Saturday, 1 December 2012

Desert Island Kindle

 By Ashley Lister

 This week’s theme of desert island discs genuinely scares me. One of the things I savour about reading is the excitement of discovering something new each time I approach the unfamiliar (and familiar) pages of any given title. Imagine the horror of only being able to read the same paltry handful of books again and again and again. I believe, no matter how good the book, the joy of reading a favourite tome would quickly be bleached to the ennui of monotonous repetition.

Also, desert islands give me the willies. From what I’ve seen in documentaries they’re filled with dangerous pirates, man-eating spiders and a rather disturbing lack of lavatories and KFCs. Faced with these levels of deprivation, I think it would be facile for me to start worrying about which books I might fancy taking so I could be choked on the boredom of words I once loved.

So, instead of discussing the literary merits of various titles, I’m going to talk about the books I’d take for more practical purposes.
Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
Soft, strong and thoroughly absorbing. I have no intention of reading the inanities of the twentieth century’s most hateful monoflorid nutjob. But, even on a desert island, I suspect I’d need something with which to wipe and Mein Kampf looks like a thoroughly Charmin’ alternative to regular toilet paper.
(NB – if I can’t find a copy of Mein Kampf, I’ll happily take the manifesto of the BNP).

Lord of the Rings
Whilst desert islands are renowned for being sunny, night time eventually falls on every piece of land. With night comes the need for fire. And with fire comes the need for something that should be burnt.
This is where the Lord of the Rings stories would prove useful. Admittedly, there are some passages that are so dull they’d be likely to extinguish the flames. But, overall, I think this is the only way this book will ever honestly be described as “…a scorching hot read…”

Fifty Shades of Grey (the trilogy)
I don’t particularly care for seagulls. One of them once pooped on me. I believe there are lots of seagulls on most desert islands. And I think it would be handy to have something disposable that could be hurled at the seagulls. If my aim is good enough, I could knock fifty shades of grey out of the little bastards.

There is only one book that I would want to take on a desert island for reading purposes. This is a book that I’ve read repeatedly over the past forty plus years. To me the content never grows wearisome. It’s called Five on a Treasure Island by Enid Blyton and this is the final passage of that book:

Then, with a bound he was on the bed, and snuggled himself down into the crook of her legs. He gave a sigh, and shut his eyes. The four children might be happy – but Tim was happiest of all.
‘Oh, Tim,’ murmured George, half waking up as she felt him against her. ‘Oh, Tim, you mustn’t – but you do feel so nice. Tim – we’ll have other adventures together, the five of us – won’t we?’
They will – but that’s another story!

For anyone reading that passage with a knowing smirk on their lips, perhaps you’ll understand why, even if I was suffering the austerity of a desert island, I could enjoy reading this title again and again and again.


Phoenix said...

I agree with many of your choices but I think Robinson Crusoe pay prove more useful in the long run!

Phoenix said...

may* :P

vicky ellis said...

Ash, I double dare you to stand in Waterstones pointing at the Kindle and asking "But can I wipe my arse on them?"

Lisa McFleeca said...

Ha I'm with Vicky on that one, so long as you also ask how many ply Mein kampf comes in!

Lisa :-)

Ashley R Lister said...


Robinson Crusoe would have been useful if Daniel Defoe had been on hand to explain some of Crusoe's clever tricks. For example, RC strips naked at one point, swims out to the sinking wreck of the boat he'd been on, and then puts biscuits in his pockets.

Unless 'pockets' is a bizarre euphemism this is the only trick that I think would be useful from RC :-)


Ashley R Lister said...

Vicky & Lisa,

I shall see you both in Waterstones over the weekend where I shall be asking if I can use their kindle on my nook or my kobo.