It's Monday again, so it's time for some community involvement. With some creative accounting practices, maybe you could even count this as volunteer work on your CV.
Scenario: You are sentenced to life imprisonment. What you did is unimportant, but you are placed into solitary confinement for the rest of your natural life. In a rare gesture of goodwill, your warden allows you to take one book with you that you will have to spend reading and re-reading forever. What do you bring?
As usual, there is a caveat or two. One, it has to be published in one volume. The GRRM series won't count. I could only take half of my OED. It can, however, be an anthology or collected works of a single author; I doubt even the staunchest William Carlos Williams fan could read about the white chickens for the rest of his or her life. Finally, a books entitled How to Escape from Solitary Confinement, So You Want to Appeal Your Life Sentence, or any others of that ilk are cheating.
Part 2: Now imagine the warden is having a fantastic day and really wants to share the joy with you. Would you rather have a cat or a dog as a reading partner?
Just off the top of my head, I think I would probably bring a thorough collection of Shakespeare's plays and sonnets. That probably makes me a rank-and-file English-major wannabe, but whatever. I'm sure some other inspiration will come to me in the middle of the night, but isn't that just what would happen in that scenario, that you're think of something better after you'd already chosen?
For a reading partner, I would definitely want a cat over a dog. I'd take Windsor, if I got to pick which one. Heck, if I had him, I might not even need anything to read.