This is the time of the year when a lot of genre anthologies come out, including the annual Dozois and Strahan “year’s best” books. So with that in mind, I was wondering: How do you read anthologies (especially long ones)?

Do you:

1. Read anthologies in linear order, from beginning to end, never skipping any content?

2. Read in linear order, but skip authors or stories you find boring or are unfamiliar with?

3. Read your favorite writers or stories of interest only (i.e., never read anything else)?


4. Read your favorite writers and stories of interest first, then circle back to read the others?

5. Skip around entirely at random, without regard to specific authors or story titles?


I ask this because I’ve been buying best-of SF, fantasy, and horror anthologies for nearly three decades, and in all that time I can’t think of a single one I read from cover to cover. I have read my share of themed anthologies from beginning to end, as well as single-author collections, but overall the longer the anthology, the less likely I am to finish it 100%.