read them. I used to – back when I had more time to read – but I find myself skipping them most of the time nowadays. Sometimes it’s because I didn’t pay enough attention and didn’t know they existed, but most of the time I just don’t find them that appealing.

Oddly, I’ve enjoyed the novellas that I have read. And there are some that REALLY add to plot and that I’m so glad I read. For instance, the novellas that went with Brigid Kemmerer’s Elemental series – at least one of them was almost completely necessary to read, in my opinion, and the others added a lot. Same with the UnStrung, the only novella in the Unwind series.

But how do I know if it’s really worth my time? Usually before I read a novella, I read a lot of reviews to see if it’s essential. I actually own a paperback copy of the novellas from The Selection series, but I haven’t read it and I probably won’t because the more reviews I’ve read about them, the less interested I am. Sigh.

(By the way, I’ve noticed that I’m more apt to read novellas if I can get them in paperback – weird, since I read lots of books on my Kindle!)

How about you? Do you read novellas? Are there any that I absolutely MUST read if I read the series? Please, tell me in the comments, because otherwise I’ll probably miss them.


43 responses to “Do You Read Novellas? Let’s Discuss!

  1. Joycedale

    When I started reading this post I automatically thought of the Elemental series. If you skipped that one novella the next book would’ve been a little confusing and shocking.
    I usually read the novellas if they are cheap. I’m not going to pay more than $3 for it and my library never has them. If I miss them it doesn’t bother me.

  2. If I enjoyed the series, then I’ll automatically read the novella – unless it’s ridiculously overpriced or something weird like that. I like that novellas a quick reads and when I love a series, I want to spend as much time in the world as I can XD The Throne of Glass novella bind up are as integral to the series as all of the full books in my opinion, the one from the Daughter of Smoke & Bone series was lovely and totally worth it. Also, ANY Sanderson novels will definitely get my attention too haha! Anyway, lately I’ve been trying to actually FINISH some of the series I have on the go, so I feel you there 😉 Happy reading and great discussion post! xx

    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted: Review: The Woman Who Rides Like a Man
  3. I usually don’t read novellas for the same reasons as you. Personally I prefer actual books, if something important happens in a novella, I’d prefer it to be in the book, or at least in the back section as an extra! I prefer hard copies of books, and often novellas come in e reader form or I don’t want to spend money on one because I would prefer to buy a different book! So personally I’m not the biggest fans of them…

  4. Like you, I kinda pick and choose my novellas. I do like reading them though. Like you said, some are really helpful to the series at large! I am really enjoying Danielle Paige’s Dorothy Must Die novella series as it’s showing what was going on that led Dorothy to returning to Oz and basically all the characters’ motivations! And Tahereh Mafi’s two novellas were great insights to the guys who fell for Juliette. I mean without that first one, I don’t think I would’ve ever liked Warner!

    But then there are other novellas that I do pass up. Like I didn’t read Jessica Brody’s novellas to her Unremembered trilogy. I don’t know why. Guess because I was late to the trilogy and didn’t feel like delaying myself? And then there are some like Kelley Armstrong who writes quite a few, but they’re spread out to so many different anthologies that I just can’t keep up. So with those I basically wait until she publishes a collection of them and then just read whichever ones that way. But I struggle to keep up with them all, so I don’t basically.

    So I guess in the end it just comes down to what author/series the novella comes from and my enjoyment of said author/series. And of course, what the novella is about. If I feel like it will contribute to the story in some way, I’ll read it. Or if it’s from a series I absolutely LOVED then I will definitely be reading it as well!

    Jessica @ a GREAT read recently posted: Follow Friday
  5. I honestly don’t pay much attention if novellas exist – I have to randomly here about it somewhere. hah I like the idea behind novellas (something extra for fans, etc.) but I don’t like when you MUST read them to really get the story or something…especially if it’s only available on e-book. I didn’t used to have a Kindle. I got mine a couple years back, so it makes it harder to read for some people.

