Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Movie lines I love: on Old Postcard Wednesday--Washoe County Library, Reno, Nevada

Well, it's a job just like any other. Good work with lots of variety. Monday, we burn Miller; Tuesday, Tolstoy; Wednesday, Walt Whitman; Friday, Faulkner; and Saturday and Sunday, Schopenhauer and Sartre. We burn them to ashes and then burn the ashes. That's our official motto.


To learn how to find, one must first learn how to hide.

-from Fahrenheit 451 (1966), spoken by fireman Guy Montag


Is it true that a long time ago, firemen used to put out fires and not burn books?

-from Fahrenheit 451 (1966), question from Clarisse


THE CAPTAIN: Come on now, madam. We're going to burn the house.
THE CAPTAIN: What do you want, martyrdom?
BOOK LADY: I want to die as I've lived.
THE CAPTAIN: You must have read that in there. Now, look, I'm not going to ask you again. Are you going?
BOOK LADY: These books were alive! They spoke to me!

-from Fahrenheit 451 (1966), conversation before a blaze

(Text on back of postcard:)

My hometown library, the library of my youth. A great and wondrous place where the dense air common around quantities of old books was freshened by live, lush foliage.....

Grab a book and sit next to a growing indoors tree and share in precious moments of absorption. Research for hours until you are seeing spots, then give your eyes a rest and your body some movement by tracing the circular stairs up and down each level. No running; the librarians will not tolerate it.

From the top level look out over the inside landscape of the library and feel in your bones that it is a part of you. Sense that you are blessed to have it. Fall in love with a place for the first time in your life and know you will never forget it.......

Decades later return to the library in downtown Reno to show it to your spouse. See that it is older but well maintained and appreciated, and is now a part of an area-wide library system. Breathe the library's tropical air. Touch a branch of a third-generation philodendron. Feel an inner peace and delight; remember. Select this postcard as a keepsake. Fifteen years later, share it on something called a BLOG for Old Postcard Wednesday. Provide a link to the Washoe County Library website, where the following information may be found:
By 1966, Washoe County had two libraries on wheels. In May of 1966, Reno saw the grand opening and dedication of the Downtown Reno Library, a gift from the Max C. Fleischmann Foundation to the people of Washoe County. The architecturally unique building designed by Hewitt C. Wells continues to serve residents and visitors to Downtown Reno. 

Be thankful that Fahrenheit 451 is only fiction.



Don't Feed The Pixies said...

OK - i read Farenheit 451 a couple of years ago and thought it was a fantastic book. Never seen the film, but want to having seen your post.

OK: a couple of library based facts: my parents met in a nightclub that has since been turned into a library (the one i was using this time last year for internet access)

The Manic Street Preachers quote a phrase that is written in stone above Cardiff Library (I think it's Cardiff anyway - it's definately a Welsh library) in their song "A Design For Life" - the library was paid for out of the wages of local miners who clubbed together to try and improve their circumstances and chances to learn.

The phrase above the door reads "Libraries give us power" - i think we should probably remember that.

Anonymous said...

I heard about this book for the first time the other day on the radio!

When I was a child we went to the library every week - I used to do the same with my kids but now when I go into them they seem mostly full of the homeless looking for a warm place in the winter and mosre and more space given over to DVDs and less and less to books.

What will happen to the poor little book worms among us?

the watercats said...

that is a library and a half!.. and I've yet to see the film, but recently saw highlights on another program and was intrigued. Unfortunately the local library here only seems to stock murder mystery books... and an obscure thing about a pig that sings at the moon.. I tried reading it, but it was just too overtly happy clappy for my liking ;-)

Lydia said...

Pixies~ I think the story behind you parents meeting is fantastic, nearly a fantasy except it really happened. :) Love the quote.

madamebutterfly~ That is depressing news about the changes you see in your library, little bookworm. Fortunately, that hasn't happened here so far. They all have budgetary problems and some have had to cut hours, but I haven't noticed a decline in the number of books.

the watercats~ Yes, it was/still is a great library. That is weird to think of a library stocking mainly murder mysteries. I wonder if they did a survey to decide readership that determined what they offer? The other book you mentioned sounds simply enchanting....for a six-year-old!

La Belette Rouge said...

I cry on Sunday. Losing Sartre AND Schopenhauer is more than I can bear.

Lydia said...

Belette Rouge~ Poignant words.
'Tis so for me with Sartre. I am still unfamiliar with Schopenhauer, I must admit...

Fireblossom said...

What a library! Wow! I read Fahrenheit 451 in high school, and have seen the movie a couple of times.

Kat Mortensen said...

I own this one on dvd - what I love about it - almost as much as the words, is the colour! It brings the book to life with such vibrancy - as to fly in the face of the burning itself (if that makes any sense).


Lydia said...

Fireblossom~ Was it required reading? Somehow I guess not.
Isn't it peculiar how the film shows up on weird channels at weird times, like on some channel you happen to be scanning over at 3:00 a.m.?

Kat~ I have the VHS (funny how I want to convert the movies I have in VHS to DVD when it would be time-consuming and somewhat costly, but I don't view them in their current configuration, so...
Your observation about the color in the film is indicative of your sensitive poet's eye. What you said makes perfect sense, but I had not actually "seen" it in that way. :)

naomi dagen bloom said...

Phrase I want to steal from this post, "third-generation philodendron." Describes many situations where the deciders hold ground where change is crucial. Not talking about library buildings, of course!

Lydia said...

naomi~ I didn't think you were talking about library buildings...and not philodendrons either for that matter!



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