Here's a potentially serious drawback to Kindles and Nooks and other e-book readers that some of us didn't think about before we bought ours:
Suppose you were on a vacation cruise, well supplied with books that didn't take up much space in your luggage because they were all on your e-reader. Then the ship sank and left you stranded on a deserted island. Before long, you'd have no more battery—and no more books. About the only use for the device would be to reflect the sun's rays onto some dry tinder in hopes of starting a fire.
Which brings us to today's important question. If you were ever marooned in the middle of the ocean, and you could have only one book, what would you like it to be?
When this question came up in a group recently, one person creatively opted for her own journal. Another voted for the Bible. A third practical soul suggested the Boy Scout Handbook.
The Bible wouldn't be a bad choice, actually, regardless of your religious beliefs or lack thereof, simply because of its length. It would have enough complex drama, history, and thought-provoking content to keep an inquiring mind occupied for a long time. Just finding all the contradictions would take weeks. The Book of Revelation alone ought to be good for at least a couple of months.
Though the Boy Scout Handbook might be more useful. So might 1001 Quick and Easy Campfire Recipes for Fish. Or better yet, Boat Building for Dummies.
My choice, though, would probably be a big, fat, unabridged dictionary. Instead of just one story, it would potentially hold an endless supply of them. I could browse for fascinating new words, make up word games, and even learn a few handy phrases in other languages to be prepared for possible rescue by a ship whose crew didn't speak English. I could even find rhyming words to write sad songs about being lost and lonely.
When it wasn't being used linguistically, the book could also serve as a chair, a table, or a shelf. And if I did manage to build an escape raft, it would be heavy enough to serve as an anchor.
Of course, after a few years as a castaway, even if I were rescued I'd probably have long since lost my sanity. But at least I'd be talking to myself with one heck of an impressive vocabulary.