Having a hard time finding time to read new things? Sitting at a bus stop with nothing fun or interesting to do? Short reads are a great way to expand your literary horizon, without adding to your long (and growing) reading list. You get to expose yourself to new and interesting ideas, while you wait for your takeout order. Surely that’s better than just playing another Candy Crush level!
Trying to find time to read can be incredibly difficult in this day and age. There are so many things fighting for your attention at any given time (seriously, you don’t want to see the notification tray in my phone!) and when you do have some free time, it seems like the latest viral news item is always there waiting to grab your attention (and enrage you).
Well people are starting to fight back! Short Story Machines are starting to pop up around the world, Chrome extensions will help block out distractions and people are generally finding ways to stop getting distracted and spend more time reading (hurray!).
What is reddit…
Reddit.com is a site made up of thousands of communities, known as subreddits or “subs”. Each community is different, each one built around a specific topic. Some are small and specific and some are broad and massively popular (think, millions of subscribers). In each subreddit, people post content and vote on what they like. The “best” content gets pushed to the top. That’s it!
Ready for more short stories, quick reads, funny stories, scary stories, etc, etc, than you can handle!? Let’s get started…
Nosleep (~13,300,000 subscribers)
Immensely popular and immensely creepy. nosleep is essentially short, original horror stories presented as being absolutely true, and something the writer experienced personally. Suspension of disbelief is key, as is a nightlight.
Short Scary Stories (~295,000 subscribers)
If nosleep has a flaw it is this: some of the stories can be long or broken into multiple parts. Sometimes you open up a thread and you don’t want to be offered Chapter 27 of a story you’ve never heard of before. This isn’t ideal if you’re looking for a quick story while you wait for your bus. With “short scary stories” you get a story that is, at maximum, 500 words. Short, sweet and terrifying.
Humanity, Fuck Yeah (~106,000 subscribers)
What if, for once, humans meet aliens and we aren’t the underdogs!? Humanity, Fuck Yeah! will scratch that short story itch for you. While this subreddit can be a bit messy, it’s essentially Sci-fi stories of all kinds that all share a common theme: how awesome humans are!
Short tales of the life of Norman (~67,000 subscribers)
Short, 500 word short stories about a balding middle-aged divorced man. He also has a cat named Norman, because Norman is not a terribly imaginative fellow. The stories about Norman’s boring life are hilarious, fun and only slightly peculiar. A perfect little reading diversion while you wait for that pizza to come out of the oven…finally.
The Phenomenon, a dream of the end (~22,000 subscribers)
A sci-fi horror story written, in chunks, entirely by one person. It is the tale of the human survivors after a malevolent entity arrives and kills the majority of the population. Updates are slow but there’s a lot of content on there, so that won’t be a problem for a while.
M59Gar’s Subreddit (~2,000 subscribers)
Matt Dymerski is an amazon author who publishes sci-fi and horror. In this subreddit he publishes short stories, and encourages other to post their stories too. There’s some fascinating, original content here, even if the subreddit is a little smaller.
Looking to read short stories with a little more humor? Or real life sad/scary/funny situations? Reddit is packed with that type of content and two of the best are:
Tales from your server (~280,000 subscribers)
Tales from tech support (~600,000)
These are real life stories that are incredibly relatable (who hasn’t worked a crappy job and had to deal with crappy customers) and quick to read. If you need a quick laugh, these are great places to check out.
Glitch in the Matrix (~372,000 subscribers)
Our last entry today is a weird one. These are stories from people (sometimes as short as a couple of sentences) about weird and unexplainable things that have happened to the author.
That should be enough short stories and quick reads to keep you busy for a while. Have a subreddit you think we missed? Are you a moderator of one of these communities? Drop us a line and say hi! firstname.lastname@example.org
Need some longer reading recommendations, check out our Reddit for Readers article.