Short stories have a high profile currently with prizes, festivals and new collections. Does this mean they now have a larger audience? It has long been anticipated that the much talked about limited attention span of today's society might mean a resurgence to this form. For myself, I know I prefer the commitment of a good novel, so I asked the Browsers Book Group for their opinion.

'A short story is rather like poetry,' said one lady. 'I'm worried when I've finished it whether I've missed the point.'

'I don't want to have to sit and think about what I've just read,' said another, 'with a novel I enjoy it while I'm reading it and when I put it down, I move on.'

Despite its brevity, then, a short story may be considered more taxing than a 600-page bestseller.