Books are, hands down, the single most democratizing invention, ever. Once publishing was snatched from The Church, and that most powerful force, Ideas, could be shared, the world became an open book.
I have seen some editorials lauding the fact we no longer have censorship. We may not have thought police burning books, but as media becomes more concentrated on the hands of the few and monied class, the scope of ideas becomes more myopic and self censorship crops in. Just look at how the Gulf War was handled.
Books constitute capital. A library book lasts as long as a house, for hundreds of years. It is not, then, an article of mere consumption but fairly of capital, and often in the case of professional men, setting out in life, it is their only capital.
– Thomas Jefferson