Recent events and some earlier posts here may have reminded you of the Apocalypse, whether you believe in the religious connotations of end-of-world scenarios or not. It does not matter what you believe at this stage. One thing that is a reality is that it is quite possible (to quote a line from a movie from this doomsday genre) that the world, as we know it, could end soon. Or as the Hebrew scholars (ancient or present day) insist, not for at least another thousand years. The opinions propagated by fundamentalists, no matter which religion they are affiliated to, don’t count because if you are well-read, you will know that much of what they say (or do) is not informed in a scholarly or literary way.
Books preserve history
There are two poignant moments from two post-Apocalypse movies from the same production crew which have books as its subject matter. In The Day After Tomorrow, sensible survivors are gathering together hundreds of books to add as fuel to a hot fire that is going to keep them alive during the big freeze. They are riding out the storm in New York City’s public library. After being questioned why he has set aside this particularly large, well-bound and ancient book, a confirmed atheist states that with the Bible, all human history can start life over again.
The second scene takes place in a small cockpit within the bowels of a modern-day Noah’s ark after the world has been destroyed as predicted through ancient Mayan prophesies. A brilliant, young scientist remarks that while this particularly modest but no less optimistic adventure story received no acclaim or interest from the literary and general public, this small tome would live on in history as the first printed book of the new age into which his fellow scientist and love interest and thousands of other saved souls were heading.
The world’s first book
Although these are only stories, it is the salt from which legends are born. And the most famous medium through which so many tales of adventure, survival and heroism have been told throughout the centuries since the printing press printed the first Bible remains the good old fashioned book. What if there was an apocalyptic event then? How would we be able to preserve and save all our treasure troves of stories, history and just plain old good advice? Here’s a novel idea; purchase a thick, heavy-duty water and fire-proof metal gun-safe, a large one, mind you, so that you can squeeze at least a thousand books into it.
Novel or not, much like the books themselves, this is all food for thought. Perhaps we could talk to our federal government or local municipality about creating a Fort Knox just for books and manuscripts.
This idea may seem amusing to some, but book lovers will attest to this necessity. What they will also tell their non-reading peers is this; no matter what may happen in the future, the stories and accounts they have read over the years, will, in any case, still be preserved with them.