Yesterday I was talking to a friend about favorite books, and I made the distinction that my favorite books aren't necessarily the books that I think are the best, or most well-written. The example I gave was with movies: I think Schindler's List is a technically better movie that, say, Say Anything, but I wouldn't rate the former on my top 10 favorite movies, whereas the latter is safely there. I've seen Say Anything countless times, and have enjoyed each viewing immensely. I've seen Schindler's List once, and found it moving, powerful, and beautiful to watch, but I have no desire to repeat the experience, because it was so draining. Maybe this has to do with the genre, romantic comedy versus drama, although I do think, in movies and in books, that I generally gravitate towards drama over comedy.
When I think of my favorite books, I think of titles like To Kill a Mockingbird, Little Women, Watership Down, Ender's Game, Emily of New Moon, etc. Books I read as a child, and read over and over. But I can't say that they're "better" books than Beloved, 100 Years of Solitude, The Book Thief, or Ulysses (I've never read the latter, actually). Of course, the nostalgia factor plays a role, as does the opportunity to re-read the books. All of the books I mentioned earlier above I've read at least 3 or 4 times. Nowadays, unless it's a book I'm editing, I don't have time to read books more than once, which I find sad.
So, the question: do you make the distinction between favorite and best? What are some of the books on your lists?