Damn. The world ends tomorrow.

The world will end tomorrow (uh, hypothetically… yeah, that’s the ticket!) and I would like to be duly prepared for the eventual rebuilding of humanity.

Assume a planet-wide catastrophe that leaves only small bands of humans in an otherwise iron-age existence, but with 100 percent literacy. Only five [non-religious] texts survive and they just so happen to be the most practical and most useful in the long-term restoration of today’s store of human knowledge.

Specifically, what are the five books?

I’m busy tomorrow. In fact I’m kind of booked for the rest of the month. Is it okay if your disaster waits until March? Sorry to be a bother.

  1. “How Things Work, Volumes 1 - whatever”

  2. “The New York Public Library Desk Reference”

  3. “Gray’s Anatomy” or some other general anatomy/physiology book

  4. “Five Acres and Independence” or “The Owner-Built Homestead”

  5. “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare” because what good is surviving without culture

Would an encyclopedia set count as one book? If so, that’s a must-include in my opinion.

Rule of thumb: It counts as a single book if it comes in a single tome from, say, Amazon.com.


I didn’t want to bias the responses, but these two were definitely in my list.

  1. “How Things Work” (well, before I realized there were so many volumes now, which violates my rule above)
  2. “Gray’s Anatomy”

Don’t forget the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics - I suspect it’d be more than helpful in terms of reference.

The Dummies Guide To The Apocolypse might come in useful…

And they tell me this on a damn message board? I knew I was right not to trust the press. :frowning:

Again :confused: