“Which three books would you have taken?”

Since I began working at the #OccupyWallStreet library three weeks ago, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about “The Time Machine”  by H.G. Wells and a specific scene in the 1960 film inspired by the book. *Spoiler here* In the film, George returns to the future with three books from his shelf to rebuild civilization. When those he’s left behind notice the books missing, they’re fascinated and ask: Which three books would you have taken?

So, which three books would you bring with you, if you were going to travel into the distant future in a time machine and try to rebuild society on earth. Post in the comments.


Filed under OccupyLibraries, Reference, Rob, Technology, Time Travel

20 responses to ““Which three books would you have taken?”

  1. Dr Suess

    Way too heavy. Gotta get simple and basic human.

    My 3 posts for post 1900 picks…
    1 Green Eggs and Ham
    2 Stinky Cheese Man
    3 Charlie Brown’s Second Super Book of Questions and Answers: About the Earth and Space … from Plants to Planets.

    Extra Credit: Tolkien, Douglas Adams or any Playboy issue as long as you read the interview and the centerfold is in good condition.

    Pre 1900
    1 Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
    2 Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
    3 The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896)

    Extra Credit: Aristophanes, Revelations and 1215 Magna Carta

    Good reading for the future LOL

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  7. I assumed that George would take 1.) The Torah and the New Testament–the Bible; 2.) Oxford Dictionary and 3.) Mill’s On Liberty. These were available in Wells’s day. Would I include these three? The first two, absolutely. The Eloi and the Murlock were illiterate for starters. They were, essentially, in a state of nature. For a third book, I would hope that George would have slipped into the pile, John Locke’s Second Treatise and perhaps also Rosseau’s Social Contract.

  8. Anonymous

    1 – Euclids Elements for basic mathematics
    2 – Complete works of W.Shakespeare for literature & art
    3 – Any good comprehensive dictionary

    • David

      46 years ago my friend and I watched this movie, separately in our own homes, on TV. The next day he asked me the “three books question.” I hadn’t thought about it sad to say, but he had. He said, #1 The Bible, #2 A book on mathematics, and I don’t remember his 3rd choice. The Bible is the conscience of the universe and math orders it. It is the law of God. I guess with those two, the third book could be darn near anything.

  9. Joshua

    Lennon Revealed
    Bob Dylan’s Chronicles Volume One

  10. Prof. Young

    Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
    Second Treatise of Government, John Locke
    On Liberty, John Stuart Mill

  11. A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn
    The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
    Das Kapital, Karl Marx

    Thank you for The People’s Library, from a future librarian.

  12. CSTAR

    Thucydides’ “The History of the Peloponnesian War”
    Landau & Lifschitz “Quantum Mechanics”
    Kant “A Critique of Pure Reason”

  13. The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
    The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
    Peter Pan by JM Barrie (for the kids)

  14. Julien Highlander

    – Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
    – Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
    – The Paul Street Boys by Molnar Ferenc

    I would take with me these three books, because they teach compassion, which, in my opinion, is the most important component of human society.
    (compassion: sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it)

  15. 1. “The Columbia encyclopedia” (Description: More than 50,000 alphabetically arranged articles on the humanities, social sciences, life and physical sciences, and geography)–contains basic information for rebooting society 2. “When technology fails : a manual for self-reliance, sustainability, and surviving the long emergency.” 3. The complete Monty Python’s flying circus (v.1 and 2 duct taped together = 1 book)–because you need to laugh some time.

  16. Il Vangelo by Jesus,Capital by Marx,On the road by Kerouac

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