I’ve become unusually aware of how much I overuse certain words lately – namely “favorite”, “best”, & “love”! Ask my fiance and he’ll tell you that I’m always saying things like, “That’s my favorite song” or “That’s the best movie EVER”..and sometimes it really is A favorite song or movie or book but sometimes I think I just want to show how much I really do LOVE something but often favorite is the best designation I can think of to properly show my affection for something. Sidenote: I giggle a lot with how often I say that I “love” something. Is my love for chocolate the same love I have for my fiance? Most days no. lol
That being said, I’ve been on this John Green kick lately and read Paper Towns and Looking For Alaska in the past month and have read Will Grayson, Will Grayson prior to this. I have declared John Green one of my new favorite authors. And then I got to thinking, “What makes someone a favorite author? At what point does my brain start making that designation?” Is it after I’ve read a certain number of said author’s books? Can you base “favorite author status” after only one book? Do my favorite authors entertain me? Do they make me cry? Laugh? Reveal truths that I can relate to? WHAT MAKES SOMEONE A FAVORITE AUTHOR TO ME?! And, do I overuse the word “favorite” when speaking about books and authors?
Now this isn’t to say you should rigidly maintain a favorite author’s list and they have to meet x, y, z criteria or anything. But when someone says “Oh, that’s one of my favorite authors”..I wonder how they determine that. Not in a judgey way..but more so in a..”I wonder what YOUR criteria for favorite author looks like compared to mine” way. I think sometimes in the blogosphere I see “favorite” slung around a lot and it’s hard for me to truly know what stands above the rest for some people. (I’m guilty of it too sometimes. Although I am stingy with my favorite author and book designations most of the time).
I think that most of the time, for me, I’ve read a few books by the author and put them on my mental “auto-buy” list. Oh, they are writing a book about watching paint dry? YEP. I’m probably going to go buy it. But there are sometimes I am a little preemptive on the favorite author status after one book. Sometimes I can just TELL that they are going to be..and sometimes I’m right and sometimes their next book is a book that falls flat. As I look at my favorite author list, I see that they are all different. Some make me cry, some just entertain me and can tell a story, some have created characters that I relate to, some make me ponder deep wonders and some just so damn memorable.
What about you? Do you think people overuse “favorite” when talking about books and authors? What gives an author that “favorite author” status in your mind? Do you think someone can be a favorite author after you’ve only read one of their books or would it be better to just say it’s a favorite book? And because I’m curious..who are some of your favorite authors?