Generally speaking, as a reader I've rarely gotten much pleasure out of reading short stories. I typically feel like I'm not as deeply invested with the characters as when I read novels, and I finish the story wishing it was longer and that I knew more about each character. However, I've surprised myself twice lately by really enjoying two collections of short stories.
Last week I listened to John Grisham's Ford County on CDs in the car. I've read a handful of his novels before and only really, really liked A Time to Kill and A Painted House, but found myself really enjoying this collection of stories. I think what I liked about them is that I felt like even though they were short stories, Grisham did a great job of making me feel strongly about each character right from the get-go. The characters are both Southern and believable. This doesn't happen as often as it should.
I've also slowly been working my way through the book I won on Facebook a few months ago from Algonquin, as I mentioned here. It's called New Stories from the South 2010 and it's really a pleasure to read. If you like this kind of thing, I think you should read it. Time well spent.