At What Temperature Do E-Readers Burn? Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 Finally Going Digital
You know, I thought it was kind of funny when Amazon named their latest Kindle, Fire. It made me think about book burnings and specifically, Ray Bradbury’s classic dystopian novel, Fahrenheit 451. So it was even more interesting when I read the news today that 91-year-old Bradbury finally conceded to transferring his famous novel to the digital format. That’s hot.
According to the Associated Press, “Fahrenheit 451 has sold more than 10 million copies and has been translated into 33 languages,” since first published in 1953. The film is set in a future where reading is illegal and firemen burn books instead of put out fires. If you’re not familiar, the book wasn’t so much a critique on censorship as it was society’s interest in new forms of media (like television) that lead to a decline in reading and a lack of fully formed information. It’s what makes this news all the more ironic.
“Bradbury himself has been an emphatic defender of traditional paper texts, saying that e-books ‘smell like burned fuel’ and calling the Internet nothing but ‘a big distraction,'” writes the AP. “It’s meaningless; it’s not real,” he told The New York Times in 2009. “It’s in the air somewhere.”
The book was made into a film in 1966 by François Truffaut and in 2009 a graphic novel edition of the book was published by Hill and Wang called, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451: The Authorized Adaptation. The graphic novel is not available digitally.
Publisher of Fahrenheit 451, Simon & Schuster, released a statement by Jonathan Karp saying the new e-book was “a rare and wonderful opportunity to continue our relationship with this beloved and canonical author and to bring his works to new a generation of readers and in new formats.” They also said a new paperback edition of the novel would go on sale in January as well as two other Bradbury favorites in March, The Martian Chronicles and Illustrated Man.
What’s your opinion on the announcement?