You can save one book from a fire...

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geoth
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You can save one book from a fire...

Postby geoth » Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:28 am UTC

So you can save one book from a apocalypse fire that is consuming all the books in the world. You have time to save one book, which is it?

(As a side note in my english class in high school the teacher mentioned that Beowulf was saved from a burning library.)

I would probably save the Grapes of Wrath. It gives an accurate account of the United States Great Depression/Dust Bowl, while ingraining in the moral qualities which I hold, and it has a number of layers.

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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby Hooch » Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:37 am UTC

Somewhere between Republic and Utilitarianism.

The former is one of the defining books of all philosophy. The latter....Hell, I just agree with it the most (from what I've had to study for the unit, anyway). I consider it to be an accurate observation on human behavior and what leaders and citizens should do about our tendencies toward happiness.
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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby Hope_ » Sun Jan 09, 2011 3:58 am UTC

Oh god this is such a horrible thought. D:

I would save Bill Bryson's Mother Tongue. It's an interesting overview of the English language and I read it periodically. With proper knowledge of the history of language and all it's various meanings, complications and an idea of how truly important it is we can start writing books again (after this horrid fire).

geoth wrote:(As a side note in my english class in high school the teacher mentioned that Beowulf was saved from a burning library.)

I didn't know that, that's very lucky, but just makes me think of all the classics we must have lost through accidents and such. Hmm.

Edit: Because I just started re-reading it and realised it is about the English language but with other languages thrown in just as comparisons
Last edited by Hope_ on Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:08 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby PAstrychef » Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:34 am UTC

How nice that we live in age where text is separate from paper! The world's books will be available on CD as soon as the poor survivors get around to rebuilding electronics.
I think I would save a good dictionary, and teach everyone how to read as fast as possible so we could start making out own literature of the new world.
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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby geoth » Sun Jan 09, 2011 6:06 am UTC

I didn't know that, that's very lucky, but just makes me think of all the classics we must have lost through accidents and such. Hmm.


What would we be reading if the Library of Alexandria wasn't destroyed?

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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby GhostWolfe » Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:40 pm UTC

You guys get the non-fictions. I'm going to save Where the Wild Things Are.

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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby Hooch » Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:22 am UTC

GhostWolfe wrote:You guys get the non-fictions. I'm going to save Where the Wild Things Are.

/angell


Since when is Republic non-fiction? = P
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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby Jahoclave » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:12 pm UTC

Unacceptable. I put out the mother-fucking fire. I will accept no less.

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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby broken_escalator » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:23 pm UTC

I think it would be a technical book that should help restore access to our online databases. Through those online databases we should be able to restore our lost knowledge as long as the book I saved proved sufficient enough to teach us.

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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby clockworkmonk » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:56 pm UTC

I have to agree with Jahoclave. Either the fire will be gone or I will be dead.
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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby IceRabbit » Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:25 pm UTC

Assuming no server carrying a database will survive, I think I'll go and save George Orwell's 1984. To be a lesson for the civilization to come.

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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby mmmcannibalism » Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:29 pm UTC

Jahoclave wrote:Unacceptable. I put out the mother-fucking fire. I will accept no less.


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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby Zohar » Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:04 pm UTC

It's a fucking fire. I run like hell.
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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby Hope_ » Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:16 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:It's a fucking fire. I run like hell.

... Can we just accept it's a magical fire that can't be put out, only affects books and nothing else, and will burn all the books in the world except the one you specifically choose to save?
Is that so far removed from reality for you people?! (Seriously though, can we play the game? I'm interested)
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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby Rek » Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:13 am UTC

geoth wrote:
I didn't know that, that's very lucky, but just makes me think of all the classics we must have lost through accidents and such. Hmm.


What would we be reading if the Library of Alexandria wasn't destroyed?

Or the House of Wisdom (The library in Baghdad that was destroyed when the Mongols invaded).

