Followers, friends and my girlfriend alike often wonder how I decide to choose my favorite books. Please, it’s like choosing the only apple from a basket of apples.
First and foremost, I’ve often reiterated that answering the question, "What is your favorite book?" is a critical life or death situation for me. I guess I do have plenty of criteria to consider in choosing the best books on my bookshelf but I think the three major factors that I often search in a book so that it could qualify on my standard of a brilliant book are these:
- The book should give something new for me to ponder on. Maybe a book should have these catchy lines which I often highlight with a marker, or it may not contain the aforementioned but it should give me something in return, something I never knew from the previous books that I’ve read. It should not actually be in the form of a science fact or a relationship advice, but what I’m trying to find and I’ll be willing to receive is the knowledge that there are still people in this world who are actually really creative and talks about the things that I fancy, writes about the beauty of everyday life and sees the wonder of living through the simple things and minute details of life which are often neglected and shrugged at by most people. (e.g. Looking For Alaska, The Catcher In The Rye)
- It has to have an adequate amount of emotional force, maybe enough to make me cry but also enough to make me feel that I’m not alone in this world. I have to admit that I cry a lot, given a plethora of reasons, books should rank second among the reasons why this seemingly strong man decided to shed a tear. Is it not the purpose of reading books? That after all life’s misfortunes, happiness and other feelings which I will not dare trade in exchange of anything, all we have to do is flip a page and realize that we’re not really alone in our battle against life, that what you’re experiencing right now is the past of someone. Some books serve as a guide, maybe it’s not applicable to everybody, but I swear (I will offer my right hand if I’m wrong), someone will find a book and make it his rock. I’m also fascinated with books which are able to tug the shortest string of my heart even though my life cannot actually relate to the story that I’m reading (e.g. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter. The Kite Runner, For One More Day), I guess I really have this very wild and strong imagination, and I thank God for bestowing me that gift.
- The book should be a cross of two different genres. What I’m actually saying is that you can find everything inside it. I consider a book my favorite if it offered me heart-racing pages that kept me awake at night combined with tear jerking moments that made my eye swollen when I woke up in the morning. I loved the books which are often serious on the first half, books I thought I’m never going to finish, then like a thief at night, it’ll hand you something beautiful, like a subtle love story or a hair-raising twist, and then off you go, you realize that it’s actually a good book. These kind of books will often leave you with two things 1) an undefined feeling that will force you to say, 'I'm sold' and 2) an everlasting connection between you and the book, so strong and deeply rooted like friendship. (e.g. The Book Thief, Harry Potter Series)
After all that I said above, don’t get me wrong, I’m sure, I’ll still find it hard to answer the obvious question.