What book will I bring with me on the emergency evacuation ship when the Cylons destroy civilization, and we have to start over again?
In true Apocalyptic form, I am late for this last meme question. That’s not because I didn’t have an answer, though. No, I’ve always pretty much known that in the event of the alien invasion, I’m grabbing my Bible first, and then a copy of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare.
There really wasn’t a very complicated decision process here. I asked, “Which book could I not bear to have perish from history forever?” and the Bard was the obvious answer. No more Hamlet? No Julius Caesar or Romeo and Juliet? I don’t want to live in that world. These are the stories that have shaped the imaginations of readers for generations. They’re the books behind all the books I love today. They’re the fertile ground from which springs much of modern English language and usage. If we want to preserve our tongue and some piece of our storytelling tradition, we ought to keep these books alive. I’m not really surprised by my choice. After all, these are all the reasons I’m going to grad school to (God-willing) get a degree to teach English lit at a university setting.
Now, I hope I never have to take such action for real. There are plenty of other books I’d weep to have to leave behind. My Gaiman, my McKillip, Tolkien, Lewis, Jane Austen. James Thurber! I hope that by the time the Cylons come, I’ll have a Kindle with all my favorite books on it. Heck, the need for a contingency plan might just be reason enough to overcome my technophobia regarding digital books and buy a Kindle. I’ll be the first to admit, all this sci-fi that I read and watch has made me a little paranoid…