Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What three books would you take?

  1. Apr 20, 2013 #1

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    In The Time Machine, by HG Wells, George took three books with him when he returned to join Weena and the Eloi, to help rebuild civilization in the distant future.

    If you were in his position, which three books would you have taken?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 21, 2013 #2
    A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in three copies, purely from fear of being moved in time but not in space. Oh, and I'll try to get a spacesuit along too, if possible. And a towel, of course, yes.

    edit: oh, the irony, I have 42 posts at the moment
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013
  4. Apr 21, 2013 #3
    I'm guessing civ is pretty bad. Thinking apocalypse style, so we need to think practical.

    (We need to be able to build things) Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills
    (We need a new moral code) Philosophy For Dummies
    (We need effective leaders) The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
     
  5. Apr 21, 2013 #4

    WannabeNewton

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Brave New World - Aldous Huxley, 1984 - George Orwell, A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess

    I'll rebuild the civilization off the cuff if I have to, I just can't live without having those 3 books to read :p
     
  6. Apr 21, 2013 #5

    micromass

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

    You're going to model your society after those three books?? Not sure I want to live there...
     
  7. Apr 21, 2013 #6
    I used to watch the 1960's 'Time Machine' with my brother and Dad when we were small (before I was interested enough to actually read it), and he used to pose that question to us after we'd finish it. I never could come up with a definitive list, but here's to another transient shot;

    1) Feynman Lectures Vol. 1 (I know this sounds cheesy being on PhysicsForums and all, but it makes sense when you think about how child-like the Eloi were).

    2) The complete works of Shakespeare

    3) David Hume's 'A Treatise of Human Nature'

    (I would also try to slip a copy of 'The Hobbit' past whomever would be trying to enforce this simply for that fact that I love that book.)
     
  8. Apr 21, 2013 #7

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    1. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics
    2. Steam, by Babcock and Wilcox
    3. To Serve Morlock.
     
  9. Apr 26, 2013 #8

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    As an option to your third choice, :biggrin:, I was thinking of something like a physicians handbook, or some bible of pharmaceuticals and their use. But then a good book on classical dynamics would be useful, as would a book on materials science.
     
  10. Aug 4, 2013 #9
    Complete works of A.C. Doyle
    Einstein's ideas and opinions
    The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
     
  11. Aug 4, 2013 #10

    turbo

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Innocents Abroad, by Clemens would have to be the top choice. Insightful and entertaining.
     
  12. Apr 7, 2014 #11
  13. Apr 7, 2014 #12

    arildno

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Probably "The Lord of the Rings"
    Others can make the civilization around me. :smile:
     
  14. Apr 7, 2014 #13

    Ryan_m_b

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

  15. Apr 7, 2014 #14

    jim hardy

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    Mark's Mechanical Engineer's Handbook
    CRC Handbook of Chemistry
    Asimov's "The Sensuous Dirty Old Man"
     
  16. Apr 8, 2014 #15
    Cosmos, by Carl Sagan
    Wikipedia.
    Understanding Comics: By Scott McCloud.
     
  17. Jan 24, 2015 #16
    I'm a big believer in the idea that as long as you preserve the math the rest can be rebuilt from scratch over time. So maybe a nice math overview or focus on analysis like Tao's, Something more general going over the entire development of it like Penroses's The Road to Reality or A Brief History of Nearly Everything to get an idea of what we have to rebuild, and lastly a practical guide for survival and building the basics of society back like a survivalist guide of some kind.
     
  18. Feb 13, 2015 #17
    What a loaded question. A thorough dictionary, for starters. Preferably NW's 1828 or 1913 with an added section for the words complied since then.
     
  19. Feb 18, 2015 #18
    Jules Verne all books

    tumblr_n3mo1jMSa61r75x33o1_1280.png
     
  20. Feb 19, 2015 #19
    "The complete worst case scenario survival guide"
    "50 Shades of Gray"
    "Fluid Mechanics" by Granger
     
  21. Feb 20, 2015 #20
    "For them; The Living" by Robert A. Heinlein
    "On Liberty" by John Stuart Mill
    "The Science of Discworld" by Terry Pratchett
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted