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Bradbury is speaking figuratively in this statement. Montag isn't completely aware of his actions. He finds himself taking the book without thinking. In his mind, he knows that what he is doing will get him in trouble. Yet, there is the growing and insatiable desire in Montag to gain more knowledge through the books.
This scene helps support one of the main ideas that Bradbury is developing through the novel. By Montag taking the book without thinking about it, Bradbury is emphasizing that in man's core he wants to pursue knowledge and think for himself. Its an innate desire. That desire is often stifled, however, by a competing sense of obligation to society, specifically to not offend anyone at any time.
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