The Toughest Question (for Book Enthusiasts)

Any book enthusiast out there will know that one of the most difficult questions to be asked is “What is your favorite book?” As I librarian, I get asked this question more than the average person. I go to a new dentist. They ask my profession. I answer. Then it comes…”Oh, you must like to read. What’s  your favorite book?”

*crickets chirping*

I’m at a loss. I cannot remember a single thing I’ve read. Or else I do think of a book I like, but then I overthink it. Anne of Green Gables, I might consider saying. But that is only one of the books I like and does not cover the scope of others genres I enjoy. So I end up saying, “Oh, there are too many to just pick one.” This is true, but for just one time, I’d like to have a handy answer. With the help of my sister, I have narrowed down my list of favorite books to just six ultimate favorites, which are as follows:

  • The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis
  • Anne of Green Gables (the series), by L.M. Montgomery
  • A Voice in the Wind, by Francine Rivers
  • The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame
  • The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, by Kate DiCamillo

It was a tough task to narrow them down, but I’m satisfied with the result. The only problem is–will I really list all of these books? Someone simply trying to make polite small talk will not know what they’ve gotten themselves into.

I suppose I could simply answer the other tricky question of “What kind of books do you like to read?” According to the “favorites” list I just made, my answer will be as follows:

“I enjoy reading classics and children’s books, with some occasional fantasy, history, and Christian romance thrown in.”

It’s an accurate answer, but is it too detailed and planned out? Meh. I’ll probably just have to wing it like always.

Anyone else have an ultimate favorites list? Or had as much trouble picking a favorite as I have? Please share!


  1. You might consider just toggling your favorites. If you take that list to heart so that when someone asks your favorite book, you’ll have a confident answer ready. Of course technically, there can only be one favorite, but let’s say for the sake of engaging nicely with dentists and grocers, it IS your favorite in the moment. You might even stick to the lesser known titles to give them something new to look into. Or you could quickly size them up to gage which of your favorites would most interest them.

    To finally answer your question, my answer, for now, is a confident One Hundred Years of Solitude. Márquez was one of those authors I discovered in young adulthood, so his books will always be very dear to me. Ask me again in a year, and I may say The Heart is a Lonely Hunter or The Grapes of Wrath.

    1. This is a great tactic! I might even pick one of the titles and then tell them, like you said, that it might very well change before the next time I see them. ☺️

      I’ve heard of One Hundred Years of Solitude, but I’ve never read it. I’ll have to look into it! 😁

  2. It is a tough question. My go-to answer is always The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I read it as a teen and I constantly think about it as an adult. I do love many books that I reread a lot tho haha. It’s kind of hard to narrow it down to one when you’ve ready many books that have impacted you in one way or another.

    1. Exactly how I feel! So hard to just choose one! I’ve never read The Idiot, but I’ve heard about it from several places. Maybe one day I’ll get to it!

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