Post-Apocalyptic Reading Lists


Found on Google images.
Found on Google images.

The Apocalypse, if you worry about such things, is serious business. The end of everything we have ever known and the beginning of the unknowable. I personally don’t find myself worrying about it, unless you catch me after binge-watching episodes of The Walking Dead. Then I’m a bit of a wreck and I get nervous in places with lots of people…like the mall. I start to think about things like “If the zombie apocalypse happened right now, how would I survive and escape this deathtrap?” But after a day or so, I recover and I return to my normal self.

Anyway, zombie apocalypse worries aside, Business Insider recently published a list of 23 Books to Save from the Apocalypse which I found to be really interesting. Books are a necessity in the wake of any apocalypse, be it illness-, deity- or zombie-induced.

My boyfriend collects useful books in print and his books are likely his most prized physical, inanimate possession. I also love to collect books. Between the two of us, we have shelves of books around our house. My books are old collector’s items (nothing of real value mind you) and stories that I have come to cherish. His are non-fiction pieces filled with experiences, directions and diagrams. We both love to collect cookbooks.

If we were faced with an apocalyptic scenario, there’s no way we could bring all of the books we each cherish so much to wherever we deem to survive. And no matter the ownership rights of eBooks, I doubt we’d be able to access our Kindles and other devices after they powered out for the last time. And, I doubt we’d have access to the Internet. At least, that’s what every apocalyptic story seems to think.

I wrote a post back in 2013 about what books I would bring along in the event of the apocalypse. But my list was more for my own sanity and salvation instead of how I would preserve the human spirit and educate those unlucky children of the future post-apocalyptic environment. If I were really being practical about it, perhaps my list would look more like the one I’ve linked to from Business Insider. Their list includes books like “All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” and “The Complete Brothers’ Grimm Fairy Tales.” These are practical tomes which will assist the lessons that we may want to preserve for any future offspring that appear post-apocalypse style.

The list also includes Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos.” I can’t really talk about this book as I still have not read it. But Carl Sagan seems like a sensible person to bring into the apocalypse and beyond simply so we know what’s out there in the universe and so that we do not forget what the universe is during the time when we would more-or-less be looking at our feet, plunged into a veritable dark age.

Everyone probably has their own idea of what books they would take into the future in the event of an apocalypse. My list includes poetry and fiction, the beautiful voices of different eras, as well as our own. From Jane Austen to Carlos Ruiz Zafon. From Edgar Allan Poe to Paulho Coehlo. These would all make it into my pack. In part, they are for me for the words are beautiful and there is nothing like beauty to make you forget your trials, be it even for only a little while.

And lastly, as I write this, I’ve suddenly had a great idea. If I perchance publish a book before the zombie apocalypse, and–perchance–the zombie apocalypse occurs, I would absolutely take my own book into the fray because then I shall be preserved for all eternity and can pass MY infinite wisdom on to the generations of the future đŸ˜€ There are likely to be few books that make it out on the other side and if I pass my book along to a trustworthy individual, then my name shall survive to light up the world as humanity begins again. Talk about major Kleos…

What books would you bring with you if we were faced with some sort of apocalypse?

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2 thoughts on “Post-Apocalyptic Reading Lists

  1. The preservation of knowledge is a trope that we’ve seen a lot in literature (Fahrenheit 451) and movies (The Book of Eli). I think the most depressing aspect of the eventual heat death of the universe is that it will finally kill off Billy Shakespeare for good.

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