Thursday, April 22, 2010

Favorite books vs. favorite authors

I was asked a question last week that made me really think -- and now I pose it to you, wonderful readers.

Do you have a favorite author or authors? Who are they?

For me, I have fewer favorite authors than I have favorite books. Favorite authors of mine include Aimee Bender, Douglas Coupland (with the exception of his last few books), Laurie Halse Anderson (for her writing and more for her advocacy of reading and of libraries), Donna Freitas (who I blogged about Monday), and Melissa Walker. I can only name a few, and in answering the question, I drew a bit of a blank.

It's like being asked to talk about yourself -- here's your warning that psychology speak is coming. Our brains are built with connections between ideas, and when we are so intimately familiar with ourselves, being asked to ferret out a few facts to describe ourselves is hard because all of our ideas of ourselves are tightly bound.

This extends to readers, too. Big readers have a hard time pulling out just a few favorite authors quickly because we are so connected to so many.

Ahem, moving back to the point at hand.

I am more of a "favorite books" than a "favorite authors" person. The books themselves become more a part of me than an author does when I am reading, and thus, while I am conscious about who is doing the writing and like to know more about them, it is their work that ultimately sticks with me. I say this, of course, as I partake in a debut authors challenge. Perhaps that's just it: it's hard for me to feel confident in having a favorite author who may only have published one work or had only one big hit for me. Books stand alone and feel "safer" as favorites.

So tell me readers, who are your favorite authors? Do you play preference to favorite authors or favorite books? Does it matter?

2 comments:

  1. I'd probably agree with you that I have more favorite books than favorite authors. I do have some favorite authors, though. I get excited when I see they have new books coming out and I know I'll pick up those books (and maybe even buy them) because I've loved the author's other books.

    Sarah Dessen is one of my favorites, Jordan Sonnenblick (even though I haven't loved all of his books), John Green (even though I love HIM more than I love his books), Andrew Clements...

    And looking back, many of my favorite books as a kid were by a handful of authors, so I'd consider those favorite authors as well: Judy Blume, Roald Dahl, Ann M. Martin, Beverly Cleary, Christopher Pike...

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  2. I, too, am drawing a blank on favorite authors. I mean, there are books in series that I love to read, but more importantly I have BOOKS that I love. Books that captured me and let me escape...like The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, or The Pepins and Their Problems to name a few.

    As a kid, I just read voraciously...it didn't really matter who wrote it, I read it!

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