I was listening to the Book Riot podcast this morning when I heard them talk about the Library of a Lifetime Prize from the Heywood Hill bookstore in London. One lucky winner will receive a hardback book every month for life. To enter all you need to do is share which book that has meant the most to you. That's right. Only. One. Book.
Of course whatever you choose doesn't need to be the definitive answer. It's a competition not life or death, but asking any book lover to choose between their favorites it can certainly seem that way. So how do you decide, what criteria would you use to narrow down the options?
I listen to a lot of book podcasts and another favorite of mine is What Should I Read Next with Anne Bogel. She has one guest on the show every week to talk about three books they love and one book they hate. I often think about what three books I would choose if I was ever on her show, and after weeks of listening I'm not any closer to picking my top three. How could I ever choose just one?
That's the position I found myself in while drinking my coffee this morning. I thought about choosing Elena Ferrante's neapolitan novels. They were the subject of the podcast since the person behind pen name was recently outed. Tsk tsk. I wish to respect their anonymity and I like how the podcasters handled this bit of bookish news. The novels are great though and a worthy choice for picking the book that has meant the most to me.
Just to be sure I headed over to Goodreads to skim over the list of books I've read. My average rating is quite high at 4.25, so there was a lot of good material to choose from. I especially love Hitch Hiker's Guide by Douglas Adams, Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski, and anything by Amy Stewart just to name a few and I can't imagine my life in this moment had I never read any of them.
That's when I started to think about the books that turned me into the reader I am today. After all wouldn't those be the books that have had the greatest impact on my life? My answer might be a little cliche, but I'm sure J.K. Rowling would be happy to hear that Harry Potter turned me along with a whole generation of kids into lifelong readers.
I was a reader before, but Harry Potter was my transition from middle grade to young adult novels. It's what kept me going after I had outgrown the American Girl books. It was a classic case of reading the right book at the right time, but that kind of magic I found in Harry Potter is what I'm still hoping to find in the books I read today.
So what book would choose, if you could only choose one, that has had the greatest impact on your life? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to hear what you pick!
p.s. Don't forget to enter to win, the prize draw closes at midnight Monday 31 October 2016.