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Desert Island Reads


We’ve been inspired by the long-running (since 1942) BBC Radio program ‘Desert Island Discs’ in which celebrities of different disciplines and varying levels of fame are interviewed and given the chance to choose eight pieces of music, a luxury item, and a book to accompany them while stranded on a deserted island. Strandees are always given the Works of Shakespeare and a copy of the Holy Bible (or other spiritual text), and the rest is up to them.

Being book nuts, we immediately homed in on the show’s book aspect. Heated debate ensued about the ideal book for a deserted island and also the best method of selecting a single book that would be read over and over again. Some of us wanted something familiar and beloved – a cherished, well-thumbed staple to bring us comfort in the monsoon season. Others went for inspiration, like the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke or a book of haiku. Others thought a practical book with instructions on boat-building or raft construction was the only logical choice.

As for me, I’m one to resign myself to the fates, and opted for maximum entertainment and distraction value. Read our Desert Island Reads to discover my selection and the choices of various AbeBooks’ staff, as well as key literary guests on the BBC show.

What would you choose? Let us know in the comments.

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Beth Carswell

About Beth Carswell

I've been reading, selling, researching, loving and writing about books with AbeBooks since 2000.

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