Libricide, more commonly referred to as book burning, is a phenomenon both very real and also fictional. The most recent publicized occurrence was the burning of a Qur’an in Florida in March 2011.
[Terry Jones] said the punishment — burning the book after it had been soaked in kerosene for an hour — was determined from four choices on his organization’s Facebook page. He said “several hundred” were polled and voted for burning over shredding, drowning and facing a firing squad.
You can check out their Facebook page if you do an Internet search for “Dove World Outreach Center Facebook”. Linking to their page would only raise their profile further which is not something I really want to do. The Southern Poverty Law Center has deemed them a hate group.
There are plenty of other examples throughout history which are well documented on Wikipedia.
Of course, there are fictional examples as well, perhaps most notably Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. This is a book that is well worth reading. For those of you who have not already done so, I won’t reveal any spoilers. Just read it, you won’t regret it.
Searching on Amazon earlier today, I noticed that Fahrenheit 451 is a book that is only available in physical form. There are no electronic versions for modern electronic reading devices like the Kindle or tablets such as iPad. Somewhat ironic that a book about libricide should be available only in burnable form. Another novel Crash by J.G. Ballard, set in a techno-future society is not yet available in techno-electronic form.
It will be interesting to find out if more books will get the electronic treatment once the Kindle 4 release date is announced. There are signs that the 4th generation Kindle will be ready sometime later in 2011.
How do you burn a virtual book?