I would like to think that ‘Prescription Fiction’ is a very friendly blog. I am extremely open to all your comments, tweets and suggestions and in fact encourage them! I am more than happy to answer almost any question or query that you may have and I would love to think of my blog as a small community. However, as a particularly passionate breed of bookworm, one of the worst questions anyone could ever ask me is this:
“What is your favourite book?”
With those five simple words, every book I have ever read will fall out of my head and into a puddle around my feet. I will squirm and wriggle and say ‘Um…’ a lot, before finally shuffling away with an extremely anti-climactic ‘I don’t know’.
The pressure of that question is too much to bear. The asker will always stare at you with a certain amount of expectation in their eyes, as if whatever it is that bursts out of your mouth next will determine their opinion of you for many years to come. If I say something like ‘The Lord of the Flies’ then they will probably give me an impressed nod and invite me to eat lunch with them, however, if I panic and say ‘Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging’ (I do love that book) then they will probably wrinkle their nose in disgust before exiling me from their life entirely. Probably.
I don’t see why I should have to choose a favourite book at all. I simply cannot commit to one when there is so much choice out there. It is simply ridiculous that I should have to let you make a snap decision about me based on whether I prefer Classics or Sci-Fi; romance or horror; ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ or ‘Winnie the Pooh’. I am not married to a single novel; I am having off-again, on-again affairs with more than twelve at once.
My favourite book can be different every single day of the week. It entirely depends on what kind of mood I’m in. If I’m in quite an emotional mood, I’ll probably name ‘Anna and the French Kiss’ as my favourite and start endlessly chattering about boarding school in Paris. If I want to feel cool and mysterious, I might tell you that I love the symbolism in ‘The Catcher in the Rye'. If on a particularly reminiscent Tuesday, I am overtaken by nostalgia, I will tearfully tell you all about my mother’s beaten old copy of ‘Nancy and Plum’ that she was given in Sunday school as a child and ignore your confused expression when you don’t know what the hell I’m on about.
In reality though, none of these books are my favourite. Or maybe they all are? I don’t really know and I don’t really think I should have to. When you think of me, I don’t want you to think of a miniscule 300 pages – I want you to think of an entire library!
This is why I think that in the UK we should have a law that prohibits everyone from ever asking that dreaded question. I want David Cameron and stand up in the House of Commons and say that if one wants to enquire about another person’s taste in reading, then we must say ‘So what kinda books are you into, chum?’ or something of that variety. I guarantee you that by doing this everyone in the UK will probably be invited to 70% more sleepovers. Probably.
No more shall we have to stand sweating in front of a new acquaintance, wracking our brains for that one answer that will lead to a strong and beautiful friendship. No more will we fail to come up with that answer and instead try to avoid that person for the next month out of embarrassment. No more shall we have to run into them at our friend Keith’s party and awkwardly stand making our ridiculous excuses! No more, I say, no more!
I do not have a favourite book. I have commitment issues.
Do you know your favourite book? Am I the only one with this issue?! Tell me down in the comments, I'd love to know!