JGB lists his literary favourites in the Sunday Times' "Bibliofile" feature, from 1 February 1998:
JG Ballard shares his literary tastes, from The Ancient Mariner to Winnie the Pooh.
[Q] What book or books are you reading now?
[JGB] How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker. Clink, clank, think. But the mystery of consciousness endures.
[Q] What is your favourite time to read?
[JGB] The afternoon, when I should be working.
[Q] Who is your favourite novelist?
[JGB] William Burroughs. The hit man of the Apocalypse.
[Q] What is the first book you remember reading?
[JGB] Robinson Crusoe. I can still hear the waves on the beach.
[Q] Which classic should you have read?
[JGB] The complete works of Virginia Woolf. Sadly, the wrong people admire her.
[Q] What is the funniest book you have read?
[JGB] The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh. Malice in Wonderland.
[Q] What is the most erotic book you have read?
[JGB] Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller. The ultimate user's guide.
[Q] What is your favourite children's book?
[JGB] Winnie the Pooh. A parable of the British Empire's decline, with C Robin as the baffled district officer.
[Q] Which book did you never want to end?
[JGB] Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. The tallest fisherman's tale.
[Q] What is your favourite poem?
[JGB] The Ancient Mariner. I loiter hopefully at funerals, and who knows?
[Q] What is your favourite quotation?
[JGB] "But if you break the bloody glass you won't hold up the weather." Bagpipe Music, Louis MacNeice.
[Q] Which character would you most like to be?
[JGB] Prospero. If only I could find his wand.
[Q] Who is your favourite character?
[JGB] Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby, who threw the longest party in fiction and invited the world.
[Q] Which character do you most hate?
[JGB] Mrs Do-as-you-would-be-done-by in The Water Babies. The terror has never left me.
[Q] With which character would you have an affair?
[JGB] Lady Macbeth. I've always admired strong-willed women and an affair with Lady M would be short but invigorating.
[Q] With which character do you most identify?
[JGB] Meursault in Camus's Outsider. A boring afternoon, a beach and a gun.
[Q] Which book would you like to see filmed?
[JGB] Alan Clark's Diaries, with Oliver Reed as the author and Vivienne Westwood as Mrs Thatcher.
[Q] Which books do you avoid?
[JGB] Booker novels. A new kind of comfort fiction.
[Q] Which book would you make compulsory reading?
[JGB] Transcripts of the Nuremberg Trials. Lest we forget.