The example above from a short story addresses the reader as "you." This point of view is called second person. Point of view is the perspective from which the story is told. Because point of view is often challenging, Rose's Red Pen will feature posts about different points of view over the summer. Other posts have looked at first-person singular ("I") and first-person plural ("we") points of view, so now let's turn to "you" and the second-person point of view.
Although this point of view is common in technical writing, ad copy, self-help books, and travel pieces, it's relatively uncommon in fiction. For children, the Choose Your Own Adventure interactive series has this point of view. The reader plays the role of the protagonist, and the reader's decisions determine the outcome of the story.
In adult fiction, the novel Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney is in the second-person point of view, as is Italo Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveler. In short stories, "The Haunted Mind" by Nathaniel Hawthorne and "Sometimes You Talk About Idaho" by Pam Houston are written in the second-person point of view. Portions of some of Margaret Atwood's short stories are also in this point of view.
An advantage of the second-person point of view is that it's immediate and plunges the reader into the action, particularly if the writer uses the present tense:
"You feel the hard shove between your shoulder blades. You teeter on the platform edge, arms flailing. One more nudge, and you fall to the tracks below."
A second advantage of this point of view is that it immerses the reader in the story as the main character. Sometimes, though, readers want to forget about themselves and escape into other characters. Addressing them as "you" pulls them out of the story. Another disadvantage to this point of view is that addressing the reader as "you" can become wearing or irritating, even bullying, as if the writer is constantly telling the reader what to do and how to feel.
If you're tired of reading about "I" and "she" and "he" and ready to be the star of your own narrative, then give the second-person point of view a try. This list of novels will get you started.