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all 42 comments

[–]pithyretortSister Outsider 29 points30 points  (4 children)

I don't really have a favorite anything, and books are no different. I just don't think I am a favorites sort of person

[–]thejaga 0 points1 point  (3 children)

Same here, the question always seems weird to me

[–]pithyretortSister Outsider 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Sometimes the passion that people have towards a favorite seems kind of cool and I wish I could get that invested in one thing, but it's not exactly something that you can manufacture.

[–]harrybarrycarry -1 points0 points  (1 child)

I think that you'll find that a lot of people manufacture an interest in a book just because other people do. Hell /r/books is full of it.

[–]pithyretortSister Outsider 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I am thinking more of people I know in real life who have seen the same band live 5-10 times, know every detail about their TV show, have read every book put out by a particular author at least twice, etc. I guess that's an extreme version of favorites, but I definitely know people who have genuine passion for their favorites and it's cool to talk to them about it.

[–]Thatseemsright 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I usually give like a top 3 list when referring to my favorite books, I don't have one in particular but I know I have a few so it suffices.

[–]db282[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I don't even think I could manage a top 3.

[–]aenea 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I've probably got a top 20 list that's stayed fairly stable for the past few decades- sometimes a new book hits it and something else drops off (not as big a fan of Darkover as I was when I was 15), but I couldn't have just one favourite, any more than I could have a favourite musician or food. Sometimes you want steak, sometimes you want Kraft Dinner.

I don't think that's a bad problem to have.

[–]saumanahaii 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I have this problem too. It doesn't matter if it's food, books, roads, weather, what have you, I don't have a favorite. Only things I like. But it's especially true with books. I just keep a list of favorites in my head that I think people will find relatable and then give them that.

[–]RobMoore 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I can't even limit it to my favorite this year.

[–]TheyCallMeArtemis 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I have favorite books for different moods. Not necessarily considering genre, just based on the emotion that was evoked when I read them. For instance - Favorite sad book: The Red Pony by Steinbeck Favorite melancholy book: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by K. Dick Favorite hopeful book: Island by Huxley Etc.

[–]DagwoodWoo 3 points4 points  (8 children)

I studied literature. Whenever a doctor asks me, "what's your favorite book?" I answer, "Do you have a favorite disease?"

[–]red-hand 14 points15 points  (4 children)

Do doctors often ask you what your favourite book is?

[–][deleted] 14 points15 points  (0 children)

DON'T RUIN THE NARRATIVE

[–]HeyThereImMrMeeseeksCloud Atlas 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Mine do, because I always bring a book to the doctor. Whenever they're grasping for a small talk topic to distract me from whatever they're doing, they go straight to books.

[–]wecanreadit 1 point2 points  (0 children)

My doctor, when I had to make a lot of visits over a year or so, usedto ask me for my current recommendation. He's retiring soon and tells me he's looking forward to reading more....

[–]DagwoodWoo 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Actually, this happened on three separate occasions. I was living in a shared flat near the hospital, and the renters were often doctors. Also, I was dating a doctor.

[–]Saxon2060 4 points5 points  (2 children)

I'm not a doctor, I'm a biologist and my primary interest is disease, and yes I do have a favourite disease. Why? I could try to explain but I have a tendency to ramble so I won't bother. People have all sorts of favourite things and half of them don't make sense. It stands to reason that someone who studied something will have favourites. Some doctors do study medicine because they find illness fascinating, you know, and helping people is a secondary thing. You act like "what's your favourite book" is a stupid or juvenile question. No need to be rude about it.

(It's plague, for anyone wondering.)

[–]DagwoodWoo 1 point2 points  (0 children)

You act like "what's your favourite book" is a stupid or juvenile question

I didn't mean it like that at all. I think it's just that for me and most people have have spent a large part of their lives only reading books, we get to realize that works of literature from all different epochs and cultures can be fascinating and have their own special qualities. That's why I think the question is a bit lame... because for the most part, the more we read, the greater the diversity of books we love.

The question "do you have a favourite disease?" was considered pretty humorous by the questioned doctors.

[–]Furthea 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Aye. On the "Favorite Movie" topic I can narrow it down to two, however books...not happening.

[–]ElizabethHopeParker 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Absolutely. I might have a favorite author of the month, but I have a bunch of authors and books I love and would recommend to anyone who asks. Food and movies... eh! the list just gets narrowed. I will, however have a favorite of almost anything if you give me a small enough list to choose from.

