There is, I trust, no reason to explain why I’m posting this particular story from my back catalogue.
ALL THE OTHER BOOKS
There was something about the book that appealed to him. Perhaps it was the title, or maybe it was the lurid colours painted on the dust jacket. Whatever, he simply had to know what it was all about, and so, while the others got on with their work, the Captain sought out a secluded spot where he could sit down and study the book in peace.
He opened the book at random and followed a line of words across the page with his finger, carefully spelling each one out. He wasn’t used to reading and the task demanded all of his concentration. Many of the words were unfamiliar, and he had to keep looking over his shoulder to make sure none of the others found him, as to be caught reading while on duty would be unpardonable.
After half an hour the Captain had had more than enough. His eyes and head were aching from the unaccustomed effort. He turned to the front of the book and looked at the publishing date, impressed by what he found. It was hard to believe that, as long ago as 1953, someone had known what the future would be like.
Back in the annex they’d got the fire going along nicely now.
The Captain adjusted his peaked cap and threw the copy of Fahrenheit 451 into the flames, where it burned with all the other books.