Technology nowadays gives you everything you need right at your finger tips. Music, movies, ect. And, of course, that includes books. But in this technology filled world, are books even necessary anymore? Would the burning of books matter now that there are electronic copies everywhere? In my own opinion, technology reduces, but does not negate, the need for hard copies of books.
In the novel Fahrenheit 451, books are only seen in hard copies, paperback, ect. There is no mention of Kobo’s or iBooks, or other electronic sources from which books can be read. I guess thats one thing that Mr. Bradbury failed to imagine. However, that is the reality of our world now. And so, in a sense, book burning wouldn’t matter as much now as it did before books were available in these different mediums. There would still be hundreds of copies online for everyone to see, and it would be much harder to destroy all copies of the book. But this does not mean that book burning is something that should be condoned. Even though it would not destroy the book, it is the message behind the burning that matters. Books are representations of knowledge, and people’s opinions on different topics. So therefore the burning of books means the oppression of people’s opinions and knowledge, and the disregard of their right of free speech. As Granger said in Fahrenheit 451, “everyone must leave something behind when he dies…” (Bradbury 156). Books are the legacy of their author, their thoughts and feelings at that time, and by burning their book, it is disgracing their name and legacy.
As to wether the book is dead, or dying, I believe that the book is not dying, it is very much alive (excuse me while I become a book dork for a minute). For me, there is nothing better than cracking open a book for the first time, having that feeling that you don’t know what will come next, and you can’t stop yourself from turning that page. While I have nothing against electronic books, I still prefer paper books, and I think I always will. There’s just something about how they make me feel. And, as Granger says while he is talking about the re-printing of books and literature, “… he knows very well it is important and worth the doing” (Bradbury 153). He says that the reprinting of books in important, so that they are not only in their heads, and I agree. By getting rid of the man, you get rid of the book forever. However, with multiple copies of books, it is much harder to completely destroy that book. By having millions of copies of books today, in both print and electric copies, we are insuring that this knowledge will never be lost.
This is why I think that books are so important (putting aside the fact that I’m a huge bookworm).
Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. New York: Ballantine Books, 1950