in small doses

redgiant

Senior Member
Cantonese, Hong Kong
I want to say a book is easy to read because each short, self contained story can be finished in one short sitting. Do you think "in small doses" is a suitable phrase to describe such a benefit?

My example: I don't like committing myself to a full length novel. I prefer stories that can be read in small doses. That's why this book is such a great pick.

Background: Suppose I was writing a book review of a book that features a collection of short, self contained stories. Each ranges from 1000 - 3000 words. I liked this book a lot because each story was a good quick read, very short and to the point. I didn't have to worry about losing track of characters or plots after setting it down for an extended period.
 
  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    If you said that the stories can be read in small doses, I would think that the stories are divided into shorter sections, not that the story itself was short.
    I prefer books of short stories because they (the books) can be read in small doses.
     

    redgiant

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    Thanks for clearing up my doubts, Myridon~ Before you posted, I had a reservation about the use of "in small doses" because freedictionary.com indicates that it's more about short periods than short lengths.

    The FreeDictionary.com gives the definition as follows:

    If you like someone or something in small doses, you only like them for short periods
    I take it from your post that something in small doses can either be short in length or in period or both.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    It is not so much doses as a small dose, by the sounds of it.

    By the way, I would say CHOICE rather than pick when you are describing a great book option.
     

    redgiant

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    It is not so much doses as a small dose, by the sounds of it.

    By the way, I would say CHOICE rather than pick when you are describing a great book option.
    Thanks, suzi. Indeed, I was wavering between "pick" versus "choice" but eventually went with "pick" because I wanted to convey it was such a good buy for me. On further reflection, "Choice" would be better ,as you said, to refer to a recommendation.
     
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