Stuff that I think about. Mostly books.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Bookinism at the Apocalypse: When the Four Horsemen Arrive, What Will You Be Reading?

I had an extremely pretentious dream last night.

Apparently, when you add NyQuil to the fact that I spend over half my waking hours thinking about books, you end up with nocturnal visions of futuristic dystopia in which the question on everyone's mind is "On my last day on Earth, what will I read?"

Explanation (and bear in mind, I'm not making a single part of this up): In my dream, we've all learned that the world is going to end on January 31, and that on that final day, we will all be struck with a frantic and uncontrollable desire to read a book. We will have no control over that desire; we will become book zombies and grab whatever book is closest to us and read the entire thing. (Seriously. Not making this up.) The news is therefore advising us to pick a very special book and to keep it close to us on January 31, so that, on our last day on Earth, we can all enjoy an excellent read before we are all blowed up or something (my subconscious was vague on the scientific details).

As a book nerd even in sleep, this was a very troubling scenario for me. Obviously, the choices are endless, but I had to start with a deceptively simple choice: Should I pick a book that I've always wanted to read but never got around to, or a book that I've loved since childhood and could read over and over?

In my dream, I opted for Joseph Boyden's Born with a Tooth. (Again, seriously. Not a single part.) I told others that this was because I really liked his two novels, and I didn't want to die without seeing what his short fiction was like, but I suspect I just wanted something pretty to think about before I died.

Wouldn't you?

Anyway, Chapters (DAMN THEIR CORPROATE HIDES) was out of the book, so I was back to square one. Unfortunately, I woke up before my dream self could make the final decision.

So it got me thinking. We've all thought about (or been forced to think about by way of desert island scenario questions) what book we would choose to read if we could only read one book over and over until we die. But what if you had one more day to read one more book? What would you choose? Would you finally read War and Peace, like you've been resolving to do every New Year since 2002? Would you pick up Shopaholic, again, just because if you're going to face the threat of impending doom, goddammit, you're going to laugh your way into the afterlife? Or would you pick up the beloved classic your mom used to read to you as a kid, because it's comforting, and also because you've got kind of an Oedipal thing going on?

Although my dream self was floundering, it didn't take my awake self long to decide. You'll find out what I picked...IN AN EXTRA SPECIAL GOOD BOOK O' THE WEEK FEATURE! Coming soon!!!

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