I've generally found that most nonfiction books were published first as articles, and that the book contains no more content than the article did but takes ten times as long to read. I've also found that huge numbers of novels were published first as short stories, and that the novel contains no more content than the short story did but takes ten times as long to read. I think the fact that every piece of writing has to be packaged as a book-length product in order to make any money or achieve any sort of public profile is a terrible shame, and makes writing a lot less fun than it would otherwise be, and leads to us readers wasting an incredible amount of our finite lifespans.
Which I agree with, on balance. As life goes on I get less and less patient with novels, especially long ones. There are plenty of exceptions, of course, but for every novel-length book I read that I think deserves a novel-length exploration, there are probably 5 that could be reduced to a long short story or, at best, a novella if you sheer off the fat. I imagine a machine whereby manuscripts are fed on a conveyor belt into some sort of cheese-grater device which simply shreds away the excess and sends it to be packaged as hamster-bedding or compressed into MDF. (There are also incredibly long novels that could be reduced to merely averagely-lengthy novels by the same process: I won't name names, but one recent example I can think of begins with "D" and ends with "ance of Dragons".)
Anyway, it got me thinking about RPG campaigns. I've always been very much a less-is-more sort of person when it comes to sessions. Between two and two-and-a-half hours is the sweet spot for me; any longer than that and my attention starts to wander. Brevity is the soul of good orc-killing.
(Incidentally, there is another reason for preferring short sessions, which I call - I've just decided - the Ben Bova Principle. This is based on a bit of writing advice by Ben Bova, who said that he always tries to finish a day's writing half-way through a sentence, with ideas yet to be written down. This is so the next day when he sits at the type-writer he immediately has something to write, and this gives him the momentum to continue. The Ben Bova Principle apples to RPG sessions too; if the players still have stuff they want to do at the end of a session, it means they'll immediately have something to do when they start the next session.)
When it comes to campaigns, however, I think that this doesn't really hold true. Lengthy campaigns, I'd say, are usually really worth their length - in that length can also mean depth. The longer a campaign goes on, the more stuff is generated, the more bonds are tied, and the more players become invested in what is happening. And the pay-offs are greater, especially in games like D&D, Pendragon and WFRP, where advancement is not just fun for its own sake but actually makes play even more interesting by offering more options.
Indeed, I'd probably invert my rule-of-thumb observation about novels: for every 5 long campaigns that are worth their length, there is 1 that isn't.
But this presents us with a problem, alluded to in the comment above: Our finite lifespans. I have so many ideas for different campaigns that I want to play, and I want to fit as many in as possible. How does one reconcile these two conflicting truths: that both lengthiness and variety are basically unqualified goods?
An obvious answer leaps to me off the computer screen: Two campaigns per session. By extending the length of a session to 4 hours, I can run two 2-hour sessions of different campaigns a night. Why didn't I think of this before?