Tag Archives: favorites

My “Favorite” Conundrum

How does one determine their favorite book or author? It’s a common question around lit-loving communities, and I never know how to answer.

If it’s the author by whom I’ve read the most books, then my favorite author would be Mike Resnick, Dean Koontz, J.K. Rowling, Katherine Neville, Jodi Picoult, Piers Anthony, Robert Asprin, Douglas Adams, Orson Scott Card, or Jennifer Weiner. But I’m not sure I’d count any of them as my favorite author (though I’ve referred to Mike Resnick as such many times just because I’m pretty much guaranteed to enjoy his stories). Aside from Resnick, Rowling, and Neville, I don’t see myself going out of my way to pick up anything else by these people. I’m currently on hiatus from Picoult and Koontz, and Anthony and I broke up years ago.

If it’s the book I’ve read the most times, then it would be The Gallery of Regrettable Food by James Lileks, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy “trilogy” by Douglas Adams, Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, or Santiago: a Myth of the Far Future by Mike Resnick. Sure, I’m guaranteed to laugh out loud every single time I read Gallery of Regrettable Food, but I’d like to think my favorite book would be something with a little more depth. So my problem there may be self-delusion more than anything else.

If it’s a book that really stuck with me for a long time, then it would be The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan, Flatland by Edwin Abbott, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, or – most embarrassingly – the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. I refuse to consider any of the Twilight books a favorite because they are awful and I will never read them again. I wouldn’t mind claiming The Demon-Haunted World or The Time Machine, I suppose, but if they were truly my favorite, wouldn’t I have read them multiple times?

So tell me: what’s your favorite book or author? How can you tell?

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