A couple of months back, a friend in publishing put up a post on Facebook asking if people wanted to participate in a book-giving exercise of sorts. Kind of like a chain letter, everyone who said yes would send a copy of their favorite book to a person and get added to a list so down the road we would get books. Sounds awesome, but I just can't manage to do the first step. After all, what is my favorite books?
I always say Pride & Prejudice, but it is really my FAVORITE? It's rich and funny and detailed and real and reads like butter, but is it really truly my favorite? It wasn't at all life-changing. It didn't have a big impact on me. Can a book that didn't do that be a favorite?
What about the book I've read the most? That would be The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. But is a middle book in a series, and a children's book (or YA) no less, really appropriate? If so, shouldn't I then go back further to the book that I probably have read the most in the world, Madeline by Ludwig Bemelman. But I don't think children's books were what was implied. I should probably pull something off of this list or this one. Poachers by Tom Franklin is one I keep coming back to. And The Cheer Leader by Jill McCorkle. I keep thinking I should take an hour or so and look through every 5-star book on my Goodreads list, but I keep getting sidetracked, and I think in the end I wouldn't have a single book, but a list. And I'm not sending a dozen books, that's crazy (and I can't afford it right now, although I'd love to do it.) But there are so many to choose from! The Accidental Tourist was a life-changer for me and really introduced me to reading for pleasure as an adult. The Eyre Affair is one I still recommend that was one of the funniest books I've ever read (and funny books don't come around every day.) I've read every book by Bill Bryson, so shouldn't one of his books make the cut, considering that he's prolific and that was a lot of books? What about The Joy Luck Club, which was the first contemporary adult book I read and which stood up in a reread a couple of years ago and was so powerful. What about Gone With the Wind? Why not a Calvin & Hobbes book?
This is so hard.
Which is why I haven't gotten my mailing out yet and still might not for a while longer. I think at some point I'll just need to bite the bullet and call it, and not obsess over whether or not the book truly is my #1 "favorite." Perhaps that choice of word was a poor one in the original request. It's a fun exercise to think over, but also causing me angst. Do you have a #1 all-time favorite book? What do you base that on? Can you talk me into making this call and not worrying over it any longer?