If I ever had the misfortune to be stranded on a deserted island or find myself in some kind of isolation, whether by choice or forced, what books would I take with me and why? Assuming I’m allowed to bring reading material with me. I better be or bad things would happen quite quickly.
There is no way I could narrow this list down into just a handful of books. Hopefully I’m allowed to bring some boxes and get help with said boxes since I prefer paper books. Part of it would also to serve as shade if the place I was marooned on was too sunny or bright. Maybe even serve as kindling although to burn a book really has never been acceptable to me. But in desperate times who knows what one might do. If not, then the island or wherever, better have at least one electrical outlet to recharge my Kindle.
Since I’d have a lot of time on my hands, I’d pick a lot of series and sweeping epics since several hundred pages of worlds and characters would hopefully keep me distracted. Probably a good idea to bring a complete dictionary, too, since there are sure to be words I wouldn’t know and because, hey, it’s the dictionary and kinda big.
Let’s divide up my choices into the following categories.
Book I’ve Read:
Any book listed as one of my favorites on this site would clearly be on there. I’d also throw on there some of my most recent favorites like The Sleeping Dictionary, The Martian, A Confederacy of Dunces, American Gods, and Frankenstein.
Great thing about a lot of books published in the last couple of decades is a lot of them come in sets. Perfect for complete isolation.
A Song of Ice & Fire – If I were ever in this situation I would hope it would be after the series is completed.
Outlander – I’ve only read the first book but with 8 books and counting there is plenty of new-to-me material to read and enjoy.
Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia Grey series
Ngaio Marsh’s Det. Alleyn series
The Complete Sherlock Holmes
Authors I’ve Read Most, But Not All, Of Their Books:
I’m cheating just slightly on some of these because there is some crossover with other categories.
George R. R. Martin
The Classics I Own But Haven’t Read:
Gone With the Wind
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
The Count of Monte Cristo
Overall I would want to bring with me a variety. A mixture of what I’m already familiar with and clearly enjoy as well as new stuff. Genres and writing styles would keep my mind engaged and save me from boredom. It’d also suit my somewhat fickle and indecisive nature. With no one else to have for company, these books with their hundreds of characters would become my friends to me. Their worlds would be a needed relief from the reality that would be my new norm.