Let’s Discuss – Why I Can’t Choose a Favorite (of Anything!)

November 14, 2014 Let's Discuss 40

I have a problem. As a book blogger, what’s the #1 answer you get asked?

What’s your favorite book?

Or it might be a slight variation on this. What’s your favorite: author, series, genre, book boyfriend … you get the idea.

But, my problem is, I am absolutely incapable of answering this question. Like, seriously incapable.

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I might be able to come up with a list of favorites (though even that is hard for me sometimes), but never just one. And this isn’t confined to just books. Ask me what my favorite movie is and I’ll give you a blank look – and then I’ll try and come up with something, but I’ll really be scrambling. My favorite food? Um, tacos? But I don’t know that that’s really my favorite food – it’s just the answer I came up with once upon a time so that I’d have something to say when someone asked me the question.

So, I started asking myself – why can’t I come up with favorites? Is it just that I’m indecisive? Are there just so many good books out there that I can’t stand to choose only one? Well, yes. And no.

I think the real issue is that I’m kind of fickle. I don’t have an all-time favorite anything because I tend to really love the thing in front of me right now. (Or, if the thing in front of me isn’t that great, then I’m still in love the last thing that was.) Plus, I find that my tastes are gradually changing over time, so that thing that I was enthralled with three years ago might not make me quite as happy now, even if it were new to me. Since I don’t re-read, it’s hard for me to come up with an all-time favorite book. I can think of lots of books that I’ve loved, but none of them stand out at The Book that I’ve loved more than all of the other books. And, if I’m being honest, even the books that I remember that I absolutely loved have lost their shininess over time.

So, how about you? Are you able to pinpoint favorites? If not, are your reasons the same as mine?

P.S. Now that I’ve written a whole post about how I don’t have all-time favorites of anything, I’m going to admit that I totally lied. I have an all-time favorite TV show – Buffy the Vampire Slayer. No other show that I’ve ever watched has inspired the type of devotion that I felt for that series, and I’m kind of doubting that any ever will (partially just because I’m kind of past that stage of being a slave to TV – I’ve moved on to books!) So, yeah. Big liar.

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40 Responses to “Let’s Discuss – Why I Can’t Choose a Favorite (of Anything!)”

  1. Laura

    I’m exactly the same! I really dread anyone asking what my favourite of anything is, because I just don’t know! I have a whole list of ‘favourite books’, but I couldn’t say that there is one that stands out as better than all the others. A lot of books that I have put on my ‘favourite list’ for if anyone asks tends to be books I loved a kid, because they have a nostalgic value, or like you my current favourite will be the last book I read and absolutely loved. I really couldn’t pick an all-time favourite book though, or an all-time favourite anything!

    Laura recently posted: The Autumn Tag
    • Nicole

      Exactly. There are too many good options, and my “favorite” changes all the time. People always ask this question, and I just can’t handle it!

  2. Rachel

    Charmed is my version of your Buffy. But then I can’t even agree to that because I’m such a LOVER of Sex and the City and One Tree Hill… and Friends. Yea, I see where you’re going with this post! Lol!

    Rachel recently posted: Guest Post – Book Monogamy
    • Nicole

      I loved Charmed too!! It didn’t quite live up to Buffy, but it was definitely WAY up there. But a favorite book? I just couldn’t begin to choose!

  3. Joy (Joyousreads)

    Well, I tend to have an obsessive personality. So when I like something, I REALLY obsess over it. Books, authors, food, places to go, NFL team, Tiger Woods, Kings of Leon…and so on and so forth. Now, if you ask me to choose between a couple of obsessions (Kings of Leon? or Foo Fighters?), then that’s when it gets a bit tricky. I also can’t pick which of Melina Marchetta’s books I love. That’s just…cruel. It’s like picking which of my kids is a favourite of mine. It’s impossible. 🙂

    Joy (Joyousreads) recently posted: Friday Finds [2]: Sandra Brown
  4. GayAnna

    I hate when someone asks me for my favorite of anything! I cannot answer. Although when it comes to books I am partial to the Anne McCaffrey Pern series & the Jean M Auel Clan of the Cave Bear series. I often say I might read both of these series again someday. However, I probably never will since I have so many other books to read thanks to my daughter (Nicole). I have to agree with her on Buffy also. Maybe someday we’ll watch the series again.

