There were two things working against the committee in their self-appointed task - three, if you counted the general disdain most of the rest of the settlement had for said task (and, by connection, for the committee as a whole). First, and in some ways most importantly, in the aftermath of the flooding that had wiped out most of their city - most of the world if the scattered reports were accurate - getting basics like food and shelter were still the priorities. Only when those things had been handled - not just for the committee members, but for all the survivors in their little settlement - could luxuries be worried about.

Secondly, and possibly more urgently, a flood which had destroyed large parts of the world and had left a good third of former landmasses still under water was not the best thing for books, and, since they were looking for books and other paper records, it did put them at a bit of a loss.

The committee were nothing if not determined however. After food had been pulled up from dives, and medicine, and anything else that was tight enough sealed to survive the floods and would be a Priority One or Priority 2 find, after they had helped with the planting or the hunting or whatever their duties for the day entailed - they had committees to declare what were priorities and committees to decide who helped with what when and committees to decide who was on the committees so it was really no surprise that they had declared themselves an ad-hoc committee, in the grand scheme of things.

But when all that was done, there was a committee that declared that if they could everyone got some leisure time. And in that leisure time (or while underwater or in the ruins of once-flooded buildings looking for those Priorities), they looked for salvageable books, magazines, CD’s, DVDs, and ephemera.

Around the edges of their community center - it had once been an office building with a rather fortunate location, and was now one of the only standing buildings in the area; it easily housed all of their survivors with room left over for all the committees anyone could want - using salvaged lumber and found tools and nails, they built bookshelves, taking as much time with each one as if it were fine furniture. Every book they could salvage, could repair, could carefully dry off and press until it was readable again; every tome and every bodice-ripper they found in some sheltered dry spot, every newspaper and every magazine on the fifteenth story of a building where the only food was vending-machine crap and the only clothes were the cardigans still hanging on the backs of every door, every Self Help and Get Rich Quick and thick, incomprehensible programming book - all of them went on the shelves, carefully labelled and sorted by type and by author.

And in the wee hours, when there was just a little hoarded light, they began, like monks of long ago another project indeed. When it was too dark and they were too tired to search for the books others had written, the Committee for Library Preservation wrote, carefully and painstakingly, longhand and with many re-writes, their own tales.