I get all twitchy when people ask me about “favorites” because it’s an impossible question.
Favorite food? Uh, for which meal? And are we including dessert?
Favorite color? Do you mean to wear? Or paint on a wall?
Favorite song? For dancing? Singing? Driving fast?
Nope. That’s extra unanswerable, because there are too many to choose from, and for one other big reason:
I believe that every favorite book is married to a time period.
For example, my favorite book when I was young (probably too young) was a book called “Virgins.” I adored it and reread it a bunch of times. I thought it was hysterical. But would it still be a favorite now?
Then I went through an extended adolescent curious-about-the-birds-and-the-bees romance novel period, and Kathleen Woodiwiss was my jam. If I were to go back and reread her work at my current life stage, would the helpless maiden in peril plot lines still appeal to me?
Along the way I did a Stephen King deep dive, a “books about traveling to discover oneself” reading period, a refuse-to-read-any-current-bestsellers phase and too many other phases to mention. That means if you were to ask me about my favorite book, I’d need to know which era of my life we’re talking about.
Because if you meant when I was a child, it was a series about a frontier girl.
Or if you meant my favorite from when I was recovering from a major heartbreak, it was a true crime book about a woman who lost her mind and murdered her ex-husband and his mistress. (It was a tough time, okay?)
Or if you meant my favorite from when I was in the infancy of my dog training career, it was a sassy, genre-redefining book that taught me how to look at our relationships with dogs through a different filter.
We evolve, our tastes change and the world changes. (Turns out some of the stuff I loved back in the day had questionable themes that make woke-me cringe.) That’s why the idea of static favorites befuddles me.
We’ve got too much wonderfulness out there to whittle down what we love to a single answer per category, so go ahead and have a million favorites!