If I could take only a few books along...
. . . onto a deserted island, I'd include Thoreau's Walden Pond.
But I'd request the luxury of taking along the three major annotated editions:
Walden: A Fully Annotated Edition, edited by Jeffrey S. Cramer (2004)
Walden: An Annotated Edition, edited by Walter Harding (1995)
The Annotated Walden, edited by Philip Van Doren Stern (1970, 1992)
Corinne H. Smith, a reviewer at Amazon.com, suggests that:
"Lining up the three versions side by side is an interesting experiment, best conducted on a rainy summer day when no other work has appeal."Assuming that my deserted island enjoys rainy summer days -- and thus isn't the desert island usually referred to in a which-books-would-you-take scenario -- then I would do this, too.
Why, to read in parallel the textual notes, scholarly additions clarifying the obscure and, sometimes, obscuring the clear (thereby necessitating notes to the notes).
Okay, I'm a bit obsessive.
For those of you who share my obsession, check out this annotated Walden from the cyberlibrary of Babel:
Walden, by Henry David Thoreau
Bookmark it for a rainy day.