A while back I saw some awful made-for-tv castoff about the world freezing over due to the hubris of some scientists (or business tycoons, whatever). Pretty forgettable, but one line in there stuck with me: one of the band of plucky survivors reveals that he's brought along a copy of Dante's Divine Comedy. Everyone else doesn't get it, but then he says something like "Well I figured everyone would try and save a volume of Shakespeare, but I thought this was worth saving also." So: if you could only save one book for future generations, what would it be? The rules are: 1) you have to already own it (no one's running to the bookstore during the Apocalypse), and 2) it has to be a physical book, not an e-book (not trying to wade into the eternal debate about which is better, but it's just a fact that Kindles will run out of charge pretty quick in the Apocalypse). For me, I think it's gotta be Kafka, and it's gotta be The Trial. I was going to say a volume of his short stories, but in enforcing my own rules upon myself I despairingly realized that I can't find my copy of his collected stories. But I think something of his needs saving because he has this quality of being weirdly timeless and place-less, which I think makes his writing somehow both deep and accessible. And, I mean, people who know more about Literature than me also think he's important, so there's that. Anyway, lets hear it: boil civilization down into one book.