Saturday, May 19, 2012

The End Is Near--Save the Books!

Forget toilet paper, duct tape, and beef jerky.

The apocalypse is coming. You need to stock up now. . .on books! And possibly a few shelves from IKEA for storage. Or maybe a lot of shelves. Hey, it's your future.

I figure that when the aliens spray us all with stupid-gas, we'll need to have some sense and sanity preserved in the pages of print books. (Kindle doesn't count. The aliens can scramble the signal.)

The end is near, my friends. The Stark Raving Mythopath recommends that you keep the following books where you can get at them at all times.

Emily Dickinson
After the Media Meltdown, in a world gone gray and non-specific,  you’ll need poetry to bring back the colors, images, and beauty. Poetry will restore the meaning in the mundane, the exotic richness of the commonplace. Keep some William Wordsworth, John Donne, Maya Angelou, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Emily Dickinson at arm's length.  In the Day of Darkness, you may need "a certain slant of light" to help you find your way.

When dust storms of fuzzy thinking assail, take shelter in collections of essays by J. B. Priestley, Lewis Thomas, Carl Sagan, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Dorothy Sayers, Douglas A. Hofstader. . . . And here’s the beauty of it. You can disagree! Judges on reality shows may tell you how to think, but good essayists invite you to enter into a dialogue with them. They want you to think—for yourself! I know. It's crazy. 

Ah, but when the killer bees of information overload attack--quick--through the wormhole (or rabbit hole) into a fantasy world where you can forget the facts and find the truth! A Wrinkle in Time. The Great Divorce. Lord of the Rings. Alice in Wonderland. The Book of the Dun Cow. It’s not escapism. It’s a way of getting to the very heart of what's real. (I love you, Charles Wallace!)

Earth falling into the sun? Overcome by a sudden surge of too much gravity? The only antidote is levity. You'll need humor by Mark Twain, Dave Barry, Garrison Keillor, Andy Rooney, and Erma Bombeck. This is no laughing matter. It's survival of the funniest.  

When the Video Vampires drink your dreams because you're not young, beautiful, and computer-savvy, turn off their tapioca transmissions and read novels. Peace Like a River, The Brothers Karamozov, The Number One Ladies' Detective Agency. Frederick Buechner's Godric. You can live thousands  of lives and gain wisdom in each one. When it comes to heroes, one size doesn't fit all, and your size is just right.

And don’t forget the children’s picture books! Babar and His Children. The Velveteen Rabbit. Where the Wild Things Are. Owl Moon. Madeleine. Anansi the Spider. The Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde. . . . Feast on simplicity and pure delight. We didn't "grow out" of childhood--we were banished. And we need to get back before the Shadow Government condemns us to eternal adulthood. Yuck.

Feel free to make substitutions within these categories, but do stockpile the good stuff. How else will you feed your soul in the Day of Doom and Dimwittedness?

You may mock now, but when the aliens/zombies/major networks come to suck out your brains, you need to be prepared.

And don’t say I didn’t warn you!


  1. I'm constantly preparing for the book apocalypse. I would like to add the category of Scifi. No matter how many Star Trek books I have, when I see one I don't own I buy it. Actually, sometimes I wind up buying extra copies because I don't remember what I have. Oops.

    Speaking of books... I am hearing the siren song of Half Priced Books. I don't think I've been there yet this year. O.O How is that possible?!

  2. I never even thought of BUYING Star Trek books!! That's what libraries are for right? But if the libraries sift down into apocalyptic dust - what will be left? Was thinking I had enough books for any scenario but maybe I don't.

    Great post, Patty! It's also fun knowing what inspired today's piece. LOL

  3. See... I have this problem where Libraries want me to bring the books back. I read it. It's mine now. My friend. You can't have it back!

  4. JoifulDreaming. . . .ROFL! You and Donna Alice have brightened my week with your comments!