Imagine you wake up tomorrow on what seems like a regular springtime morning. You snooze your alarm for a solid hour, resentfully stumble out of bed, open the curtains, and glance outside, only to be confronted by a somewhat unnerving scene – an army of terrifying human-like creatures feasting savagely on what appears to be human flesh. Blood, brains, bedlam: the zombie apocalypse has descended.
That’s right, May is also known as International Zombie Awareness Month. After witnessing many poor comrades lose their lives in Hollywood zombie uprisings, we’ve decided that we need to prepare for any eventuality. Suppose the living dead do come calling, where is the best place to hide, and, as Simon Pegg hopes, “wait for the whole thing to blow over”?
There is but one option, a library. Here’s five reasons why:
Knowledge is power
For those of you who haven’t read the OUP Companion to Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse, you may be at a loss as for how to fight your flesh-eating foes. It’s only inevitable that technology will fail humankind at crisis point, and the go-to avenues for intelligence will be cut off.
As a library inhabitant, you’ll have a sea of books at your fingertips and will be well placed to source vital information. Whether swotting up on effective zombie-killing tactics in an apocalyptic novel, rummaging for the latest Bear Grylls survival guide, or treating an injured friend with the help of the Oxford Textbook of Medicine, the local library is your best possible companion.
Build a protective fort
Take advantage of your local library’s plenitude of raw materials by building a protective fort, mighty enough to rival the great castles of England.
Raid the Reference section, and start with the large, sturdy books for the foundations: a dozen of the Oxford English Dictionary, a few copies of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and perhaps a couple of editions of Who’s Who for good measure. Use the bookshelves for extra support and, once constructed, cement any gaps with a Very Short Introduction or two.
Even the apocalypse’s strongest zombie ring-leader wouldn’t be able to topple such a structure. Just sit back and relax in its protective embrace as the undead try and fail to breach your literary workmanship.
Silence is golden
Libraries provide a quiet and tranquil environment. There can be no better place to get some peace and quiet from the potentially upsetting collapse of civilisation taking place on the other side of the door. In such serene conditions, you could even curl up on a cosy library chair with your favourite Oxford World’s Classic.
What’s more, most librarians are wonderfully dedicated to preserving the order and upkeep of their libraries. With their groan-like noises, intimidating manners, and disruptive attitudes, the walking dead certainly wouldn’t be tolerated for long!
So you’ve settled into your new library home, constructed the world’s most impressive protective fort, and swotted up on your survival knowledge. Now what? In successfully evading the zombie army, you could be faced with equally frightening foe – boredom.
In a library, you’d have enough to read, listen to, and look at, to keep you entertained for a lifetime. What better opportunity to finally start reading War and Peace, brush up on your knowledge of ancient Rome, or start learning that second language?
Hidden amongst the books, you may take solace in your current situation. All you would need to do is flick open the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography to discover that humankind has been faced with stressful situations for as long as we can remember. After all, if Samuel Pepys can live through both the 1665 plague and the Great Fire of London, maybe there’s hope for you too!
There you have it, five reasons for heading straight to your local library in a zombie apocalypse. We assure you, with the abundance of entertainment and the tranquil setting, it’ll feel just like a long holiday.
The only potential caveat is this: given their dietary preferences, we need to hope that the zombies don’t realise that libraries are where the biggest and best brains are found!
Featured image credit: Zombie girl, by David Williss. CC-BY-2.0 via Flickr.