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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Makings of a Favorite

I read a lot of books.

We all do.

And I like a lot of books.  I'm picky, certainly.  But I try and read those that I think I'll enjoy.  I try and find those books that'll be a genuine pleasure to read.  Oftentimes, I'm successful.

And sometimes, I even love them.

But those won't always be my favorites.

I can love a book.  I can love it to pieces.  I can say it has fantastic writing, strong characters, remarkable world-building.  I can zip through it in a day and recommend it without a moment's hesitation.

But those books that I treasure above all others, the ones I cling to long after they're done, the ones I'd read a million times over, the ones I wish the entire world would read and adore--those need more than fantastic writing, strong characters, remarkable world-building.

They need to make me think.

Make me feel.

Linger in my mind far beyond the turning of the very last page.

For me, that is what constitutes a favorite.  A book I hold close to my heart.  A book I love with everything I have.  My favorites are the ones that move me.

But that won't be the same for everyone.

Just as readers have varying tastes, so will the makings of their favorite novels.  Perhaps a reader doesn't like those heavy, thought-provoking novels; perhaps they prefer a crazy, action-filled read, or a breathtaking romance.  Perhaps their favorites will be wild mysteries, or gory thrillers.  Perhaps a deeply-researched sci fi, or a chilling dystopian.

It varies.

And I love seeing all the marvelous variations.

What makes something a favorite read of yours?

6 comments:

Zoey Talbon

Characters that aren't idiots is always a good start for me :D

Sam

I completely agree - not ALL the books that I read and really enjoy end up being called 'favourites'. If I had to narrow it down, I'm sure listing them wouldn't be too impossible despite all the books that I adore. Like you said, it takes something more for a book to become an all time favourite. For me, I'm not entirely sure I can define what that something is. But I like your answer. ;)

Sangu Mandanna

This is so true, Lexie! I'm much the same. Sometimes I can't pinpoint why I love a book but it's not a favourite, or why THIS book is somehow obsessively, madly, passionately my new favourite book, but I think it does all tie in to how a book makes me feel.

Michelle

I think for me it when the book still sticks with me, even years and years after I last read it, and I still remember even the littlest things about it because it had such an impact, and I still get the same surge of feelings when I remember it or talk about it.

See: me any time someone mentions the Gemma Doyle trilogy.

Meagan

Michelle actually said pretty much what I was going to! Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, was one book that I read and re-read and read some more as a teenager. I couldn't stop reading it. It's been years since I've read it, but I remember everything about why I loved it. LHA's style, Melinda's voice, the weird lists. It was beautiful, and to this day, it's one of my favorites.

When I can look back on a book I really loved and think "I still love it just as much as that first read," that makes it a favorite, really.

Meg K.

A book that I can read and re-read without growing tired of it and that really does something to you (a good thing, obviously). And I can only think of one series now: Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. I've been re-reading that book since I was eight or something, and that book was what brought me into the world of words and imagination. ^_^

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