    ShootingStarsMag recently posted: Review: Batgirl of Burnside Volume 1
  6. I like a novella, usually. And I used to always read them, especially for series I enjoyed. Plus, it was an easy way to up my Goodreads count 😉 But now… time. I have pre-ordered novellas for so many series that I have enjoyed, only to have them sit on my Kindle unread. Which I also think is weird, like you- especially because they’d take almost no time to read! I say that I will read them before the next book comes out (a good example is The White Rose and The House of the Stone, which still sits unread even though I finished TWR months ago!) I do want to try to get better about this though!

  7. I’ve never really read any novellas, but I’m lucky if I actually get round to finishing a series, let alone reading accompanying novellas. I may have to try it out though just to see if it adds anything to the reading experience.

    Laura recently posted: 6 Fairytales Disney Cleaned Up
  8. I like to read novellas if they’re attached to a series (or even short stories). But if I fell out of love with a series, I won’t go on to read anything more about them. Like, I fell out of love with Divergent, so I never read any of the Four stories. Same with Selection. As an author, though, adding on a novella or short story to a series is a chance for us to continue to play in a world we love, and possibly add another income stream to our wallet. I personally would never put a novella or short story at the back of another book because of loss of possible income (though I WOULD give it away to newsletter subscribers), so I would hope that if readers loved a series, they would go on to purchase the novella. 🙂

    S. J. Pajonas recently posted: Book Chat #21
    • That definitely makes sense–you need to be paid for your work. Is it possible that fans of your work would buy a new edition of your books that included a novella? I think for some of us, it almost makes MORE sense to buy a whole book in order to access the additional novella even if we already own an older edition without it, rather than just buy the novella alone.

      Wendy recently posted: TTT: Winter Holiday Favorites
      • So that becomes a lot of work too. I need to recompile old books with new material at the end, and then if it’s a new edition with brand-new material, Amazon wants you to create a whole new ASIN for it. If you ignore that and just upload over the old edition, only new customers will get the novella (Amazon will not always push out new versions to old customers and even if they try it only works 50% of the time). Old customers who bought the previous edition can’t re-buy the new one and then may get pissed off and leave bad reviews. Unfortunately, if you’re not self-publishing and have never done it before, it’s ALWAYS more work than people think it is. I would just rather put the novella up for sale on its own. That way people can buy it or not, they can leave reviews for that version and no one gets shorted in the deal.

        S. J. Pajonas recently posted: Sunday Update – December 6, 2015
  9. I read SOME novellas. Like you mentioned with the Selection series novellas, I have zero interest in reading them. But I have other novellas that go along with books where I’d like to see more of the couple. So I guess it totally depends. I always feel a little guilty when a novella is counted toward my GW book count too… like I’m cheating or something. LOL Great post! 🙂

    Lisa @ Lost in Literature recently posted: Clean Slate Read-A-Thon Sign-Ups!
  10. It depends on how I feel about the series but mostly, I have been skipping them. I have read a longer novella and even if it gave a little backstory of the villain, it didn’t add much to the overall enjoyment of the series.

    Like you, I also do not know that there are novellas attached to a series because I mostly don’t pay attention to them as much. Chances are, I miss them altogether.

    I also read a lot of historical romance novels and most of their novellas are based on the minor characters of the series and always end with an HEA. In that case, I read those a lot because they don’t necessarily add to the overall series and is more like an add-on story for characters that are interesting in the series.

    Zeee @ I Heart Romance & YA recently posted: Bookish Discussions: So Much for My Happy Ending
  11. I very rarely read novellas as well. I read some of the Lunar Chronicles novellas when there were at the end of Cinder and Scarlet. I also read two the Selection novellas and I didn’t enjoy them that much. I loved seeing Maxon’s POV of the beginning of the selection but it wasn’t necessary at all. I also couldn’t stand Aspen’s POV at all.
    Typically I won’t read novellas unless I am really interested in the series they are attached to.

