‘Survival is Insufficient’

Because Survival is Insufficient

By Lori Berezovsky Ι Aug. 30, 2015

Many of you have probably heard that starting in September we’ll conduct our third Salina Reads program. This year our book selection committee, made up of a dozen readers from our community, unanimously chose “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel. The book just came out in paperback in June, and it has been getting some attention in the publishing world.

What is the connection between graphic novels, Shakespeare, a symphony, a super flu virus and survival skills? All of them are major components of “Station Eleven.” Even the title of the book is taken from the fictional graphic novel being created within the book.

The survivors of the Georgian flu don’t do anything special to survive. For the most part, they find themselves in the right place at the right time. They are plucked out of our technologically savvy world and thrust into one that harkens back to medieval times — a world in which there is no electricity, no cell phone connections, no social media, no TV. There’s a shortage of doctors or other medical professionals, and also of medicines. People must hunt for food, repurpose found objects and form communities from scratch.

But, to use a quote from the book, “because survival is insufficient”, it’s not enough to simply exist. The Arts figure prominently in the book and offer the survivors hope.

Survival isn’t sufficient in our society, either. Libraries can offer cultural events, book discussions, programs that offer music, crafts or demonstrations. All of these things provide a lean existence with hope. Education is power, and the library is filled with information on every topic. The library is also a place to explore topics with others, share ideas, make progress, and by doing so, make our community a better place.

I hope you will take part in the Salina Reads program this year. Read the book, come to a book discussion, or attend one of our related programs. We want you to survive and thrive!