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Is That Book Burning?

Updated on April 10, 2013

Why would someone want to burn a book?

If you love reading real, paper books, the idea that someone would want to burn them to keep anyone from reading is abhorrent. I am aware of two fictional novels that center around book burning and both completely draw you into the story. As much as one does not like to hear of this form of "banning books", I have read two novels that should be on your list of fiction books to read.

What are those two novels? Well, one was written quite a while ago by a very famous American author of fantasy fiction. The second fiction book is more current and the author could be on his way to becoming well-known.

photo credit: LearningLark via photo pin cc

Some might burn books to control independent thinking: - Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury's novel has become a true classic and is on many required reading lists across the world. It tells the story of a government that wants to keep its people from reading books by burning every printed book in existence. Instead of putting out fires, firemen start them in order to burn books and the homes and buildings that have them. In the world created in this novel, literature is on its way to being obliterated. Instead of reading, the population is "encouraged" to watch TV, instead, and never learn to think for themselves. Oh my goodness! The horror. No kidding.

Fahrenheit 451
Fahrenheit 451

A true classic that will make you appreciate the power of imagination and the mind.


"There are worse crimes than burning books" photo credit: ecastro via photo pin cc

Ray Bradbury -- visionary:

In Fahrenheit 451 Bradbury foresaw the invention of large screen TVs mounted on the wall.

He also predicted that people would be able to get money from a machine like our present day ATM.

Burning a book could be a form of punishment: - The Shadow of the Wind, Spanish Fiction by Carlos Ruiz Zafn

According to Amazon, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafn, has become an international phenomenon. This novel (originally written in Spanish) has been published in more than forty different languages, and honored with numerous international awards. I can certainly understand why. The Shadow of the Wind caught my imagination from the very first chapter.

This novel tells the fictional story of a young boy who finds a "forgotten" book and becomes fascinated by the book itself and the life of the author, Julin Carax. Zafn's novel tells the story of a horribly disfigured man who has been burning every copy he can find of Carax's novels. The young boy, Daniel, grows up to solve the mystery of why anyone would want to destroy the writings of an author who is so very talented. Why does that disfigured man want to keep the world from reading such brilliant story-telling?

My husband and I listened to the audio book and we became as involved with The Shadow of the Wind as the young boy, Daniel, who lives to solve the mystery behind the lives of those who knew and loved the fictional author, Julin Carax. Even though the main story line is set in the 1950's, the language that Ruiz Zafn uses in writing this work of fiction truly carries one back to a world with Victorian values. The listener (or reader) becomes wrapped up in the story just like one's body is enveloped by a down comforter.

The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Book 1)
The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Book 1)

If you love to listen to audio books, I highly recommend this novel. To purchase it from, click Shadow of the Wind on Audio CD. By clicking that link, you can also download it from


Review this image of Barcelona, Spain

Where a mysterious man is burning books.

Where the mystery of "The Shadow of the Wind" is set. Daniel lived in 1950's Barcelona and set out to discover why and who is burning the books written by Julin Carax.

photo credit: paukrus via photo pin cc

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If you have read either of the two novels mentioned on this page, please feel free to leave a read hot comment of your own below. Recommend one or both books.

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    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 5 years ago

      You and the writers make very good points.

    • TeacherSerenia profile image

      TeacherSerenia 5 years ago

      I have read both and I absolutely loved the Shadow of the Wind.

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 5 years ago

      @jmchaconne: Good point. Perhaps memorizing the book (as they do in Bradbury's novel) before one burns it would help the conscience.

    • jmchaconne profile image

      jmchaconne 5 years ago

      The only valid reason for burning a book would be survival. Then again, who knows. Maybe we can still read when we're dead!

    • randomthings lm profile image

      randomthings lm 5 years ago

      i read Fahrenheit 451-it was a very engrossing novel...and scary to imagine a world like that.