This strip got me thinking: what book would you choose as your backup? What never fails to entertain, to divert, to make you feel like you spent an evening and didn't kill it?
Mine would have to be the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Besides its hefty length, which guarantees more than one evening's entertainment, the richness of its history, the multitude of characters, the languages, the awesome battles, and the friendships make it worth re-reading no matter when or why I pick it up. Oh, and hobbits. (Of course, I could barely saw through Tolkien until I'd seen the Peter Jackson films, but then the books actually made sense. And once you've read the twelve slush books about creating LOTR, the trilogy itself is practically "Dick and Jane.")
What's your backup?