Social Question

Blackberry's avatar

Are there times when book burning is acceptable (details)?

Asked by Blackberry (34021points) October 20th, 2011

If so, I think I just found a reason. :P

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

38 Answers

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

Okay 2 things:

1) If you own a book, I have no objection to you burning it.

2) Awesome.

everephebe's avatar

What nation burns the most American Flags?

bkcunningham's avatar

I hope Everqueer never has to partake of the charities that Bill O’Reilly helps fund like the Wounded Warrior Project, Families of Military Casualties, Operation Shoebox, City Harvest, Habitat for Humanity, Fisher House, Responsibility, Autism Speaks, CASA, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, The Fuller Center for Housing, The Interfaith Nutrition Network, It Happened to Alexa Foundation or Several Sources Shelters, among many others.

jaytkay's avatar

@bkcunningham Everqueer? Are you calling people names here?!

Michael_Huntington's avatar

Reminds me of this comic

jaytkay's avatar

In the linked story the soldiers were burning the books simply because they don’t have room for unnecessary material. Sadly.

But seriously, in other situations, burning books isn’t good for PR.

What’s more effective for the junk pumped out by conservative publishers is to point out how quickly they are remaindered.

Here’s Bill O’Reilly’s book from just last year. The hardcover is available for $1.05. LOL

Also, it’s fun to point out that conservative books are only “best-sellers” thanks to bulk buys.

Like when Herman Cain is funneling campaign funds into his personal bank account.

Or when Bill O’Reilly organizes a “charity” to send his unwanted books to Afghanistan.

A “charity” that is putting money in his pocket.

Conservative “values”, indeed.

bkcunningham's avatar

LOL, no @jaytkay. That was the blogger’s name in the linked HuffoPo blog.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@bkcunningham That’s like saying I can’t like OS X better than Windows 7 because Bill Gates is more charitable than Steve Jobs ever was. All of those charities would exist without O’Reilly. No more non sequiturs, please.

bkcunningham's avatar

Yeah, I realized that as I was typing my response and trying to make a point, @SavoirFaire. But I do think it is important to make a note of the work he does for charities. I think that is worthy thing to note in people. That is just something personal with me. I think it is a notable trait. Regardless of what you think of him, his books have been on the New York Times Bestseller List numerous times. And you don’t get on the list by bulk sales to charities.

Pandora's avatar

I say the books were sent to them and they had the right to do with it what they wanted. I can understand not needing to carry crap around when you are in a remote area.
Reminds me of the movie Down Periscope.
Marty tells the cook, which one do you think the troop is going to want in the morning. A cup of coffee or a cup of lard.
The cook relpies, “Well it depends if its a cold morning.”
So maybe the books were really burned because it was a cold morning and they needed lard to keep them warm.

jaytkay's avatar

And you don’t get on the list by bulk sales to charities.

Ummm, wrong.

The NY Times bestseller web page says, “A dagger (†) indicates that some retailers report receiving bulk orders.”

And here’s another story of staunch conservative values.

“Mitt Romney boosted sales of his book this spring by asking institutions to buy thousands of copies in exchange for his speeches…

”...Their giant purchases helped his book, No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, debut on top of the New York Times best-seller list, though with an asterisk indicating bulk purchases…

”...institutions could wind up with more than 3,000 copies of the book — and a person associated with one of his hosts said they still have quite a pile left over…”


bkcunningham's avatar

@jaytkay, the Everqueer thing was funny. Don’t you think? I mean, when you called me out on the name. lol

everephebe's avatar

@bkcunningham I feel that Everqueer is dangerously close to my username here…

bkcunningham's avatar

Don’t tell me, @everephebe. Tell the blogger in the original post.

everephebe's avatar

@bkcunningham I was just saying that @jaytkay might have noticed you posted right below me, or didn’t read the article and see the caption before posting. It was a funny but deeply understandable mistake.

bkcunningham's avatar

Do you think that perhaps @jaytkay thought I was making fun of you in some way @everephebe?

jaytkay's avatar

Do you think that perhaps @jaytkay thought I was making fun of you in some way @everephebe?

Yes, I did and I feel bad for bringing it up.

