BOOKS ARE MY BAG, celebrates books and bookshops and the simple truth that bookshops do more physically to let people enjoy their passion for books. Booksellers, publishers and authors have come together with the country’s most iconic advertising agency, M&C Saatchi, to create a simple but universal message about the joy of books and bookshops. To learn more about the campaign click here.
I may not be able to participate in Books Are My Bag this year, because it’s a UK based campaign, but I can still support it. (And if you are in the UK, the campaign runs up until Christmas, so make sure you get out there and support your local bookshops!) I was inspired by watching some of this year’s unboxing videos on Youtube, where the theme was Desert Island Reads. Read on to see my picks.
THE MARTIAN, ANDY WEIR
For when everything seems hopeless. Because, really, being stuck on a desert island with – you know – water, vegetation and generally hospitable living conditions is nothing compared to what astronaut Mark Watney went through. Plus, this book bolsters my hope in humanity (and thus, in the possibility of rescue), the science aspects might even give me some ideas, and it would remind me to keep my sense of humour.
CROSS STITCH, DIANA GABALDON
For the long days. This is my favourite book and it has somewhere around 800 pages, which makes it ideal to while away the days until I’m rescued. I’ve read it a good amount of times and still love it as much as I ever did, in fact, I’ve read it so often now that I can pick it up at any point and read from there. By this point it feel like I know the characters personally, so it would be nice to spend the long days catching up with some old friends.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BERING EARNEST, OSCAR WILDE
For when I’m feeling lonely. What better way to make you forget you haven’t spoken to a single soul in days than to perform your very own version of an amazing play? Heck, I don’t even need to perform it, though any time I read it I inevitably start reading it aloud at some point. The word play! Those inherently quotable one liners! The ridiculous way in which everything comes together in the end. I wouldn’t be without this.
HARRY POTTER & THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN, JK ROWLING
For when I need an escape. Of course I love Harry Potter and I definitely wanted to include it on this list. But why did I choose Prisoner of Azkaban? Well, the characters have grown up a bit and they’re starting to fall into something of a rhythm – this is the third time they’ve been to Diagonalley, travelled to Hogwarts, attended classes etc. But there’s this new mystery added on top of all that and we learn more about both Harry’s family history and the rest of the Wizarding World as a whole. Plus, there’s the wibbley-wobbly-timey-wimey ending that I love.
ATTACHMENTS, RAINBOW ROWELL
For when I can’t sleep. As much as I love Cross Stitch, there is nothing more comforting than reading one of Rowell’s contemporary masterpieces. The perfect balance of humour and drama and relatability. I’ll be honest, it’s that relatability that would probably make me a little homesick, but, and I’ve said this before, Rowell’s writing is almost like a hug in book form. Compulsively readable, I could pick this book up any night of the week.