Why I Don’t Like to Choose Favorites…

The modern cover of a classic book -
The modern cover of a classic book – I prefer the old one!

Truthfully, my favorite book changes all of the time.

I know that a person who loves reading as much as I do, should be able to hold tight to one book that stands above all others.  But it’s just too hard.

Like today, for example.  I saw this wonderful new poetry book titled Red Sings from the Treetops: A Year in Colors by Joyce Sidman.  It is so beautiful that I was afraid to put it down because I wanted to somehow “hold onto” all of that color and beauty.  So, that could really be a new favorite.  However, that doesn’t mean it will replace Charlotte’s Web or The Great Gatsby or The Book Thief or so many others that I consider favorites.

There is a shelf in my room that is just for my most treasured books.  If a friend were to look at them, they may have some questions.  Included is a book called The Trouble with Jenny’s Ear by Oliver Butterworth that I absolutely loved as a young girl, but re-reading it a few years ago made me squirm.

Written in 1960, it includes gems like this: “His sister laughed at him.  That’s just like you, Harold.  You were always forgetting us girls.  When you were a kid you used to go around trailing wires and buzzers and things, and all the boys would follow you around, but you never understand why girls weren’t interested in your doorbells and clock springs.   Uncle Harold rubbed his chin.  ‘I guess you’re right, Sis.  Probably that’s why I’m not married yet.  Do you suppose it’s too late? I’m almost twenty-eight.'”   So much for my early feminist education.

Less embarrassing, my shelf holds a special gift from my husband—a first edition of Charlotte’s Web, a book that is always on my top five list, no matter what the day has brought.  And a book of poems by the late Jane Kenyon.

The most recent addition to the collection is a book that I found while shelving at the Inly Library.  It was quite dated, and I put it aside to see if it was a book that should “retire” from service.  I opened it up, and saw that it had first been discarded from my hometown library, the Dayton and Montgomery County Public Library.

I stared at that book for the longest time thinking that somehow we might recognize one another.  At that point, I figured if it followed me that far, it deserved a place on my shelf.

5 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Like to Choose Favorites…

  1. I love the Dayton book that seemed to find you in Scituate. What a great story…

    If Seedfolks is not on your list of favorites in children’s literature, I think you should take one more look. It offers so much to the reader – both young and old!

  2. I loved The Trouble With Jenny’s Ear when I was a kid, but even more than that was a book whose title I can’t remember for the life of me. It was about a young girl and her father who traveled around the countryside in a gypsy wagon and putting on magic shows for a living. She was never able to properly celebrate her birthday or most holidays because she always had to be on the road and on her best behaviour, so her dad allowed her to declare “Abracadabra Day” once a year when she could get away with all kinds of mischief. I would give anything to remember the name or author of this book so that I might track it down for my grandchildren.

    • Hi Linda,
      Thanks for your comment. I bet the book you’re looking for is Mr. Mysterious and Company by Sid Fleishman. Fleishman’s stories are really fun and terrific read-alouds!
      I hope that helps…

      • BINGO! God bless you! Thank you so much. I’ve been trying to remember the name of that for the last 40 years. Found it on Amazon and ordered it. Yay! Merry Christmas to me! (and to you!)

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