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Is there a best single book?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Kyriakos, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    If you were isolated, for example locked in a prison cell, and were allowed to read only one book, as many times as you wanted to, which would it be?

    Mostly inspired from a nice short story by Anton Chekhov i re-read a couple of weeks ago, where the main character is reading loads of books for one whole year, in a prison cell where he agreed to be isolated for two years, but then only the bible in the next year (the story is called The Bet).

    Of course reading only one book would not negate the ability to reflect on it multiple times, in different ways. Also it is supposed that you have your memory of all other books you read. You can either choose to take a book you have already read, or one you have not.

    You can take "the complete works" of someone, as long as they are just one tome (for example Wordsworth has a single tome of all of Dickens' shorter novels).

    As for me i would take Kafka's diary, which i read, read again, and again for a decade, but i think it is the one book which would enable me to continue infinite self-reflections, due to the depth it assumes for me.
     
  2. _random_

    _random_ Jewel Runner

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  3. Babbler

    Babbler Deity

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  4. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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  5. CELTICEMPIRE

    CELTICEMPIRE Zulu Conqueror

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    :agree:
    There is so much to the Bible even if you aren't a Christian, you should read it because it has been an extremely influential book in history.
     
  6. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    Likely Blish's Cities in Flight. It is an anthology of all of his Okie stories, so it would keep me occupied for a very, very, long time.
     
  7. ATC1983

    ATC1983 Chieftain

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    Legionnaire, Simon Murray.

    Or Papillon.
     
  8. Kozmos

    Kozmos Jew Detective

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    Probably Hyperion.
     
  9. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    Escaping Locked Prison Cells for Dummies
     
  10. GoodSarmatian

    GoodSarmatian Jokerfied Western Male

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    Would a porn magazine count as a book ?
    Because there's onyl so many times you can enjoy a book.
     
  11. Skwink

    Skwink FRIIIIIIIIIITZ

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    This is the obvious answer.
     
  12. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    To clarify ;)

    No, a porn magazine is not understood as a book. You can have porn magazines if you want to, but are allowed a book as well.

    Also, important second clarification: the point is that you are isolated, and have no means to change that. Maybe you are like in that Chekhov story, only bound by a bet, and you will just lose the bet if you leave prison. Maybe, again, you are immobile as well, practically, but can read a book with as much ease as the next man.

    The question is generally which variable in the large equation of your thought would you like to render stable, or quasi-stable; that variable will get stabilized in the book you choose. Now where the equation will take you is not only the result of the book, but of the rest of the variables and knowns. So, which book would make you benefit as a human being the most?
     
  13. Babbler

    Babbler Deity

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    But they guards might take it away from you. Better hid it where no one will look.

     
  14. jtb1127

    jtb1127 Deity

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    There's only so many times you can enjoy a porn magazine.
     
  15. GoodSarmatian

    GoodSarmatian Jokerfied Western Male

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    The problem is, I'm not the kind of guy who even has favorite books. I read a lot and I read most books only once or twice, and I didn't post in the 'reccomend six must-read books' because I find it impossible to narrow my list down to six. One is impossible. I can reuse a porn mag much more often than one book.

    Maybe something about quantum mechanics or theoretical chemistry would be good. It would have a lot of math that I'd need to figure out on my own without another textbook, so this ought to keep me mentally occupied for quite some time.
     
  16. ATC1983

    ATC1983 Chieftain

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    Dune II: The Battle for Arakis, players' manual, 1994.

    Sad, I confess.
     
  17. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    It's been a long time, but that is an awesome book.

    I would certainly not choose the Bible; maybe a book with 2000 blank pages so I could write my own.
     
  18. Zack

    Zack 99% hot gas

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    insert joke
  19. .Shane.

    .Shane. Take it like a voter Retired Moderator

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    Moderator Action: Converted to RD at OP's request. Please reply accordingly.
     
  20. Eukaryote

    Eukaryote Deity

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    Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now or A New Earth. I consider Eckhart Tolle a mega-genius.

    If I had to spend the entire time reading books about one subject, it'd be international development. I study the subject at university, and by the time I got out of that jail cell I'd learn so much on the subject that it would give me an advantage in my schoolwork and future career.
     

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