According to the novel Fahrenheit 451, why are books important?  

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Faber initially explains the value of books to Montag as records of humankind's history: they preserve both the greatest thinking of all time and, importantly, the dire mistakes men have made. They are instructive, and they are cautionary: they warn us of what not to do again. Therefore, books help prevent us from making the same mistakes over and over.

But Montag also learns that it is not the books themselves that are important. It is the knowledge that is inside them that matters. Having books around means nothing if nobody reads them, thinks about them, and argues about their ideas with other people.

At the end of the novel, Montag even learns that Granger's men are book burners too. They memorize books and then destroy them so that they can avoid arrest. They can do this because they realize the value of the books are in their contents, not their physical being.

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  • According to the novel Fahrenheit 451, books are important because they record humanity's accomplishments and mistakes.
  • These records help to prevent humanity from repeating mistakes.
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In Part Two of the novel Fahrenheit 451, Montag visits Faber’s house to ask for his help in understanding various texts. Faber, a former English professor, is initially reluctant to help Montag out of fear that government forces will arrest him for conspiracy. Faber calls Montag a hopeless romantic and tells him that it is not necessarily books he is in need of, but rather the ideas and substance found inside the books that Montag is searching for. Faber explains that books were only one type of receptacle where humans stored knowledge they were afraid to lose. Faber says that books truthfully recorded details in each page and are full of quality, texture, and information. According to Faber, books are important because they record humanity’s accomplishments, but more importantly, they preserve humanity’s mistakes. He says that books are there to remind us of what fools we once were, in hopes that we won’t make the same mistakes in the future. Faber compares books to Caesar’s praetorian guard whispering in his ear that he is a mortal. Essentially, books record valuable information about the past that can positively shape our future decisions.

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