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22 Feb

“Trust me, “ I tell them, “No one wants these books.” The parting plea is invariably that I should sell them on e Bay and get money for the school to buy new books. Many teenage boys are pyromaniacs, and burning books probably adds the wild anarchic thrill of the forbidden. I thought he’d probably outgrown his pyromaniac phase. She refuses to go down there.” My sympathies were entirely with Mrs. So who loves books more–the substitute teacher or me? I think he’s committing an act of monumental inconsideration to his heirs, who will someday have to go through all those basement books that no one ever sees.An anthropology book called explained, scientifically of course, why some races were more evolved than others.A book originally published in the 19th century and gamely reprinted in the 1920s, defended the early European settlers of North America, downplaying their casual brutality towards the Indians by recasting their actions in light of their Christian intentions.The place is too full of books.) Books, even if we don’t read them, deserve respect, love, even.Only an ignorant thug would destroy a book, and throughout history, many dangerous, violent people have destroyed many books before moving on to human targets.

“These books have historical value, then,” is the next argument. This argument, to me, smacks of a patronizing classism, though kindly meant.“We should keep the books, but flag them somehow so that kids know that these books are just there to demonstrate certain ideas from the past.” “We don’t teach historiography in our curriculum,” I reply. We’ve already established that these books could do more harm than good and do not merit inclusion in the collection of our very well-off school’s library.The visceral response some of us have against a threat to books is rooted deep within us.When I was a child, if my mother saw me writing in a book or treating it carelessly, she would scold, “Never do that to a book! ” Jewish custom dictates that if a prayer book falls to the floor, that the book be picked up and kissed, and I have seen even not-particularly-observant Jews follow this tradition.While well-researched and decently written, these books had the rather serious drawback of shedding light on a crime that has since been proven not to exist, although not before a number of innocent people were thrown into prison for committing it.