Form a retired gentleman in United Kingdom
Happily for me being in my 70s, the isolation now being ordered by the government does not have a high impact. Being married means it can never be total isolation although one does feel frustrated by not being able to see friends and family and I do hope that this situation does not last for too long. Obviously one is worried about the virus spreading, but it is great having a garden to work in which means that one can be outside but also isolated at the same time.
However, putting myself in self-isolation mode, would I want to watch TV for most of the day? Certainly not. Instead, I would like to get some decent reading done and this ambition makes me think about my favourite books over the years – the ones I would take onto a desert island if the need arose. After all, it would be far easier to take books onto an island than discs. For a start, one does not need an electric current to read a book!
So, after some reflection, here are my isolation Desert Island Books on the assumption that both the Bible and Shakespeare are not available.
My first book would be Just William. I was a great fan of William books in my youth and I enjoyed reading about this rebellious boy who still managed to keep a sense of integrity. I think he was the alter ego of the author, Richmal Crompton. She had been a suffragette and was partially disabled and, I believe, acted out her wishes through her creation.
Then I would like to have My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrel. A splendid read about people and animals, and quite feisty for the 1930s when it was written.
My third book would be a thriller and I choose Goldfinger by Ian Fleming. James Bond is always a good read!
Now for a complete change. I choose The Nation’s 100 Favourite Poems. This book is both totally entrancing and very varied. If bored, I could even try learning some off by heart.
Another change, my next option is The Readers Digest Atlas of Great Britain. This is a detailed overview of the entire nation, giving descriptions of towns, countryside and possible tours. It would be very comforting to plan tours of different places and hope to do them one day.
My final two books contrast again; they are Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher and Hatter’s Castle by AJ Cronin. The first is a pleasant romantic story set during the Christmas season with a happy ending that goes on and on. The second is a more harrowing tale of crime and vindictiveness but in the end the villain comes to grief both legally and socially.
If I had to keep just one of the books it would be the Atlas of Great Britain. After all, when you have read a book you know what is coming next when you reread it. With the atlas, you can always plan your next holiday!
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