I recently asked a group of my librarian Facebook friends this question: “If you died and went to hell, and there was just one book available to read, what book would it be?” The responses came in quickly: “Moby Dick.” “50 Shades of Grey.” “Twilight.” “Anything by Ayn Rand.” (Stranded throughout eternity with nothing but The Fountainhead to read? That’s definitely hell.) And then there were these rather more creative Hell Book suggestions:
The last book in “A Song of Fire and Ice” with the last chapter ripped out.
Mein Kampf — and I’d have to get it autographed.
Heaven is Real.
The Bible (so I could look for loopholes.)
Dante’s Inferno. (It would be like having a Frommer’s Guide.)
A book I’ve always wanted to read, but in a language I don’t know.
The second book in a trilogy.
The manual to our office phone system.
The IRS tax code.
The phone book. And I don’t have a phone. Because it’s hell.
Brimstone for Dummies.
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up Hell.
Escape from Hell (the 2009 scifi novel by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.)
How to Make the Best Barbeque.
My college statistics text book.
A book with all blank pages. Or one that can’t be opened. Or whose pages keep falling out.
My ex’s diary.
The Art of the Deal. And Donald Trump would follow me around reading it out loud throughout eternity.
It’s a moot question, of course. We librarians/library workers are far too good to ever end up in hell. We’ll all end up in Heaven, of course, with all the time in the world to read our favorite books forever. See you there!