Monday, May 9, 2011

Save Which Books?

Have you seen the movie "The Day After Tomorrow"? If not, do so. Watch for the scenes in the New York Public Library. Before or after the movie, think about this dilemma that some of the characters had to face: a gigantic blizzard brought on by global warming is enveloping the city - and the rest of the northern half of the earth. To stay alive a scientist's son tells his friends and some other people that they must stay inside and keep warm - not try to go south. The only things they can do to keep warm is to huddle together in a room with a fireplace - and burn books! What a dilemma to have to choose which books to burn and which books to save, at least until last! A librarian chooses to save a Gutenberg Bible - the first book ever printed. He believes that if civilization as they know it is going to be gone, he wants to try to save a bit of it; preserve something of it. Another librarian chooses a medical book, and just in time. But what of other books to save? What of other books to burn? A homeless man chooses to burn the books with all the tax laws. Two college students debate if it is ok to burn a Kierkegard book. Which books would you try to save? Select some children's books as well as some books for adults. What do you say? Which books represent and preserve our civilization? Why? Why should they be saved?

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