“If the library were burning, which book would you save?”

This is the question–“Which book would you save?–currently being asked by the Toronto Public Library for this year’s Keep Toronto Reading festival. (It takes place during the month of April, and among other things, involves participants all reading one chosen book, which this year is Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.)

This question is akin to the “If you were on a deserted island, what book would you take?” question. So even if you’re not from Toronto, it’s still an interesting thing to contemplate. And it’s a question I always have trouble with, because I couldn’t imagine taking just one book. I’d need at least six. My answer would always be, “It would have to be Dorothy Dunnett’s complete Lymond Chronicles, because that’s really a complete story told in six volumes.” If I couldn’t take all six, I suppose I’d have to make do with the sixth book, and just remember the first five.

But I digress.

One thing you can see on the library website is various people answering that question: which book they’d save from the burning library. In fact, one can make one’s own video in answer to the question and post it to YouTube, sending the link to the library, and can possibly win a reproduction of an image from the library’s archives. (I would love that!)

Here is author Lemony Snicket’s video answer:

I imagine I’d feel much the same as he would. And here is Matt Galloway, the host of the CBC Metro Morning radio program I wake up to every day:

So…if your library were on fire, what single book would you save?

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