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Monday, May 28, 2007

Book Burning

A Kansas City man is burning books, because he couldn't even give his collection away to libraries or thrift shops.

"This is the funeral pyre for thought in America today," Wayne told spectators outside his bookstore as he lit the first batch of books.

The fire blazed for about 50 minutes before the Kansas City Fire Department put it out because Wayne didn't have a permit to burn them.

Wayne said next time he will get a permit. He said he envisions monthly bonfires until his supply -- estimated at 20,000 books -- is exhausted.

On the one hand, the media coverage is obviously generating awareness, but I wonder about the message being sent here. Does this come over as a great tragedy and strike those who aren't avid readers as a sad thing, or does it suggest even passionate readers and collectors are losing faith in the power of the written word?