IVP - Strangely Dim - To Favorites or Not to Favorites?

March 16, 2006

To Favorites or Not to Favorites?

Today at lunch I decided to visit all my favorites--not my favorite coworkers, in case you're reading this and wondering why you were left out, but rather the web pages I've assigned to my "favorites" folder. The problem is, most of these "favorites" I'm largely ambivalent about, and some I haven't visited in more than a year.

It's just so easy to assign the term favorite to whatever tickles your fancy at any given moment. You click on "favorites," then--just in case you forgot how you felt about this particular page--you click on "add to favorites." I have subcategories of favorites--favorite blogs, favorite music sites, favorite research pages, favorite online magazines, and so on and so on. I can go to any of my favorites at virtually any time, virtually without any effort. One click and I'm there. Still, I treat my favorites like I treat my cousins, which is best described as "unfavorably."

It's nothing personal. I like my cousins quite a lot, and something about these pages got me sufficiently effusive about them that I was willing to declare them highly favored in the first place. But online relationships, like any relationships really, are notoriously difficult to maintain. (See the run of comments to "The Vanishing Breed of the Attendant" at Loud Time for insights into that one.)

My fickle favoritism leaves my computer looking something like a coffee table or end table, cluttered with books, magazines and Bibles that seem important for me to have within arm's reach but which only infrequently come off the table and into more direct contact with my brain. I want to be the guy who has read A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and Paul's Idea of Community and the like. I want to be the guy who is in the thick of the Emergent conversation. I want to be the smart guy, the edgy guy, the go-to guy. I suppose I want to be the favorite. But all too often the spirit is willing to declare something important, favorite, but the flesh is too weak to follow through.

So today I deleted a blog from my favorites--a site maintained by a well-known author I've never read. She's no longer my faux-favorite. I'll probably forget all about it, though, and add her back in the next time I surf by. It's so easy that it'd be impolite not to.

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at March 16, 2006 12:36 PM Bookmark and Share


Well, I doubt if we are on your favorites, odd little site that we are, but my Hearts & Minds BookNotes blog does mention IVP books pretty often. And my monthly book reviews column at our bookstore's website does rave about IVP quite often. So I'd invite you and your readers to favor us. We need all the help we can get...

A blog at IVP. That is certainly going to be one of my favorites! Thanks much.

for the Kingdom,

Comment by: Byron Borger at March 20, 2006 11:24 AM


Nice to finally meet you! I've been hearing about Hearts & Minds for some time now--great store, thumbs up all around.

Comment by: Dave at March 20, 2006 1:20 PM

Hey Dave! this post is hilarious - it's so true about needing to clean out favorites - I have a hard time keeping the links on my blog current and relevant much less my browser's list of favorites. Besides just getting rid of extraneous favorites I am torn about whether to bookmark sites that I visit frequently but whose URLs are so short and straightforward that it seems like significantly less effort to just type them rather than use the pull down menu.

Comment by: Emily at March 20, 2006 2:00 PM

Dave: Have I ever told you that you have a beautiful mind? --Drew

Comment by: Drew at March 21, 2006 2:56 PM


So, I'd be lying to say I didn't add this blog to my favorites. But I guess I'm confused: is it more of an insult, now, to add you to my favorites or not to?

Comment by: 2e at March 29, 2006 1:44 PM

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Behind the Strangeness

Lisa Rieck is a reader and writer who likes to discuss good ideas over hot drinks and gets inspired by the sky. She takes in all kinds of good ideas as a proofreader for InterVarsity Press.

Rebecca Larson is a writer/designer/creative type who has infiltrated IVP's web department, where she writes and edits online content. She enjoys a good pun and loves the smell of freshly printed books.

David A. Zimmerman is an editor for Likewise Books and a columnist for Burnside Writers Collective. He's written three books, most recently The Parable of the Unexpected Guest. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/unexpguest. Find his personal blog at loud-time.com.

Suanne Camfield is a publicist for InterVarsity Press and a freelance writer. She floats ungracefully between work, parenting and writing, and (much to her dismay) finds it impossible to read on a treadmill. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and blogs at The Rough Cut.

Likewise Books from InterVarsity Press explore a thoughtful, active faith lived out in real time in the midst of an emerging culture.

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