When a friend mentioned picking 5 books to bring along to a deserted island as a technique for getting to sleep, I replied immediately with 5 of the books from this list. But 5 isn't enough; to be confident of having enough to read I needed to complete the dozen.
Here they are: A dozen books to take along to a deserted island.
I would hope that I wouldn't have to stay on that deserted island for too long. For one thing, I would miss all the other great books that aren't among my dozen. These I pick because they have been important to me in the past and because I can read each of them more than just one more time.