  5. Jessica @ a GREAT read

    Oh I am the SAME way! I can rarely ever pick just 1 favorite. Partly, because like you said, the NEWness of what’s in front of me is partially a fave or the last thing that I LOVED is still the fave. I don’t have time for re-reads, but some of my older reads are still faves!

    Like I can still go gaga over the books I found when I was 13 or so and the paranormal YA genre was nonexistent! Those little nuggets of paranormal YA books are ones I treasure because that’s all I had! Plus there were some really good other books that I wouldn’t call fantasy or paranormal but something in between.

    Soooo many of those were faves! Heck I can’t even pick 1 Disney movie that is my #1 fave! I think at one point I narrowed it down to a top 5, but with Frozen in the picture now, it’s probably going to be a top 6! LOL!

    So yeah, we’re totally in sync with that!

    Jessica @ a GREAT read recently posted: Follow Friday
    • Jessica @ a GREAT read

      Oh yes and on a side note, I also agree: the one thing you never ever ask a reader/blogger/reviewer is “what’s your favorite book/author/series?” Because really, that person will not have enough time in the world for my indecisiveness! Or even just listing ALL my favorites! Haha!

      I will make the person who asks that question, regret asking that question! lol 😉

      Jessica @ a GREAT read recently posted: Follow Friday
    • Nicole

      Oooh, ooh, Disney movies – that I can almost do. My favorite was always Beauty and the Beast, but now I’m not so sure with Frozen – I think it may have taken the lead!

  6. Lola

    Great topic! I am terrible at choosing favourites! If you give me a narrow something, like ten favourite sci-fi books, I can deal with that. But a favourite book uhm no I just draw a blank. I also don’t think I really have one favourite book, author etc. I have a few auhtors I would count among my favourite authors, but to choose which one is my favourite is impossible. It depends on my mood which book I enjoy more and many books just can’t be compared to each other because they are so different. And indeed my favourites also keep changing, so I think many top tens list are also only true on that moment.

  7. Kritika

    I always freeze when people ask for my favorite book. That one is just too hard. I do have a list of favorites though! Considering the average person reads a couple hundred books in their lifetime and I’m almost at 1000 books in my 20s, I think a list is perfectly acceptable 🙂

    Movies are easier for me because I have only seen a handful of movies that I absolutely loved. I only have to pick from five or six amazing ones instead of dozens haha I definitely agree about things that you once loved not being as shiny later. This isn’t as true for books because I reread and it’s more about nostalgia than the actual story, but I’ve definitely felt that way about movies.

    • Nicole

      Good point! I don’t know how many books I’ve read in my lifetime, but I’ve read about 400 books in the last two years, so I think, like you, that I have a good excuse.

  8. Silvara

    I can never give just one answer for a favorite anything either. I DO re-read my favorite books, and yes that’s plural of course. I have way too many favorite authors and series and books in general. Same thing with music and movies. And the food thing… I hate being asked what my favorite food is! Doesn’t even help to narrow down the types (like favorite Italian, etc.) It depends on the day, or what I’m in the mood for. I’ve finally just started saying ‘dessert.’ just to have an answer to that one, even though that isn’t actually usually my favorite. It’s better than “Uhhhh…. well…”

    Silvara recently posted: The Book Life Tag
    • Nicole

      Exactly – sometimes you just have to have a standard answer, even if you don’t really know if it’s true. At least that way you have something to say.

  9. Bregje

    I’m the same as you. When people find out that I’m a booklover they always ask me about my favorite book and pretty much always I answer with ‘Harry Potter’. I really do love the entire series with all my heart, but I don’t know if it really is my all time favorite, it is just convenient to have an answer ready for when people ask. That’s pretty much the same thing as with my future plans.In high school people always asked me what I wanted to be when I was older, but I never really knew and out of convenience I would just say that I wanted to become a doctor. Surely I really liked the idea of becoming a doctor, but it was one of the many options that I was considering.
    What my favorite book is really variates over time. It really depends on my mood or what I’ve just read or what movie from a book I have just seen. I guess I could pick a favorite book, but two months later it’s probably going to be something different.

