It has oft been said that the eyes are the windows to the soul; that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach; and that you have to judge a man by how he treats your best friend. But I believe that I have found another way, a better way, to decide who is a good person, and who should end up stuck, Jasper Fforde-style, in an eight-minute loop at T.J. Maxx for all eternity:
“What is your favorite book?”
This question should be mandatory at all parties, job interviews, and in college entrance essays. Much of a person’s character, tastes, and quirks can be discerned by asking this one question. Someone who answers with “Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment,” is probably very different from someone who says, ” I really like How to Raise and Keep a Dragon,” and is definitely different from someone who responds, “I don’t really like to read” (this latter answer being an example of a person who should henceforth be avoided like the plague). And now I’m sure you have just one question.
[Insert name of interested reader]: So what’s your favorite book?
Me: Easy. Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
Now I am sure that you will very quickly come to several conclusions: (1) That I’m female; (2) That I’m either fifteen or sixty years old; (3) That I love all things sappy; and (4) That all I ever read is 18th century romance novel drivel. Assume away, interested reader, but remember what happens when you do so…
I am indeed female; not fifteen or sixty, but rather somewhere in between. And although sappy does indeed have its time and place, sometimes there is nothing better than a Clive Cussler read-a-thon to keep the world at bay. Most of my books would be categorized as “sappy” by no one.
Because the truth is, this one question is not enough. You could ask a million people this question, and still really have no actual clue as to what they are like.
But because breaking into a new acquaintance’s home and rifling through their bookcases is generally frowned upon, this one question must suffice. At the very least, it may be a beginning point of a long conversation on books and reading that satisfies that small but important part of the soul that cannot be satisfied by sex, violence, reality television, or even music.
So welcome to a little corner of paradise. This journal will (hopefully) be a place where you can get tons of cool info on what books to read (and which to skip!), ways that people collect, trade, categorize, and display their books, as well as various musings on life. Pull up a couch, grab a cup of your favorite beverage, wrap up in your Snuggie, and immerse yourself in the written word. It’s a great place to be.
What is your favorite book? What are some assumptions that people might make about you based on said book, and are they right or wrong?