Burning Books

by Christian Thomas Golden

What are the elements of book burning? I propose the following: (1) the burner, (2) the tools/materials, (3) the skill, (4) the will, and (5) the actual burning.

What is a book? I’d like to say that a book is likely comprised of several of the following (this list is not meant to be all-inclusive): a collection of words, thoughts, ideas, letters, plans, desires, fears, passions, numbers, dates, theories, and times.

So, when I burn a book, I am burning the temple in which those elements have been copied.

What are some ways we, in contemporary/modern society, burn all that a book is made of? How about laws, rules, regulations, deletion, ignorance, attitudes, beliefs, feelings, emotions, misuse, abuse, and neglect?

You see, the deliberate refusal to consider an idea as valid as it stands is the contemporary manifestation of that fictional beast from Fahrenheit 451 and The Book of Eli. That is not to say that all people should believe that all ideas are valid. Rather, all people should truly CONSIDER all things. After all, how can I justly deny a thing if I don’t really consider what that thing really is or claims to be?

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