I honestly don’t do favorites and I don’t have a favorite book. I have a bunch of books I love but I don’t have a book I think everybody should read or a top 10 favorite books or a book I think contains the most wisdom. So my answer to this will vary from year to year. Right now when I realize how few people have read Merce Rodoreda I think, sweet Christmas, A Broken Mirror is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read, everyone should read it. So I dwell on that. But if I have any interesting reading advice I think it’s this: keep a list of what you read, and look over it from time to time, and ask: who’s underrepresented there? What do you know less about that you might know more about? What’s outside your usual scope? And then read that, and then read some more of that. But I’m not unsympathetic to people who wanna argue: nonsense, read what you like, life’s short, go with what speaks to you. For me, though, I get the most pleasure from trying to step beyond what I’m already tuned into.
One thing this means though is I have whole shelves of stuff I know I’d love but haven’t read precisely because I know I’d love it. But that’s cool. The shelves are there when I need ‘em.
John Darnielle pretty much dead-on explaining why I have so many books in my not-very-big apartment, and also why there are so many shows in my Netflix list I haven’t watched, and also why there are so many albums and artists that I know I will like but haven’t had a chance to listen to.