“There aren’t many books left. People burned most of them to keep warm during the Darkness. And after the Darkness, there were no new books because there was no more paper.
The locusts had come.
And there were no more trees.”
Rootless by Chris Howard, is set in a future where trees no longer grow. Seventeen-year-old Banyan, who’s never even seen a living tree, builds metal forests for wealthy clients. In a world where manmade structures have replaced all natural beauty, things are looking pretty bleak.
We would be really, really bummed if all the trees in the world disappeared. Not just because it would kill the earth, but because no trees means no paper, and no paper means no books! Is a world without books too scary for you to imagine? Don’t worry—these authors and filmmakers have helpfully done the imagining for you! Check out these books and movies about worlds where books aren’t allowed or just plain don’t exist.
In the futuristic world of Fahrenheit 451, the government has decided that all books are dangerous. Reading novels is totally illegal, which is scary enough in itself. But if you’re found with books, the government sends in the firemen to burn your house down. Not just the books—your WHOLE HOUSE. Seems like it might be overkill.
Love the smell of old books? Well, nobody in Super Sad True Love Story shares your feelings. Everybody is addicted to their apparats (kind of like iPhones on steroids), and books are obsolete because people think they’re too smelly. Which WE think is totally ridiculous, by the way. We heart smelly books.
The government in 1984 doesn’t completely outlaw reading—it just makes sure that books don’t give people any pesky ideas. So they translate everything into Newspeak, a simplified version of English that gets rid of all the things authors love, like synonyms. Just thinking about it makes us (and our thesauruses) very sad.
The society in Brave New World is supposedly a utopia (spoiler alert: it’s not). People only participate in fun, communal activities, and apparently, reading doesn’t make the cut. People who read are considered “savages”—not “awesome,” which is what we call them.
Nobody in The Giver is allowed to experience emotion or think for themselves. Since reading, you know, tends to encourage those things, books are pretty much a no-go. Remember all those super intense feelings you got reading the last Harry Potter book or The Fault in Our Stars? Yeah, not cool in this dystopian society.
In 2022, Robert Thorn starts to investigate the company that makes soylent green, a questionable food product. Since nobody reads anymore, the world’s literature is in total disarray, and book experts, who are simply called “books,” have to help him with his research. This is why it’s important to organize your bookshelves, guys!
Could you survive in a world without books? Let us know in the comments! And be sure to add your favorite bookless books and movies!