For me, I'd probably say The Communist Manifesto. (Does that count as a book?)
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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby geoth » Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:34 am UTC

Hope_ wrote:
Zohar wrote:It's a fucking fire. I run like hell.

... Can we just accept it's a magical fire that can't be put out, only affects books and nothing else, and will burn all the books in the world except the one you specifically choose to save?
Is that so far removed from reality for you people?! (Seriously though, can we play the game? I'm interested)


it's too hard for people interested in books to imagine.

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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby Kewangji » Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:11 am UTC

Image

Though, really, I can't decide. That's the thickest book I know of, so I think it might be most useful. Perhaps the Cracked.com-articles-book would be better?

Don't think I would save fiction. It feels like we could recreate that more easily.
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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby Felstaff » Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:23 am UTC

I would save the Bible. Primarily because I want to be Gary Oldman in The Book of Eli.
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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby SlyReaper » Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:36 am UTC

"The Works Of Humanity", a huge tome containing the text of every book ever written, including itself.

Or if that hasn't been written by then, I'd save The Gruffalo.
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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby Jahoclave » Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:31 pm UTC

Hope_ wrote:
Zohar wrote:It's a fucking fire. I run like hell.

... Can we just accept it's a magical fire that can't be put out, only affects books and nothing else, and will burn all the books in the world except the one you specifically choose to save?
Is that so far removed from reality for you people?! (Seriously though, can we play the game? I'm interested)

No. Furthermore, I'm doing a masters in eng lit, so you can see my reasons for such aversion. It's like asking you to pick which of your child you're going to save. By the way, worthless middle child, it's not you.

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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby Hope_ » Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:38 pm UTC

Jahoclave wrote:
Hope_ wrote:
Zohar wrote:It's a fucking fire. I run like hell.

... Can we just accept it's a magical fire that can't be put out, only affects books and nothing else, and will burn all the books in the world except the one you specifically choose to save?
Is that so far removed from reality for you people?! (Seriously though, can we play the game? I'm interested)

No. Furthermore, I'm doing a masters in eng lit, so you can see my reasons for such aversion. It's like asking you to pick which of your child you're going to save. By the way, worthless middle child, it's not you.

I was merely suggesting we play the game that's here, because I think it's interesting, as a lover of books myself I'm interested to see which book(s) people think are the most important ones to rebuild literature with.

But I do apologise, as only a lowly english lit degree student I bow down to your superior masters status lets continue talking about the fire rather than the interesting part of this, which books would people actually save..
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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby Zohar » Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:01 pm UTC

Fire is a pretty interesting thing, you know. Maybe I'll save a book about fire.
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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby Hope_ » Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:20 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:Fire is a pretty interesting thing, you know. Maybe I'll save a book about fire.

Haha, ok I admit defeat.
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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby El Spark » Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:55 pm UTC

The seminal work on book salvation, How to Save Hundreds of Thousands of Books from a Magical Fire Really Rather Quickly, by Dr. H.Y. Pothetical.
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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby Virtual_Aardvark » Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:41 am UTC

Probably Fahrenheit 451. Because, well...yeah.
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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby Bassoon » Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:47 pm UTC

Virtual_Aardvark wrote:Probably Fahrenheit 451. Because, well...yeah.


Damn, I was just on my way in here to say that!

House of Leaves, anyone?

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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby mosc » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:18 am UTC

This has one discrete answer. Everybody else is wrong.

If you burn the books, we'll still have most of the stuff in our heads. Sure, we'll loose a lot of fictional goodness but it would actually allow some creative writers a chance to re-write the classics in a modern voice while shamelessly stealing whatever they want.

The discrete answer is therefor a book to help humanity re-translate all it's now allegorical knowledge back down into writing:

The Complete Idiots Guide to Writing Well

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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby Deep_Thought » Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:29 pm UTC

Bassoon wrote:
Virtual_Aardvark wrote:Probably Fahrenheit 451. Because, well...yeah.


