The past few weeks I’ve been sorting through years of accumulated items, placing some in the trash and others in boxes for donation. For me, one of the hardest objects to be, well, objective with, is books.
Is there any one item that man has created that can share knowledge, experiences, and allow the reader to live a different life? While there are so many categories of art, few match the creation of the book for its wide ranging abilities.
I’ve seen people treat books badly. Even I once turned a book upside down to save a page because I know I’d be returning soon. I’ve seen people write in them (maybe not horrible as long as it’s for the reader’s pleasure and becomes a keepsake. I’ve seen people use them as coasters–the horror! And others have banned them.
The worst offense was revisited recently. Book burning. Students at a Georgia college decided to burn a guest speaker’s book because they were offended that she, a Cuban-American, spoke of white privilege.
Perhaps one of the most amazing aspects of this story for me was that college students were the ones burning books. Individuals who are attending an institution of higher learning, who have an opportunity to better themselves through education, who, alas, should be seekers of knowledge, decided, instead, to burn an award-winning novel written by a college professor.
How completely disappointing that instead of embracing new ideas and knowledge, these college students chose to reject and burn them. Imagine being so young and already possessing a closed mind, although, for their sake, I hope it’s not too late to learn.
Look homeward, angel, to when the only things college students were burning were bras.
6 thoughts on “Book Blogger POV: The Sacrilege of Book Burning”
Nice post, terrible situation. I hope the author gets more publicity, more book sales and writes a sequel describing the experience. I also hope the haters receive the education they so desperately need and maybe one day understand why it is fundamentally abhorrent to burn a book.
I was looking at quotes about book burnings. One cited the fact that burning or banning a book didn’t destroy the book, just helped it to sell better. I hope that people will read her book and *try* to understand an experience that most of us haven’t had.
I hope the students can get outside of such a sheltered existence and entertain ideas that may seem alien to them. Here’s hoping at any rate.
The number of people that choose willful ignorance over knowledge will never cease to amaze me.
I know! When I was in college, I loved the opportunity to expand my mind. Take philosophy. Not to mention, how can you not like to talk to people who are different than you? Understand a life you’ve never lived? (Or is that just us writers?!) 🙂
It is still a privilege to attain the status of college-educated, and yet the minds are closed to the world around them? I can’t say I’m shocked or stunned, but it does make me wonder why such privilege can’t be taken away and given to those who’d love the opportunity.
I had that very thought as I was writing. How someone without the privilege might put that education to good use.