    Amanda Marie recently posted: November 2015 in Review
  12. It really depends on how much I love the series and like you said, how much they would or would not add to the story. I have realized there are novellas for The Lunar Chronicles that I have not read. I may read those anyway, mainly because I love those characters and I am not ready to completely let them go. I think Fairest would be considered a novella . . . or would that be a prequel? I don’t know. Either way, I freaking loved that one. And that definitely added to the story.

    Cynthia @ Bingeing On Books recently posted: Prague!
  13. I’m so old school that I don’t think of novellas as being add-ons to a series, but just as one kind of writing. I’ve read short story collections that include a novella, meaning a really long short story. I’ve read stand-alone novellas, meaning short books.

    I did find out last fall that Patrick Ness had some short stories out set in the world of Chaos Walking. I tracked them down online to read for free. When I met him at the conference I went to last month, I bought the new editions of the books so he could sign them, and he wanted me to know that the stories are in there too, which I thought was nice. I definitely get Ms. Pajonas’s point, that if the author wrote something more, they would like that to add to their income, which is only fair. But like many of you, that’s not where I choose to spend my money.

    Wendy recently posted: TTT: Winter Holiday Favorites
  14. I never knew novellas existed until I read one and was sadly disappointed because it wasn’t marketed as a novella, so when the stuffs just ENDED so ABRUPTLY, I was like, “Whaaaa? This person finish writing this book?” Then I did some researched and discovered the existence of novellas, and realized the “book” I’d read was in fact a novella. (This information also went in my review.)

    Novellas to me really don’t seem like a fair trade to review in terms of time. It would take me longer to format the post for the novella review than in actually reading it, most likely. To me, it’s not quite worth it, but I will do it for now until I find a better way (mini reviews?). I don’t read many anyway, so it’s not such a big issue for me. There’s not telling how many I actually have, but novellas attached to series do annoy me. Quite a bit, actually. To me it’s like the author is too lazy to fully develop this plot line, whether it could be the next book in the series or a spin-off, and somebody probably suggested it to them in retrospect. Just my opinion, though.

  15. Depends on a few things for me. First of all I have to know it exists. And most of the time, like you, I’ll have no idea there is a novella in a series I’m reading.

    It also has to sound interesting. Unless it’s one of those novellas that are actually mandatory to read if you want to understand what’s happening in the next actual book in the series. I kind of hate those. I can’t remember what series it was, but I got book one, started reading it, and nothing was making sense! So I went online to see if my book was a misprint and missing pages. Only to find out that there was a novella BEFORE book 1, and if you didn’t read that first, you would have no idea how the characters got to where they were at the beginning of book 1, or anything else that was happening. I was like… then why is this called “Book 1”???

    It also depends on price/pages. If the novella is only 100 pages say, but they want you to pay $7.99 I won’t be reading it unless I can get it from the library.

    Even if everything aligns and I DO read the novella, I don’t always review it. If it’s too short, I’m afraid of giving too many spoilers or ending up with a 2-sentence review.

  16. Ken

    I usually read novels on kindle. It is the best way to spend the free time. I like it very much. Even I can spend 3-4 hours comfortably on it by reading novels.

  17. I tend to not read standalone novellas or short stories, but if it’s a series I love I’ll check them out, they do tend to add to the story, or have arcs of side characters that I want to know more about. I wish they were released as a bind-up more often, or were easier to access though! If I have a physical series, I don’t like having eBook novellas lol I’ve had some book editions where novellas are included at the end, and that’s fab! R xx

  18. I do really like reading novellas, mostly when I’m in a reading slump shorter books make it easier to get back into reading. Somehow series I really enjoy don’t tend to have novellas though!

  19. I have enjoyed novellas or short stories as palette cleansers between longer books or when I can’t figure out what to read next. I get kind of annoyed by the .5 stories in a series because they are usually disappointing to me on the whole. The one exception would be Fairest by Marissa Meyer. That one was on the same level of the other books in the series, but I do wish more of Levana’s madness showed up in Winter especially for those that did not brave reading Fairest.

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