Richard – This is a difficult one to give any interpretation for. Partly because your life work has been with books and so you have a very different set of associations than the general public. But also because the description is so short and words are the things I have to work with.
But obviously the sentence has to do with the end, the death of something you have been involved with. Had you been thinking or wondering about death?
A manuscript is a work of someone and can be very special and worth preserving, so the non survival also suggests a great loss – perhaps many times over.
I think it might be worth getting behind the dream by using http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/practical-techniques-for-exploring-your-dreams/#TalkingAs