"I'm quite illiterate, but I read a lot. " - JD Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

Fahrenheit 451

Free eBooks - Project Gutenberg

"The best weapon of a dictatorship is secrecy.

There is more than one way to burn a book.

You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture.

Just get people to stop reading them

Somewhere the saving and putting away had to begin.

And someone had to do the saving and keeping, one way

or another, in books, in hemp scrolls, in human heads,

any way at all so long as it was safe, free from moths,

silverfish, rust and dry rot, and people with matches.

And the world is full of people running about with lit matches." - Ray Bradbury

library of alexandria

Notable book-burning incidents

"The books that a culture calls immoral are

the books that show the culture its own shame.

There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book.

Books are well written or badly written."

Oscar Wilde

Does reading actually change the brain?

Distinct brain regions coöperate for reading

This is what's going on in your brain when you read

213 BC Emperor Qin Shi Huang ordered the burning of all philosophy books and history books from states other than Qin.

168 BC The Seleucid monarch Antiochus IV orders the Hebrew 'books of the law' found in Jerusalem to be 'rent in pieces' and burned.

160 AD Established beliefs of Epicurus are burned in a Paphlagonian marketplace by order of the charlatan Alexander of Abonoteichus, a false priest of Aesculapius.

292 Egyptian alchemical books of Alexandria are burnt by the Imperial Roman Emperor Diocletian.

303 All Christian books are burned by a decree of Imperial Roman Emperor Diocletian.

363 Emperor Flavius Jovianus orders the burning of the Library of Antioch.

381 Theodosius I orders all the Gnostic Christian books to be burned.

1244 King Louis IX of France orders 20,000 works of the Talmud to be burnt in public in Paris on June 17.

1568 Venetian Holy Office is burning Jewish publications.

There was a minority afraid of something,

and a majority afraid of the dark,

afraid of the future, afraid of the past,

afraid of the present, afraid of themselves

afraid of the shadows of themselves.

Faster lexical access to emotional than to neutral words during reading

"For books are not absolutely dead things,

but do contain a potency of life in them;

they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy

and extraction of that living intellect that bred them."

John Milton

Stuff your eyes with wonder.

Live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds.

See the Earth. It is more fantastic than

any dream made or paid for in factories

We were put here as witness' to the miracle of life.

We see the stars, and we want them.

We are beholden to give back to the universe.

If we make landfall on another star system,

mankind becomes immortal

"In the scene of the movie of Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" the fireman Montag, played by Oscar Werner, finds his wife, played by Julie Christie, studying her part in an interactive soap opera to be aired on the walls of their living room.

"They mailed me my part this morning," she enthuses. "I sent in some box tops. They write the script with one part missing. When it comes time for the missing lines, they all look at me out of the three walls and I say the lines."

That's an awful moment, sad and haunting, and in its edge of longing, it evokes contemporary culture'salienation, which has expanded exponentially since Ray Bradbury examined it half a century ago.

What Ray Bradbury was hinting at is the ever thinning boundary between reality and illusion, a boundary that grows more tenuous everyday.

How long until reality becomes fantasy and we believe we are the characters in the comedy itself?

We, the audience, exist not only to be manipulated but to participate in our manipulation by seeing it as cool." - David L. Ulin

unique library index

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