“…when we had all the books we needed, we still insisted on finding the highest cliff to jump off. But we do need a breather. We do need knowledge. And perhaps in a thousand years we might pick smaller cliffs to jump off. The books are to remind us what asses and fools we are. They’re Caesar’s praetorian guard, whispering as the parade roars down the avenue, ‘Remember, Caesar, thou art mortal.’ Most of us can’t rush around, talk to everyone, know all the cities, of the world, we haven’t time, money or that many friends. The things you’re looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine percent of them is in a book. Don’t ask for guarantees. And don’t look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore.”
I’ve been reading Fahrenheit 451 lately and I must say, it is a spectacular book, and it’s unfortunate that a lot of what Mr. Beatty said to Montag earlier in the book seems to be coming true. I’d say the main difference today between our world and the world of this book is that, rather than destroy all the books, we’re instead writing books that are as dumb and as vapid as the entertainment the characters in the book live off of.