It’s always easy to remember a first favourite book. While the books of my youth, those by Robert Munsch and Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley High series held sway, there was no overarching realization. A favourite book, like a best friend, almost seems to supersede everything that came before, rendering all else a necessary stepping-stone but a distant second. Like all things that are truly liked or loved, what makes something really sink in is hard to explain.
My first favourite book, The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, a book recommended at the time on some news show by Courtney Love, inspired me with its concept of integrity. While the book is much maligned for the philosophies of its author now, as a 15- year old I clung to and revered its absolutism. There is an ushering in, though, a plateau that we have to go beyond in order to really love a book. If it’s a challenge, great, and if it is ”the axe for the frozen sea within us” as Kafka said, even better.