    • Nicole

      Right – my favorites are constantly changing. I will always have some books that stand the test of time, but I certainly can’t choose one! Harry Potter is always a safe choice, though. If you say that’s your favorite, you will have tons of people who agree with you. 🙂

  10. Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    I think I am actually kind of the opposite. I pick a favorite and then fangirl it to death. Like I have major obsession issues with anything Hunger Games-related. And I get so stuck in TV show that aired years ago that I completely miss out on new stuff! I am really indecisive, but when I find something I love.. I cling to it way too much! I love this post though, because I know so many people agree!

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted: Stacking the Shelves and Other Weekly Shenanigans (35)
  11. Cynthia

    I agree with you! There are a couple of books that I love: Great Gatsby and The Handmaid’s Tale. But honestly, my favorite book keeps changing. I think of these books as favorites now, but tomorrow I may read another book that turns it around. It’s so hard to pick a favorite book when I read as much as I do!!

    FYI, I was OBSESSED with Buffy the Vampire Slayer! Loved that show!

    • Nicole

      Yes, I can think of a few older books that I can list as favorites, but I almost think I choose them just out of convenience – to have something to say.

      LOVE Buffy!! Best show ever in the universe! 🙂

  12. Trish @ Between My Lines

    For the longest time, I found it hard to answer that question too. But lately I have chosen a favourite book and because it just resonates so deeply within me, I don’t think anything will top it (The Likeness by Tana French). But favourite food, favourite song, favourite movie; dunno! I could list loads but nothing jumps out as being my absolute favourite.

    Trish @ Between My Lines recently posted: 10 Bookish Proverbs to Live By
  13. Sam

    Haha (totally laughing at the last bit about you “lying”). I am mostly like this as well. I am extremely indecisive and have a hard time picking favourites. Like you, my tastes are always changing and I often fall in love with something that will become my favourite for the time being…until a new favourite comes up. However, with books, I’ve got to say The Hunger Games remains my favourite. But, I think that one is because I will just always think of it as the series that kicked my reading into high gear. I was never the same after reading The Hunger Games. I never read nearly as much as I do now, before I read that series. It made me find my love for reading, and boy do I love reading!! It’s also what caused me to start blogging. I just HAD to gush about it!! So, I think that one might remain a favourite…maybe forever…

    Sam recently posted: Early Review: Rite of Rejection
    • Nicole

      The Hunger Games is one of those books that seems to inspire unending devotion. I came upon it later than most others, and I did love it, but it wasn’t life-changing for me (maybe because I read them all three in a row and I wasn’t that satisfied with the final book. Didn’t hate it, but didn’t love it either). Anyway, I know you’re in good company with your devotion to that book!

  14. Mark

    I’m exactly the same as in “I really love what’s in front of me right now”. I think most of the replies are from girls, but I’m a boy, so you get one of my issues which you may not understand xD I watched the Flash tv-series and read the Flash comics. When I read through the Flash comics, I started to read Aquaman and now Aquaman is my favorite and I get a discussion with myself that Aquaman has always been my favorite, I just didn’t know it yet,because (here comes the stupid reason against myself) I always liked swimming xD
    Well that was my little story.
    Yours was a good read! 🙂

    Kind regards,

    Mark

  15. Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

    Ummm… for some things I have favorites, others not so much. I absolutely cannot choose a favorite book. I maybe have a favorite series? But even for that one I’m hesitant to call it that and usually refer to it as “one of my favorite series” lol. Even on GR, I have a favorites shelf and a super-favorites shelf, and they both have just, like, lots of books I think lol. I also would have trouble pinpointing a favorite song.

    But food? Easy. Pomegranates. I’m obsessed. Color? Red. Also obsessed. Movie? For many years, it was Big Fish, seen it a million times, knew every line. Then it changed to Tangled, and I swear I watched that movie every single day, sometimes twice, for a whole week at one point. So I guess I vary between unable-to-choose-a-favorite and obsession. There’s no in between for me, haha. Go big or go home 😉

    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      I think that since I wrote this post, I’ve actually settled on an all-time favorite series: Unwind by Neal Shusterman. Over the years, I’ve realized that any time I have to think about a favorite book or series, this is the one that pops into my mind first. So, I guess I CAN choose a favorite now. 🙂

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