Photographer David Bailey shares the five books he couldn’t live without on that imaginery desert island.



100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

This book makes you feel lonely when you read this, so the title is apt.

I would certainly take it with me to the desert island, but I am not sure I would be able to read it all over again.

I am dyslexic and although the book is dense with language it is also full of exotic, unique imagery.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Reading this book makes you feel like a schoolboy all over again. 

It embodies the imaginative powers of youth. 

It is life as you would like it to be, not as it is.

The writing is genius as it really shows a child’s perception of events.​

Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene

This is possibly the funniest book I have ever read – which doesn’t say much for our Secret Service.

It is from another era, a time when men always carried an umbrella.

There are laugh-out-loud moments!

Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham

It is said that this book is autobiographical. 

I find that it has a sadness to it as the main character wants to be an artist but doesn’t achieve his wish. 

But in real life Maugham became one of the greatest writers of all time. 

My first professional portrait was of Somerset Maugham. 

He was very charming but strangely I find it hard to connect my memory of him to this book.​

Sumo by David Bailey

The best compliment I have ever been paid is to be invited by Benedikt Taschen to do this book. 

I am only the fourth photographer to have a Sumo book published by Taschen. 

I am more flattered than anything else. 

In fact, I feel guilty to have been paid such a compliment.