The whole thing stayed with me for quite a while afterwards and I also had to explain to my daughter what happened as she didn't understand. It made me think of several history periods when books were burned: one memorable incident at Oxford University in the 1500s comes to mind very quickly as many books were supposed to have been burned because they were heretical, but loyal scholars smuggled them out at their own risk to protect them. I also had to read The Cheese and The Worms by Carlo Ginzburg in university, and this story tells of a 16th century miller who was executed by the Inquisition because of his love of reading books. Knowledge was considered dangerous during these times. Martin Luther is known for his burning of Jewish texts when they refused to convert, and the Nazis were famous for their destruction of many texts during the 2nd World War. Even today, many schools have bans on certain texts because they contain content that is deemed inappropriate for students. The Merchant of Venice was not allowed to be read at my old high school because of its Jewish content; it was because of this ban that I went and read it anyways and I certainly did not appreciate Shakespeare when I was 16 like I do now.
I thought of the boy then, and wondered how he would find a way to read those books he was longing to read. And make no mistake about that, he WANTED to read those books. I saw the look in his eyes when he put those books back on the table; it is the same look in every book lover's eye when they have to put something back on the shelf they desperately want, but just can't buy at that moment. It's a HUNGER, a DESIRE, and I knew he would find a way to read those books somehow. And I wondered if that desire has grown because he has been denied what he wanted. I thought about all those books on my shelf and wondered how I would react if someone decided to destroy my biography of
What are your thoughts on the matter?