How does Faber define the value of books?

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schulzie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Montag goes to Faber and asks him to help him understand books, Faber tells him

"It's not books you need, it's some of the things that once were in books." (pg 82)

He tells Montag that books were only one means society used to store information about life. There were also records, films, and even old phonograph records.   The books we read are only as valuable as the information they contain. Faber tells Montag,

"...the more truthfully recorded details of life per square inch you get on a sheet of paper, the more 'literary' you are. .... Good writers touch life often.  The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her.  The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies." (pg 83)

He tells Montag that there are three things necessary to make books powerful again.

1. Quality: This has to do with the definition given above.

2. Time to read and digest the books. He comments that in a society in which the people are constantly entertained and told what to think, no one takes the time to THINK about what they have read or heard.

3. The ability to carry out plans determined by what we have read. Once the reader has absorbed and processed the information, he needs the ability and opportunity to put his thoughts and/or plans into action.

Faber says that there isn't anything magical about books themselves,

"...the only magic is in what books say." (pg 83) 


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Fahrenheit 451

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