Every time I mention that I like a particular book, someone would ask me about a certain detail in it, or if I have a favourite moment. That’s when you’d find me flustering, looking like a 7-year-old who had just been asked to recite his multiplication tables in front of a committee of old, grumpy Mathematics professors. As my B:Read mates (colleagues?) would attest, I’m not very good with details.
Even if I were to discuss with you one of my favourite books ever, Neverwhere (Neil Gaiman), I’d be hard-pressed to even describe a single chapter in the format of an extremely vague summary. I’ve been attacked for this several times. They say “oh, but if you don’t remember what happens in Chapter 7, page 32, line 21, then surely you can’t claim to love the book!”.
Something about a man proposing to a giant stone eagle?
If I was unreasonable, I’d slap them in the face and call their mothers names that would make a sailor blush. Instead, I often just dismiss statements like that, preferring not to go into excruciatingly lengthy and unnecessary detail on why I don’t know my favourite books in excruciatingly lengthy and unnecessary detail. But hey, since B:Read have somewhat foolishly inducted me into their committee, now I can express myself here. And in Comic Sans no less. EDIT: I’ve been Comic Sans-blocked.
Let me begin by saying that I do understand the values of knowing your favourite books by heart. It allows you to discuss with fellow lovers of the book about characters, themes, and plots to your heart’s content. It’s also a good tool to 1-Up people in the implied ‘who loves this book more’ competition that always happens in these discussions. Just go to our next book meet for examples (ZING! OH NO YOU DI’N’T).