Books for the End of the World

For two nights running, I was busy preparing for the end of the world as we know it. My nightmares may have had something to do with the crazy weather - from the 70s into the 40s in one day - but I like to think it's my subconscious preparing for any eventuality. While in my dreams I busily planned how to convert the shed into an efficient living space (the shed?!), I stocked footlockers with food and quilts, loaded up on cans of gas for the generator (why? What will be around to see/hear? I doubt TV or radio.), and cut wood for the woodstove we ditched last year. Yes, it had reappeared in the yard to be used in this dream. I dragged mattresses into the shed's attic and tried to decide what books to take with us. I don't know what happened to our house, but that's a nightmare for you.  Details don't matter.

I was stumped on the books.

My dilemma was that I was allowed only ten books. I guess there wasn't going to be much reading after the apocalypse, and I wanted them all to be keepers. It was easy to start with the Bible, and then three paperbacks I cherish jumped onto the list. Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale, Pat Murphy's The Falling Woman, and Penelope Williamson's The Outsider were easy picks. Then the five Harry Potter novels jumped into my hands, and there I was, with one slot open and no idea what book to choose.

I think I was sweating bullets in my dream. I almost settled on a Bible concordance, because those are really handy creatures, or an unabridged Oxford dictionary, but I kept wanting to add another novel. Instantly, I knew. Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird wasn't going to be left behind. My list was complete.

You'd think I'd forget this nightmare 48 hours after it's over, but I'm still reviewing my book choice. Who needs food or heat? What you really need to survive an apocalypse is books.