Damn, I was just on my way in here to say that!


I've just reached page 60 of said book so getting a kick out of this thread.

I'd probably save The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, parts 1 - 4 (They are published in one binding). Maybe part 5 as well, but only if I can take a copy of the radio version with the reworked happy ending. I'd happily leave "...And Another Thing" to burn though. That book should never have been dreamed of, let alone published*.

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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby Kewangji » Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:56 pm UTC

mosc wrote:This has one discrete answer. Everybody else is wrong.

If you burn the books, we'll still have most of the stuff in our heads. Sure, we'll loose a lot of fictional goodness but it would actually allow some creative writers a chance to re-write the classics in a modern voice while shamelessly stealing whatever they want.

The discrete answer is therefor a book to help humanity re-translate all it's now allegorical knowledge back down into writing:

The Complete Idiots Guide to Writing Well

Win

How many people have read that book and then created classics? Are you sure it's universal advice? Why would it be better to have instructions than to experiment freely? Why are you assuming that book is the only non-fiction book that will be missed/that is worth missing? ._.

Assuming we have humanity left, the creative writers will already be better than an idiot with a guide.
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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby Dason » Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:56 pm UTC

Guys this is easy:
Twilight.

...

If I had to be serious I'm not sure what I'd pick. Maybe The Hobbit.
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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby Magnificent Minimalist » Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:16 am UTC

I'd save the Oxford English Dictionary; a world without proper spelling is no world for me.

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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby GhostWolfe » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:35 am UTC

Let the dictionaries burn! We'll start a spelling reform. With our own dictionaries. And blackjack. And hookers!

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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby Jahoclave » Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:25 pm UTC

GhostWolfe wrote:Let the dictionaries burn! We'll start a spelling reform. With our own dictionaries. And blackjack. And hookers!

/angell

Also, he missed the obvious problem that they spell shit with extra "U's" and that annoying "re" crap. :wink:




There's also the fact that saving a dictionary won't do shit for "proper" spelling. Otherwise we'd still be spelling things the proper way, in Middle English.

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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby geoth » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:07 pm UTC

Magnificent Minimalist wrote:I'd save the Oxford English Dictionary; a world without proper spelling is no world for me.


If people were burning all the books in the world, I doubt these people would care for spelling or writing.

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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby Jesse » Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:25 pm UTC

The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel. She's the perfect example of how to use words effectively, the greatest minimalist writer ever. If any person's work deserves to outlive everything else, then it's hers.

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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby Dason » Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:24 pm UTC

GhostWolfe wrote:Let the dictionaries burn! We'll start a spelling reform. With our own dictionaries. And blackjack. And hookers!

In fact, forget the dictionaries.
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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby PeterCai » Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:40 pm UTC

A grade 10 natural science textbook.

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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby Tyrannosaur » Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:29 am UTC

Kewangji wrote:Image

Though, really, I can't decide. That's the thickest book I know of, so I think it might be most useful. Perhaps the Cracked.com-articles-book would be better?

Don't think I would save fiction. It feels like we could recreate that more easily.


i agree with wikipedia. but somehow i doubt its published on paper in book-form...

The Bible. It was the first book printed for people to read. As it would be again. And the Day After Tomorrow wasn't even a terrible movie in my opinion...
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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby Felstaff » Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:58 am UTC

Tyrannosaur wrote:i agree with wikipedia. but somehow i doubt its published on paper in book-form...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/23/busin ... 3wiki.html
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Re: You can save one book from a fire...

Postby Kewangji » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:05 am UTC

Felstaff wrote:
Tyrannosaur wrote:i agree with wikipedia. but somehow i doubt its published on paper in book-form...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/23/busin ... 3wiki.html

The big version (the one I would save): http://www.rob-matthews.com/index.php?/ ... wikipedia/

I'd rather save the bhagavad gita than the bible, though I do think that holy scripts, as with fiction, is easier to reproduce than non-fiction.
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