What’s your favorite book?

It’s always hard for me to answer when someone asks, “So, what’s your favorite book?” It’s never a matter of not having a favorite, the thing is that I have too many. The idea that someone can have a single favorite book seems sad to me–there are so many wonderful books to experience, how can you possible have just the one favorite? Maybe I’m just a naive bibliophile, but I can’t pick one. I may answer Pride and Prejudice or Persuasion, I may just say that I love Harry Potter, but usually I just answer to get people to stop asking.

Last weekend, my b-chan asked me what my favorite book is and I answered honestly: I don’t have one. But you love to read, he replied. How can you not have one? It’s precisely because I love to read that I don’t, because there are too many to choose from.

Then he asked, Is there a book that you read over and over again?

I suppose this is a better way of asking me what my favorites are; there are many books that I re-read periodically, and these are usually the ones that I cite as favorites when asked. I love Robin McKinley’s Beauty. I’ve read it several times. Part of my graduate thesis was on Beauty, and even after reading it over five times during a six month span, and filling a notebook with notes on every little detail relating to Beauty’s heroism, I still enjoy reading this book.

That said, if it really comes down to it, these are the books that I can call my “Favorites,” if only because I never tire of them.

  • The Austens: Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion
  • Beauty by Robin McKinley
  • Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley
  • I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
  • The China Garden by Liz Berry
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • the Anne of Green Gables books by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • Bridget Jones’s Diary and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding- always make me laugh
  • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (I love the series, but I prefer to re-read the first book)
  • The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot (I’ve been meaning to re-read this one again, it’s been a while)
  • the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling