Books As Fuel


If the power went out and you needed fuel for a warming fire, which books in your library would you ignite?
My tinder would include Thomas Mann essays, Finnegan’s Wake, Barthes’ first book on semiotics, my 13lb Webster’s Third International Dictionary (I have two copies), three algebra books, “The English Short Story in Transition,” and some copies of Readers Digest Condensed Books.


Crime and Punishment would be first to go. I have an old dictionary as well that would go as well. I also have some old teaching books that I’ll never read again.


Yeah. C & P is not exactly a lot of laughs.


I asked my lit theory professor what crime I was being punished for when I was reading the overwrought piece of emotional trash. It might be a step or two above 50 shades… maybe.


I think I read somewhere that you can make the fire last longer if you feed it page by page instead of lighting the whole book on fire immediately.


Yes- and it works for the editing process, as well …


You sir are a man of culture I see


Well, some writing is better extinguished than distinguished …


The Slated Series. My hatred for those books might even get me to burn them regardless of me missing electricity or not :joy:


Are you talking about the Terry book that uses the following summary:

Kyla’s memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.

Does sound sort of crappy.

Bring on the matches!



I liked the concept and the books weren’t super bad… At first. Then the climax is about to happen, and the author pulls a deux ex machina, I shit you not. She’s been dragging the plot for three books and it all ends in like… 3 paragraphs. Such a shit series and I’m still pissed about it.


LOL! Well, one good thing about it: if it’s a lengthy series, the bonfire will be that much bigger. This reminds me of The Crimes of Grindlewald (sp?). The first film was great, but I left the theater after that mess of a sequel was over with, pissed off and believing that the author of the book/screenplay has now killed off the franchise. Same thing with the Hunger Games. First movie was OK. Second was great. The third was awful. Differences between screenplay and source material aside, how can an author work so hard and yet lose that vital connection with the readers/audience? Now, where did that can of lighter fluid get to?


Fantastical Beasts feels like fanfiction to me, to be honest. Or what they are: spin offs. I don’t really expect anything but light entertainment. I learned hard from The Hobbit films.

The Hunger Games books were fantastic. I really enjoyed them. The films were okay. I’ve seen worse. Like Divergent. Now those books and the films were horrific and should burn.

How many would crucify me for throwing Jane Austen on there too?


Another set of books to toss on the barbie:

May Sarton: At Seventy. While studying the creative non-fiction genre, I though I’d give this memoir a spin- and when I did, I became motion sick.

Poe: A small volume of his humor tales, the reading of which convinced me that he should have stuck to the scary stuff.

Ellery Queen: And on the Eighth Day. I love EQ mysteries, when they’re done right. But this one took place in a desert commune run by a religious fanatic- and waiting for something interesting happen was a waste of time. A contrived ending was the final fly on the cow pie.


Until I find a reason to like her writing, flame on!


I’d burn all my printed rough drafts (that I have digital copies of anyway) because I’d probably cry if I had to take any books off my shelf. I don’t keep anything around I hate lol



Good point. I wonder how long I should be hanging on to all those drafts from years ago. Someday I’ll toss them, but not quite yet. As for books, my problem is that I try to give too many of them a chance- believing that most of the “classics” should be read for my own good. But after a while, some of the Shakespeare and Henry James starts to piss me off, so out it goes!


OK. Her fire is bigger than mine …


Fair enough lol I actually think I have a copy of one of the LOTR (nothing against it. I’ve actually never read any of them) books that got ruined somewhere, so I could toss that and my massive drawer full of lined paper in the fire lol