The problem in our country isn’t with books being banned, but with people no longer reading. Look at the magazines, the newspapers around us it’s all junk, all trash, tidbits of news. The average TV ad has 120 images a minute. Everything just falls off your mind. You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.
Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.
Every dimwit editor who sees himself as the source of all dreary blanc mange plain porridge unleavened literature, licks his guillotine and eyes the neck of any author who dares to speak above a whisper or write above a nursery rhyme.
To divert myself from a troublesome fancy, it is but to run to my books: they presently fix me to them, and drive the other out of my thoughts, and do not mutiny to see that I have only recourse to them for want of other more real, natural, and lively conveniences: they always receive me with the same kindness.
Books are pleasant, but if by being over-studious we impair our health and spoil our good humor, two of the best things we have, let us give it over. I, for my part, am one of those who think no fruit derived from them can recompense so great a loss.