"Stop lying about your favourite book."


The jig is up.

We know your favourite book isn’t Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. You possibly don’t even own a copy, and if you do, it’s earmarked at around page 98, where you gave up. At a stretch, you’ve seen Keira Knightly in the film. Same goes for The Odyssey, Moby Dick, and One Hundred Years of Solitude.

As for your favourite movie? It’s not Citizen Kane; don’t even try to say it’s Citizen Kane; everyone says Citizen Kane.

Secretly, shamefully, you probably love Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban. And Love Actually.


You might have seen one of your friends post a status that reads a little something like this:

“List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take more than a few minutes, and don’t think too hard. They do not have to be the ‘right’ books or great works of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way.”

AND YET. Just about everyone takes the opportunity to rattle off a list of classics they think they ‘should’ have read. In other words, they lie. What should be a delightful literary chat about the words that give us joy…. turns into A PACK OF LIES. That, to me, is incredibly sad.

In fact, two clever women called Lada Adamic and Pinkesh Patel collated all the data from all the ‘Likes’ on Facebook and here’s the truth: Harry Goddamn Potter is most people’s favourite book. Yeah, a full 21% of all FB users list the Harry Potter series among their favourite books. Which is accurate because JK Rowling’s 7-book-long series is a magical adventure unlike any other and we should never forget that.

Books should make you feel like this.

And like this.

Does it matter which book gives you joy? NO. JUST READ THEM.

I once told a Film Studies class at uni that my favourite movie was Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion. If I can do that — and brave the judgment from a pack of hipsters who all said Fellini or Citizen Kane — then we all can.

For some inspiration on what you can actually read – try these:

Your turn. 

What’s your REAL favourite book and favourite movie?