Paper will save you when the apocalypse comes

The Ghost and The Machine launches this week, as a book with actual pages and things.  Or as a computer file which can live in the depths of your tablet devices, humming innocently, until you wish to embark on an exploration of the strange and twisted entity which is my imagination.

Now, I am sympathetic to those who prefer to keep all of their reading material electronically compressed.  I become more sympathetic every time I move, and have to lug countless crates of Penguin Classics and foreign language dictionaries up and down sets of stairs.  There is a secret underground brotherhood of movers who have sworn to assassinate me and burn all my Greek lexicons on my own grave.  

But what with the apocalypse looming and all, I thought it appropriate to remind you that there is a very compelling reason to keep accumulating books on paper.  Namely, paper books have so very many uses as survival gear.  



Observe the effortless transformation of the paperback into a zombie-repelling torch.  You could try to do this with a tablet, I suppose, but good luck trying to get the flame to catch, and good luck trying to hold a machete after globs of melted silicone run all over your fingers.


Survival is all mental, they tell us.  What better way to improve your morale and bolster self-confidence than to don a fetching chapeau?  Side benefit: The vaguely military appearance of your BookHat will cause other survivors to rally instantly under your banner.  You can then send them out on scouting expeditions, use them as cannon fodder, and/or steal their stuff.

Other survivors will not rally to your banner if you attempt to make a hat out of a tablet device.  They will look at you quizzically and ask why you have an e-reader stapled to your forehead.  Whatever you answer, they will edge gently away.

This one is so obvious that I blush to mention it.  When the apocalypse strikes, you want to be surrounded by things that you can quickly layer into a mighty and impenetrable fortification.  Books good building material, tablets not.  I rest my case.

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