Books, A List

I saw that in honor of World Book Night 2012, the WBN site is performing a sort of democratic top 100 books list where you choose you 10 favorite books and the votes are all tabulated to create the master list based on popularity. It’s probably nothing new, but I like that instead of “Editor’s Choice” style top X lists that, at best, include a small sample size reader’s poll alongside the “real” list, this one is all audience-based.

I contributed but the more I looked at my list the more intrigued I was about what it said about me that these were the top 10 books I picked. Naturally everyone is going to bring their own criteria to such an undertaking which is partially why it’s interesting at all, but my selection method was that I went for books that I felt had some sort of actual impact on my life or my perspectives and—this is critical—that each was a book I liked enough to read again. Maybe for chronic re-readers that doesn’t sound like much of a narrowing factor but I hardly ever re-read books. My thought is, there are so many books out there I haven’t read yet, I’d rather try something different than revisit one. Even one I loved the first time through.

Curiously I think this also means that some books I didn’t think I cared for at the time I may enjoy now; or that books I really liked once upon an idle hour wouldn’t stand the test of time. Still, if I have re-read or would actually consider re-reading a book, it must have stuck out to me as particularly noteworthy so it helped to narrow down a lengthy list of possibilities. I’m annotating the list here because as I mentioned I think this list seems to reflect a bit about me and perhaps my rationales enhance that reflection. As an aside, you can also view this list as “Top 10 Topics of Conversation With Paul (Provided You Don’t Care That He Never Shuts Up).” Also, these are in order (as best as I can remember) that I read the books, oldest to newest.

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