I don’t imagine I will ever find myself alone on a desert island. At any given part of the day, I can be in contact with someone, if I so desire. I can also see a movie, go shopping, surf the internet and engage in any number of other activities. If time really hangs heavily on my hands, I can even clean my house; except for cleaning his “house,” Robinson Crusoe did not have any of these options.
Daniel DeFoe gave Robinson Crusoe one companion, Friday. If they had a disagreement, Crusoe really needed to have a good book handy. Given a choice, what do you think he would want? Better still, if you were Robinson Crusoe—or Tom Hanks in Castaway—what book(s) would you want to salvage from your sinking ship? If you’re uncertain, Amazon.com actually has a Desert Island Book List and there are lots of other sites such as listal.com which can give you some ideas.
If I could plan to be stranded on a desert island and could carry three or four books off my boat, they would be a bible, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Brian Jacques’ Redwall (The animals in Redwall forest know some fantastic recipes for all the edibles found there) and Georgette Heyer’s Pistols for Two and Other Stories. With Pistols, I would get a variety of her works in one volume.
No one plans to be on a leaky boat—and I don’t know where there are any desert islands anyway. However those folk who love cruises may want to pack a favorite book or two the next time they sail…just in case.