Reflecting on the Unthinkable, and of Hope

I have been thinking lately of the burning of books, no doubt from that blasted novel I picked up from the market. I just can’t get it out of my head. It’s a horrible idea, to be sure, but I find myself considering it constantly. Even my dreams are riddled with flaming piles of books! I’ve woken up nearly every night in a cold sweat. So, I figured why not indulge this fascination for a moment? Reading about this terrible act just might reassure me of its ridiculousness and get me to stop worrying about it.

I kept myself company at dinner tonight by reading a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne titled “Earth’s Holocaust.” Another haunting read, I must say, that deals with the burning of books (among other things). By the end of it, I found myself considering something entirely contrary to my previous anxieties!

If the unthinkable should ever occur and every book on earth is destroyed, there might still be hope that mankind will adhere to its cyclical nature and restore the printed word. If it has been done once, it will certainly be done again. Perhaps, the total destruction of my beloved books is not so bad after all. Even a sliver of hope is still hope, which much like a fire grows from the tiniest spark.