Do the books really save Montag in the end of "Fahrenheit 451"?
This story, besides being a commentary on human life and society, is a coming-of-age story for Montag. He has existed in the world all his life, but he has not really lived in it. Having no sense of connection to other people and no sense of purpose, Montag has felt his life was missing something, and he wanders aimlessly - both physically and psychologically - because of that. However, when he meets the "book people" and he starts to understand that sharing his knowledge of books can bring hope to others, Montag is reborn. He is invigorated with a goal and a quest, and his spirits rise to the challenge. The quote he remembers from Revelations speaks to his rebirth:
"And on either side of the river there was a tree of life"
Books have become Montag's trees of life, and have provided him with a path worth traveling. He will help to save mankind by presenting books - and the history they provide - to the public.
"Do you know why books such as this are so important? Because they have quality. And what does the word quality mean? To me it means texture. This book has pores."
Books here are portrayed as living entities. The life they have, Montag has absorbed. So, yes, the books have been a key to his survival.