Which book would you save?

Today is the final day of the Sioux Falls Big Read.

This year, we celebrated Fahrenheit 451. We’ve promoted book discussions all month long. And tonight, we’ll be putting on a mixer at the Museum of Visual Materials downtown, featuring writing contest winners, The Smoke and Mirrors Band and various local personalities discussing a question often brought up when F451 is mentioned.

If all of the books were being burned, and you could risk your life to save one book…which one would you save?

Do you save an important book – one that has changed the lives of millions of readers? Do you save Beowulf – the English language’s first recorded words – or Plato’s Republic or The Bible? Do you save The Diary of Anne Frank or Fahrenheit 451 itself?

Or do you save your favorite book? Do you stand aside, allowing the rest of the risk takers to worry about the Great Canon of Literature while you grab the book that’s meant the most to you and you alone.

This will come as no surprise: I’m going to lay claim to Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath – for both reasons, really. It’s an Important Book. And, it’s one of my favorites. I’ve always liked East of Eden more, and would probably consider The Pearl and Travels with Charley as well, but The Grapes of Wrath is just more important to literature as a whole.

What about you?

Which book would you save?

Leave your answer in the comments – or post it on your own blog. Let’s send The Big Read out in style.

This was lovingly handwritten on May 1st, 2008