What’s your favorite color?

Or, as is more common in the book blogosphere, what’s your favorite book? Favorite author? Favorite character?

I don’t know.

I’ve decided that “favorite” is not a word I like to as an exclusive term. I’ll say, “one of my favorites,” but generally not “my favorite.”

This is because the term has several issues I don’t want to deal with.

1. It carries with it a connotation of quality.

When someone says something is a favorite, I expect that thing to be good, not just popular or likeable. When I consider saying it, I hesitate because of that. What I like and what is good are overlapping categories, but not the same. I am not comfortable providing that connotation for someone else and being responsible for possible disappointment.

2. It may not reflect my development as a reader, writer, and/or person.

My reading is a little sporadic, because of a busy schedule at work and at school, as well as social engagements. Unfortunately, reading tends to take a back seat to other activities (such as sleep). Finding a gem can be difficult, too, so naming a favorite may not be reflective of my current tastes. For example, I enjoyed Junie B. Jones when I was in elementary school, but they wouldn’t necessarily satisfy me now.

3. Mood changes are a thing.

I may be in a mood for fantasy one month, and classics a bit later. Maybe I’ve read too much dark stuff and want something funny or light. I may unduly discriminate against something I’m not currently in the mood for because of my mood in that exact moment in time.

So, when you ask me what my favorite ____ is, please don’t expect a legitimate answer.

Thanks for reading!
Do you have a favorite book/author?
What are your thoughts on favorites?

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10 thoughts on “Favorites

  1. I definitely don’t have one favorite. Books in different genres are difficult to compare! Right now, my favorite series is the Flavia de Luce mysteries by Alan Bradley, and there are several books that have left lasting impressions on me, but I still wouldn’t classify them as my favorites. That’s a tough one!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Well, I guess some are favorites because I enjoyed reading them so much, like ‘Gone Away Lake’ by Elizabeth Enright or ‘The Haunted Bookshop’ by Christopher Morley. They make me smile just to think about them. But others are favorites because of how much I learned (often unexpectedly) from reading them, like ‘The Devil in the White City’ by Erik Larson or ‘Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling’ by Ross King. Still others are favorites because they were so epic that I’m proud of making it through them (not that they weren’t enjoyable, but pride in achievement trumps the interestingness) like ‘An Instance of the Fingerpost’ by Iain Pears or ‘Cutting for Stone’ by Abraham Verghese. Thank you for making me think that through 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I am terrible at picking favorite anythings because what’s my favorite at the moment depends on my mood. There are some things/authors who I’ll always think of as being in my top ten if I had to pick 10 if my life depended on it. The only definitive favorite I can answer is my favorite color is blue. Other than that, I can’t do the favorites thing well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] The following discussion on fanfiction was simply amazing–I really appreciate everyone who shared thoughts in the comment section! I asked for help for another one of my projects, and again got some absolutely lovely input. To round out the week, I shared with you my intended reads for the weekend (hint: I didn’t do so great) and discussed my thoughts on favorites. […]


  4. I can relate so much to this, thank you so much for writing it. A friend once told me that my constant dilemma of being vague in selecting favorites is partly due to my indecisiveness but I agree with you that it’s more about how the human mood is vulnerable to fickleness that makes the choices hard to make. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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