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December 16, 1905

The Burning of the Books.

JAMA. 1905;XLV(25):1891-1892. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.02510250057017

Chicago, Nov. 24, 1905.

To the Editor:  —No species of vandalism has ever aroused such universal execration as the wanton destruction of literature and records, whether accumulated for that purpose or captured with other acquisitions of victory. In modern times the easy production and multiplication of books has brought the dignity and presumptive value of the book to a low ebb; and, while the ancient tome had, from its very existence, a modicum of permanent value, the book of to-day may be valueless and a mere incumbrance, either because of its primary inherent worthlessness, or its worthlessness in a particular form, or on account of the enormous edition, or an edition made incomplete by abridgement, by faulty translation, by reproduction on poor paper, in bad print or with other defects. To the bibliophile any book within his horizon has a certain bibliographic, literary and commercial value, based on fluctuating interest