What’s Your Favourite Book?

Like many people who read all of the time, I often get the question, “So what’s your favourite book?” And you know what?

I really dislike that question.

I know, I know, I should be excited to talk about books with people. But I find the question frustrating because I never have an answer. I don’t have a favourite book. I have never had one. And yet when I tell people I don’t have a favourite, they always seem surprised, to the point where I have received some pretty negative reactions.

Over the years I have read a lot of books, and while I love many of them, I love them all for different reasons. I can’t definitively say that one book is better than another. Do I love Harry Potter? Sure. I could say it’s my favourite wizarding book. But is it better than other books in other genres? No. I can name many series that I have enjoyed, many authors, and many fictional worlds. But often they are so different from each other, I can’t rank them on the same scale.

This question also feels like a challenge – and maybe I’m crazy for thinking it. But it seems to me that I always get this question from people who don’t read, and it’s like they want to judge how good my taste in books is based on a single title. It’s like I have to suddenly sum up years worth of reading by naming the best book I’ve ever read, and that just doesn’t seem fair. Much like you shouldn’t judge a book by the cover, I believe you shouldn’t judge a reader based on a single book.

Over the years I have chosen many books on the spot as my “favourite,” and more recently I seem to default to one book in particular: After Hamelin by Bill Richardson. Do I think this book is better than other books I’ve read? No, I don’t. I have personal attachments to this book because my sister gave it to me. It was also my first introduction to fairy tale re-tellings, something I still love. And I won’t lie, I like using this book because it’s obscure enough that most people haven’t read or even heard of it, meaning I get to talk a little about the book and explain why I like it.

I really do enjoy talking about book with other people. I love it when people ask me, “Who are some of your favourite authors?” This way, I can quickly provide an array of authors that I like, that better represent the variety of books that I read, rather than trying to sum up all of my reading experience in just one title. It feels like I can actually have a conversation about books and the different genres that I read. Hopefully we discover a common love, or maybe I’ll even get introduced to a great new author.


What about you? Do you get asked this question a lot? Do you have a favourite book?

2 comments on “What’s Your Favourite Book?

  1. Another great post! I also HATE that question and I seem to get asked it all the time! People are always confused that a Librarian doesn’t have a favourite book. I always respond and with the old saying “it’s like asking you to pick a favourite child.” I have 50, no 100 favourite books and my list of favourites will keep growing the more that I read!

    • I’m so glad you understand!! It must be worse working in the library though, with everyone expecting you to have one. But it’s so much easier to add to the favourites list than to take any off! :)

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