While completing an online application recently I came across the following question, “What is our favorite book? Why?
Naturally I assumed they were not interested in hearing that it’s the Bible. I can even come up with the “why” for that one.
We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scripture. And the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is, to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man’s salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it does abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God: yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our heart.[i]
It wasn’t that easy, however. There ae so many favorite books. They didn’t even specify a genre. And I enjoy books from a number of different categories. I didn’t even know how deep my reading diversity ran until I was sitting in the living room of friends in Vilnius, Lithuania and, having run out of reading material, picked up a slim volume from their bookshelves. Not exactly my kind of book, I thought, but started reading and was quickly hooked. The book was At Home in Mitford, by Jan Karon.[ii] I have since read the entire series.
Not only do I read widely, but I read regularly. My grandson James asked me recently ”If you had to give up one, which would it be, coffee or books?” Did I mention that he’s mean? I’m a coffee snob, but chose to give it up and continue reading. Fortunately, the exercise was hypothetical.
It took me some time, but I finally settled upon a title as my provisional favorite, knowing that were many others which could just as easily fit the description. I hope the readers enjoyed my answer. I wonder if they realized what a challenge they had presented me. I also wonder what they would have selected.
I this time time of quarantine for some, I wonder what book you, my readers, might have chosen, and why. Feel free to give more than one response.
[i] Westminster Confession of Faith I,5.
[ii] First in a series of whimsical mysteries involving an unassuming Episcopal priest.