“Fahrenheit 451 Is Still Relevant” by Natasha Lioe was originally published on capsulebooks.com on June 07, 2017
“Our civilization is flinging itself to pieces. Stand back from the centrifuge.”Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Books have everything to do with politics—and a revolution is necessary. Today’s political climate is … interesting, to say the least. It is incredibly volatile and unpredictable, and we’ve trekked into uncharted territory with the election of our new president. Fake news, “alternative facts,” and ignorance have grown rampant. Information is delivered straight to our screens, and it feels inescapable. We’ve become trapped by the worldwide network of celebrity gossip, internet trolls, and viral memes.
“We bombard people with sensation. That substitutes for thinking.”
This statement from Fahrenheit 451, although written in 1953, still holds true. Television, 30-second videos on social media, and online newspaper headlines—this is the extent of our education. Most people don’t read the books that were required reading in school. Most people don’t read for leisure, for a self-education, or for anything. Most people just don’t read anymore. And if you’re one of the ones who does, I genuinely applaud you for taking the time to open a book.
Not reading doesn’t only affect the conversation around politics, but it affects culture as well. Our culture has degraded into what each Kardashian is wearing, what meme has gone viral, and what Trump tweeted today. And culture is essential to cultivating a generation that communicates, truly communicates, with each other in a way that encourages tolerance, patience, and understanding.
Capsule Books is dedicated to sparking a reading revolution. There are so many reasons to read, and so many distractions standing in the way. But I urge everyone to pick up a book this summer, read, and learn. Your education should never stop, and reading books opens doors to entire universes. You just have to be patient.
I leave you with this last quote from Fahrenheit 451 —one that is perhaps the most significant line in the book.
“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”
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