I cringe at the question some people post at me. What is your favorite book? Favorite? There’s something generic about that word that I can’t really connect with it when it comes to reading and loving books.Literature is a piece of art itself. And we don’t have a favorite piece of art. We may appreciate it, adore it, but the word favorite is alien to me when it comes to arts and literature. There’s something too special about books to use the little word “favorite.”
The question, I think, should be—what has most influenced you? What has most inspired you? What has affected you the most? That is, if we really want to talk about the concept of “most” and “best” when it comes with books. As for me, all books are “most” and “best.” There’s simply no choosing one from another.
Books as inspiration
Don’t you see books as inspiration? They inspire us to do better and be better. Whether you’re reading a fictional story or not, books have the power to make us believe in the truths of its lyrical composition.
When I was a kid, my mother used to read to me a story about a haughty family of pigs. Let’s use this story as an example for now. This particular family live in a tiny fictional village where there were also cows, dogs, and other animals. They are haughty and indifferent to their community because they believe they are better than them simply because their tails are curled.
So, the story goes that the family think their neighbors are below them… until, of course, a tragedy struck them and the only ones who helped and saved them were the people they looked down on.
I’ve read that book when I was about five years old, but I always go back to that every time I feel like I’m being too haughty or too indifferent to people around me. I wasn’t just inspired or affected by the story. I was changed by it.
There was something about how the story was deconstructed from the haughty family of pigs that spend all their time curling their tails and their eventual humble pie serving that gets to me.
Books and Values
In this day and age, it’s too easy to forget the values instilled in us as children. We have the Internet where bullying is almost a rite of passage. We have media and television where violence and extremism are sometimes glorified. We have entertainment where indecency is most of the times justified.Books, I believe, have stuck to the idea that they should be molding the future generations of this great big globe we’re living in. Albeit there are some books that glorify and justify the same violence and indecency we see in television and movies these days, in general, books are still a treasure trove of inspiration and values-laden adventures.
It still seeks to inspire rather than offend. And it still hopes to radicalize change rather than simply transform readers into a messy glob of band-wagoners.