Booking Through Thursday: Best or Favorite?

Booking Through Thursday asked: Are “best” and “favorite” the same thing? If someone asked you “What’s the best book you ever read?” would the answer be the same as for “What’s your favorite?”

My answer: I don’t think I’ve ever thought of books in this way before.  This question made me stop and think about things for a minute.

When I think about a “best” book, it usually has more to do with the quality of the writing and how well the plot is structured or characters are developed.  You know when you’re reading a book and even if you don’t particularly enjoy it, you just think to yourself, “Wow, this person really knows how to write!”  Then you feel in awe of how effortless the prose is flowing and realize everything is so concise, every word is deliberate, but it doesn’t feel like any effort went into it.

On the other hand, a “favorite” is a book that isn’t necessarily good but that strikes a chord within you and sucks you right in.  It could even be a book that’s slightly trashy or cliched with a plot template and predictable books throughout a series, but you don’t care and still love it and want to re-read it.  These are books by authors whose books you gobble up every time they put out a new one, no matter what.

Sometimes a best book also happens to be one of your favorites.  This happened to me with Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and I feel the same about Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s books because, even though they’re translated, the writing is amazing and I loved the stories too.  But the two adjectives don’t always go together.

A book could have the “best ending” or “best characters” or “best twist” and still not be a “best” book or a favorite.  So it all depends.  Anyway, great question that got me thinking about my reading and book preferences.

What do you think about this question?  What are some of your “best” books?  And your favorites?  Do the two go together?

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