Mantralantis's avatar

I would say you shouldn’t ever. But most likely, if anyone were to ever burn a book, they just might be considered a previously unknown direct descendant of Hitler.

everephebe's avatar

@bkcunningham That was the general possibility I was meaning to construe in this post and my last post. Thank you @jaytkay for rushing to “my” defense. :D

ddude1116's avatar

Whenever your life depends on it.

filmfann's avatar

It is never okay to burn books.

However, it would be fine to burn Bill O’Reilly or Ann Coultier, to prevent many more books like theirs from wasting the forests.

bkcunningham's avatar

@everephebe, I would never make fun of you or your name. I have a great aunt named Phoebe and was going to name a little girl that once. Phoebe Grace. Just wanted you to know that I’d never ridicule or make fun of you. That’s all.

everephebe's avatar

@bkcunningham hahahahahah… damn I know this is social but we are really derailing this thread. It’s ever Ephebe not Phoebe. Hahaha, now you just made fun of my name by accident even more. Don’t worry I get this a lot.

bkcunningham's avatar

I should burn my last post.

everephebe's avatar

Nah, it’s cool. I got a laugh.^ Ha that’s thematic to the thread burning your last post. There’s a question in that…

P.S. Sorry @Blackberry

amujinx's avatar

I’m not sure I would condone burning books even in this circumstance. I would use them for emergency toilet paper instead.

Blackberry's avatar

@amujinx Good idea.

@everephebe S’all good. I post in social so people can speak freely.

Qingu's avatar

Physical books are just talismans, like flags. They have no value in and of themselves. The value of a book is the information it contains, and in 2011, unless we are talking about some rare book that has no copies, burning a book is not destroying its information.

When the Nazis were burning books, the burning was meant to destroy information. It was meant to censor ideas. That’s a different symbolic act than burning a book that you think sucks.

That said, I think burning books is tacky though I totally don’t blame the Afghan soldiers for doing what they did—sending a crate of O’Reilly drivel to a forward operating base or whatever is infinitely tackier.

Aethelflaed's avatar

I know that I will, with this statement, mark myself for intense hatred. But.

I’ve burned books. About 10ish. None of them for political reasons; there was definitely a reason I bought them in the first place. But, after my place flooded and several books were pretty water damaged, I was left with books I wouldn’t ever read again, and I’m not going to keep books I’m never going to read again around. I could not donate them to anywhere. So, they need to be recycled. But, recycling them, through the city recycling plan with the big purple bin, same as the soda cans means that recycling these books costs money. Burning them as kindling in my real fireplace doesn’t. Burning them is the most cost-efficient way to make sure they are recycled and have a meaningful end. None of them were rare books, all of them were mass printings, where I knew that there were tons more copies just in my city alone.

The reason for book burning being abhorrent is the context. The action itself is not the problem, the context is. And really, sometimes you do need to get rid of a book, and I don’t really think throwing them in the shredder or the trash bin is really that much better than burning them. It’s not like if Hitler, Savonarola, et al had just been like “boys, bring out the giant shredders”, we’d all be fine with their actions. Because we’re appalled by why they did it, not that there was fire involved.

anartist's avatar

Logistics can be a bitch.

Nullo's avatar

We’re burning books all over the place. Libraries across the country are faced with a severe storage problem, and severe time and resource constraints in addressing it. Fire fixes this.

ucme's avatar

When the literature in question is Arson About : A Pyromaniac’s Guide by Justin Flames.

anartist's avatar

Some libraries just dump ‘em in the trash. Conscientious librarians have to steal them to save them.

Soupy's avatar

Only if it’s a Bill O’Reilly book.

I jest, I don’t think we should burn books, even when it is tempting to do so.

jaytkay's avatar

@Nullo You have examples of libraries burning books?

mazingerz88's avatar

What surprises me is that a book with O’Reilly’s face on it actually burned. I thought his swollen ego was indestructible. Notice he was trying to stare down the Dude.

Seek's avatar

I burn books all the time. Usually cheap romance novels.

For some reason, when I’m at the used book store, I’ll grab one or two thinking “Surely this one won’t suck as much as the others!”

I’m invariably wrong. And so, I burn the books in disgust at their horribleness.

And at ten cents a book, who cares?

I realise this has nothing to do with the topic, just thought I’d share. ^_^

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