Because of the importance, one might almost say the sacred quality, of books in the development and transmission of our civilisation, the wilful destruction of books has always appeared a barbaric act. If we saw a man deliberately tearing a book to shreds, even one without any great value, a trashy novel say, we would think him a brute. But the destruction of books en masse by the public authorities has never augured well for civilization, let alone for freedom.I am reminded of the federal government's purge of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans libraries last year. See here and here.
22 April 2015
A Barbaric Act
Theodore Dalrymple, The Pleasure of Thinking (London: Gibson Square Books, 2012), pp. 36-37: