Save One Book, Part 1

My niece-in-law (is that a thing?), Katie, recently posed the following question:

You are standing in front of the world’s biggest library – in the midst of the coming of an apocalyptic end to the world.
You can save one book.

Which book you would save and why?

You have to prove that it is worth saving. Remember, it may be the only book humankind ever has left. 

Include any quotes that help to substantiate your argument.

If you are a reader or a writer, you’ve likely pondered this conundrum at one point or another; I know I have.  But this time I got to wondering what my answer is these days, and how it might have changed with the turning pages of my life.   And how other people out there might answer differently.  And why.

So, at the risk of doing Katie’s homework for her, I’d like to offer a slightly modified version of her query…  Excluding:

  • Sacred writings (e.g., the Bible, Koran, Torah, Tao Te Ching, Writings of Ellen White, Book of Mormon, or anything else that appears on Wikipedia’s very long list of religious texts.),
  • and Reference Works (e.g., the dictionary, thesaurus, Compton’s 1973 Encyclopedia – Volume M),
  • and Technical Manuals (really?)…

What book would you save?  And why?  The aforementioned exclusions notwithstanding, everything else – fiction, non-fiction, or anything in that grey area (like political biographies) – is fair game.  And, like Katie, I’d love it if you could share a quote or two from your chosen volume to help substantiate your argument.

I’ll post the results, along with my own answer, later this week.  I’m pretty excited to learn what everyone will be carrying out of that library.

Image courtesy of Paul / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

P.S.  Just a note ~ I’ll be delaying publishing comments on this post until Save One Book, Part 2 is posted later this week: I’ll be using some of your comments in that post.  Thanks!

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5 thoughts on “Save One Book, Part 1

  1. Little Women- I know it’s simple and a kids book, but it is one I could read over and over, it is a book that is like going home for me.

  2. Bound For Glory. by Woody Guthrie…Never has a book enchanted and enthralled me so much. I just didn’t want it to end. I would recommend it to anyone, in a heart beat. It is magnificent…

    “I’ve been picked up, throwed down, and picked up; but my eyes have been my camera taking pictures of the world and my songs has been the messages that I tried to scatter across the back sides and along the steps of the fire escapes and on the window sills and through the dark halls.”

  3. This question gives me a lot to think about. I adore books, all kinds. Lots of books are coming and going on my list, but I keep coming back to my old favorite, Little Women. I have always loved it, I read it again and again, most years around Thanksgiving I pull out my worn copy and read it again. It’s not only a book I love but I book that I want to share with my daughter, that’s partially the reason I would save it.

    I think to save it would be preserving some history, it’s a glimpse into the world as it once was. But while it serves telling a bit of history it also can be so relevant modernly because it comes down to being a story about growing up. “I think she is growing up, and so begins to dream dreams, and have hopes and fears and fidgets, without knowing why or being able to explain them.”

    Really though this has made me feel like I haven’t read enough meaningful books. I mean, if I had to choose a book for all of mankind, well then I would want to pick something that would speak to everyone and mean something to everyone. I’m not sure I have read a book like that yet. But I’m on the lookout.

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