It’s that time of year again. The time of year when one worker wastes countless work hours analyzing brackets. And if you think you read this already, think again!
The truth is, I love to rank things. I also love to read and I love the NCAA tournament. Normally these things have little, if anything, to do with each other. However, I have found a way to combine my love of lists, literature, and basketball. My annual Literature Tournament where I rank my favorite novels and then pit them against each other to see which one reigns supreme.
Here’s how it works, I continually track all of the books I read and rank them according to my personal preference. I only use novels since non-fiction becomes too difficult to compare. Then I rank them based on a number of other characteristics (i.e. other Top 100 novels lists I found on the web and the sales rankings on Amazon and Barnes & Noble) and assign a weight to each characteristic. I use the sum of all the weighted numbers to come up with a final score for each book and then rank them all based on the final score. See what I mean? This is way too complicated for something this trivial, and quite possibly insane! But who cares? I enjoy it!
Anyway, after the final rankings are done I seed each book by putting them into four different “regions” named for famous authors (i.e. the four top books in the final rankings are all #1 seeds, the next four are #2 seeds etc.) and go through the matchups based on whichever book I think is better or that I enjoyed more. I only do this once per year and usually time it so that it coincides with the NCAA basketball tournament.
I know what you’re thinking; wouldn’t the same book win every year? Don’t I already know what my favorite books are? What the hell is the point of this? Well, the point is I think it’s fun and it makes me compare different books that have completely different subject matters (for example, the infamous 2015 battle between Atlas Shrugged and The Old Man and the Sea). Yes, I already know what books are my favorites, but again, the fun is in the comparison! And finally, the catch here is that a book can only win once, so winners from past years are no longer part of the tournament which helps to keep matchups and winners fresh!
See below for the 2017 version of my literature tournament! Now go make your own and feel free to share!