SCENARIO 1 okay so inter-dimensional beings (or devas, whatever you want:) have come to earth and they tell you they are going to destroy every single dhamma book on the planet and you have to pick the one and only one that will survive. it can be anything from a book on buddhism in general like "foundations of buddhism" by rupert gethin to a book from the pali canon like the digha nikaya or a book on meditation like "mindfulness bliss and beyond" by ajahn brahm. it has to be something that is in print. like you can't say the khuddaka nikaya because the whole book isn't in print in a single volume. so if you want that you have to pick one volume that is in print or a compilation that exists. which do you pick? and why?
i would keep the samyutta nikaya, the big fat all inclusive bhikkhu bodhi translation. when i read through it i became much clearer on many topics because it reiterates the same points in so many different ways it's truly mind blowing. while they are generally short little discourses the repetition and different methods of explanation make it better than the other nikayas that, while they may have longer and more detailed suttas on single topics, don't have the depth and angles of extremely intricate explanation that comes from talking about the same thing or even almost the same sutta in a bunch of different ways for pages on end through many individual suttas. don't get me wrong, i wouldn't want this to be the only book left from the canon! they are all important, but you know, these darn inter-dimensional beings have a disintegrating ray to my head so i chose!
SCENARIO 2 okay almost the same scenario, but worse, they are going to destroy all dhamma books and you only get to save one sutta! i don't think this needs explanation but anyway, it has to be one sutta. like sutta 188 from the majjhima nikaya or 32 from the digha nikaya or whatever. which one? and why?
i would keep the maha satipatthana sutta. it covers pretty much everything more than any other sutta. not by any means to say that it really has literally everything but if i had to choose... it has a good explanation of mindfulness, jhana, four noble truths and the eightfold path.