Fahrenheit 451 #5- Why books are important

Faber began, “Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them at all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.

“Do you know why books such as this are so important? Because they have quality. And what does the word quality mean? To me it means texture. This book has pores. It has features. This book can go under the microscope. You’d find life under the glass, streaming past in infinite profusion. The more pores, the more truthfully recorded details of life per square inch you can get on a sheet of paper, the more ‘literary’ you are. That’s my definition, anyway, telling detail. Fresh detail. The good writers touch life often… So now do you see why books are hated and feared? They show the pores in the face of life.

“The second reason is leisure.

“Oh, but we have plenty of off-hours,” replied Montag.

“Off-hours, yes,” said Faber. “But time to think? If you’re not driving a hundred miles an hour, at a clip where you can’t think of anything else but the danger, then you’re playing some game or sitting in some room where you can’t argue with the four-wall televisor.”

“Number one, as I said: quality of information. Number two: leisure to digest it. And number three: the right to carry out actions based on what we learn from the interaction of the first two.”

_____________________

Conversation between the professor, Faber and Montag, p. 83-84.

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