Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Most Precious Book

This year's poll for World Book Day asked UK readers to name the most precious book they have read.

The results are a little surprising: classics win the day. John Ezard in the Guardian notes that the highest ranking contemporary adult fiction novel is Sebastian Faulks' Birdsong at number 17.

Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice tops the list, with The Lord of the Rings in second place and Jane Eyre third. The Harry Potter books (collectively) are at number 4. The bible makes it to number 6 (thanks, it seems, to readers over 60) on the list and The Da Vinci Code is way down at number 42!

The entire list is here.

So what's your book you couldn't live without?

Mine? I keep going back to reread Lermontov's A Hero of our Time, but I might vote for Victor Hugos' Les Miserables - though it must be the unabridged version with its battle scenes and a complete history of the Paris sewers.

(Portrait of Jane Austen from the BBC's Icon website)


Kenny Mah said...

"So what's your book you couldn't live without?"

Daphne Lee asked me a similar question recently with the caveat I must mention the first book that came to my mind.

A.S. Byatt's The Biographer's Tale.

It helped me make sense of life back when life didn't make much sense at all. (Well, it helped me get through it; I'm not sure I'll ever make much sense of life at all...)

animah said...

Alice In Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass - a child's guide to philosophy and an adult's guide to what's really important.

Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.

Kenny Mah said...

I love those books, Animah! But being part of the TV generation, I really, really fell in love with them when I watched the television miniseries they made on it... so cool... I want to be any of the characters, any of them mad, mad creatures...

YTSL said...

Hi Sharon --

"So what's your book you couldn't live without?"

Does the question you posed qualify as a meme query? Am thinking so since it actually inspired me to write a whole new blog entry in response to it! :)

bibliobibuli said...

yeah just read it ystl - v. nice piece!

Anonymous said...

Well, it's odd to have a book that you can't live without. What if it gets lost, whaty would you do ? :)

Anyway, books that have made an impact on my life are mostly classics as well, Peter Pan, Lewis Caroll's "Alice" series, Mark Twain. Also Sidney Sheldon's "Master of the Game" and Shirley Conran's "Lace".