Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Shreveport Could Do Worse

Commenter Martin R. makes a valid point when he says, perhaps with tongue slightly in cheek, "the burning of the Harry Potter books is nothing but a good thing." As an ardent non-fan of the Harry Potter books, I agree. To the extent that bonfires represent a proper expression of literary tastes, one could easily do worse than to burn Harry Potter books. Anything not quite but almost worth doing is worth doing properly.

There are valid reasons to burn books. Suppose you're stuck someplace with nothing to eat but tomatoes and no fuel other than books, and you need to produce enough heat to kill off the salmonella. Or suppose it's cold outside and you can no longer afford conventional heating fuel. Those would be valid reasons to burn books.

Burning books because their contents don't flatter your religious beliefs, as they did recently in Shreveport, is barbaric and silly. If anything, it probably increases the level of interest in the books targeted, and no one needs that.

1 comment:

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

You forgot one situation: You're trapped in the New York Public LIbrary during a great global superstorm with Jake Gyllenhaal and Emmy Rossum. Sadly, there will be no time to flirt with Emmy, as you are trying to stay alive under an onslaught of meteorlogically-improbable cold air. Fortunately you have a ton and a half of tax code and legal books on hand.

Now, it may make me look like I'm the type who wears white shoes after Labor Day, but I read the Harry Potter books. They were fun and entertaining. I don't know what else I was supposed to get from them; they were fun stories. They didn't elevate my life, they didn't help me make money fast. They were just ripping yarns. And they made some very poor woman embarrassingly rich, made reading cool again for a bunch of kids, and make fundamentalists stamp thier little feetsies and cry. So I'll stick up for them.