I just read an article about unread books and why you shouldn't feel bad about your ever-increasing to-be-read pile. Kristy Logan maintains that her favorite books are the ones she hasn't even read yet. At first I thought this was dumb but then I got to thinking and I can completely relate:
An unread book is all possible stories. It contains all possible characters, styles, genres, turns of phrase, metaphors, speech patterns, and profound life-changing revelations. An unread book exists only in the primordial soup of your imagination, and there it can evolve into any story you like. An unread book – any unread book – could change your life.
Go to your bookshelves and pick a book you have not read. Hold it in your hands. Look at the cover and read the description on the back. Think about what the story might be about, what themes and motifs might be in it, what it might say about the world you inhabit, whether it can make you imagine an entirely different world. I suggest that the literary universe you just created might be more exciting and enlightening than the one contained within those covers. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that book. It might prove to be a great book; the best book you have ever read. But your imagination contains every possible story, every possible understanding, and any book can only be one tiny portion of that potential world.
I think it's the books that go beyond what we could imagine - those that tie together ideas in a way we could never think of but makes so much sense - that inevitably become our favorite books.
Granted Logan takes this idea (it's better to not read a book than to read it and be disappointed) to the extreme, but I like that she encourages a reader to think about the excitement and possibilities any book can hold.