[–]wecanreadit 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I used always to give the name of the same one, a 19th Century classic. And then I read another 19th Century classic I liked better. Oh dear.

[–]impendingwardrobe 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I don't believe in favorites, because if you designate one thing as your "favorite," then any time you're experiencing something else it must be worse by definition, and I don't want my enjoyment of anything marred by having it compared to something else. So I have groups of things that I really enjoy and any new book, movie, food etc I try, or any old one that I reexperience can just be enjoyed for what it is.

[–]MrListerFunBuckle 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I doubt I could even narrow it to a top 10. I can't even pick a favourite book by a given author in many cases.

[–]Saxon2060 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I had a bit of a crisis last year. I had always said Tender is the Night was my favourite book. Like a fact I knew about myself. Then I read an amazing book that was better than any I had read in years (Too Late the Phalarope).

I couldn't remember whether I liked Tender is the Night more or less than what I'd just read so how could I pick which one I liked better and so which was my favourite book?

I came to the conclusion that I have favourites for different reasons:

Tender is the Night - Writing. I could pick any book by him to be honest. He is a singularly beautiful author.

Too Late the Phalarope - Emotional response. The only book ever to have affected by mood.

The Sound and the Fury - Story/reward.

Cannery Row - Characters.

Short answer: I don't have one favourite, which concerned me for a while, but now I've just accepted that having one favourite doesn't make any sense because it's not the same as 'best book you've ever read'. None of the ones I've mentioned are the BEST book I've ever read (The Great Gatsby)

[–]JohnLenn0n 0 points1 point  (0 children)

"I find it hard to name the one book that was so damn delightful it changed my life. The truth is, they have all changed my life, every single one of them—even the ones I hated." -Zadie Smith said this and I agree with it wholeheartedly

[–]CerridaLeviathan Wakes 0 points1 point  (0 children)

My answers usually turn into a long list of recommendations.

[–]Sukhdev_92 0 points1 point  (0 children)

With books I don't have a specific favourite. I have a favourite series though.

[–]stopbuffering 0 points1 point  (0 children)

When people ask for a favorite I'll ask which genre is their favorite and then name one of my favorites in that genre. I can't narrow it down. Then you have people asking about most influential book or book that effected me the most and I have to think completely different. Books that have influenced me the most aren't necessarily my favorites.

[–]zhrike 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I can never define my favorite from among many things: books, film, music, individual songs, food, etc.

[–]FionHS 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yeah, I find the entire question of favorites to be needlessly reductive, and impossible for me to answer. I think top ten lists or similar are useful as a series of suggestions what to check out in the future (i.e. this critic likes x, y, and z, which I also like, so their other picks are probably interesting to me) but people get way too hung up on specific order or what didn't make the list.

[–]Earthpig_Johnson 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I really enjoy most of the books that I've read, but there is one I've read way more than any other: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which I think I read five times throughout high school. I don't know why, because I was watching the movie a lot back then, too. Just really entertaining and funny, I guess.

[–]CharlottedeSouza 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yup. I'm just not the sort of person to have favourites - whether it be music, food, books or films. It depends on my mood, the genre, etc. A favourite pair of shoes, maybe...

[–]automator3000 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It's hard for me to say I have a favorite book, but that's because I consume books differently than other media. A book I'll read once. Maybe twice. Rarely more than twice. But I'll listen to an album I like multiple times in a week. I'll watch a good movie a couple times when it first comes out, then nearly once a year.

But I still have books that are closer to my heart.

[–]RobotSnackBook of Numbers 0 points1 point  (0 children)

When I was in college a new friend asked me what my favorite book was. It took me 10 minutes to answer the question.

I divided it up by genre and then compared the winners in each category.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I give people like a Top 5, whose genres and time periods are all over the place and can't be compared/judged against each other.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

i stopped having favorite things around 15 years old.

[–]anna_sweet 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I do currently have a group of favorites, but picking an individual out of the bunch is near impossible. I have a few preferred genres, but that's about as close as it gets.

[–]arch_maniacThe Mask Collectors: A Novel 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes, I definitely feel the same way. In fact, I could say that I have hundreds of favorite books, but that is basically meaningless. I am the same way concerning music and musical groups, songs, movies, foods, etc.

[–]joeomar -1 points0 points  (0 children)

I estimate I've read 3,000 books in my lifetime. It would be ridiculous to name one as a favorite. I also don't point to one single movie as my favorite. I do have a "Top 10 favorites" movie list, but there are around 40 or 50 movies on it.