Wednesday, 1 October 2014

"How to Burn Books" (Pelican Books)

Scarfolk council was a staunch advocate of biblioclasm. It did not want citizens acquiring unsanctioned knowledge and expected families to regularly scour their cellars, attics and priest holes for prohibited books. Book burnings took place after Sunday Coven on every 3rd Sunday, unless it fell on a Saturday, in which case the following Sunday.

However, in the 1970s, after the inexplicable disappearance of many of Scarfolk's old age pensioners (which, incidentally, coincided with a much-needed boost to the town's flagging sausage industry), the time-honoured method of how to correctly burn a book fell out of common knowledge. No one could remember how to do it because the traditional know-how had not been passed on to them.

The council had no choice but to publish 'How to Burn Books' (1970), which furnished people with the required skills for correct book burning.

Unfortunately, the book- and education-starved populace could not read and attempted, albeit clumsily, to burn all the copies before they had looked at them properly.

Frustrated, the council had no choice but reteach people how to read, or at least well enough for them to be able to read and comprehend the 2nd edition of 'How to Burn Books' (1978). Both editions, including the rare 1st edition, can be seen below.


  1. I almost spat my coffee out when I read the sticker on the second edition cover.

  2. God, your design is impeccable. Bravo!

  3. good show, the illiterates rave 'couldn't put it down'

  4. Does one need to ensure that the fire is hotter than 415F?

  5. Not related to this entry in particular but where can I pre-order a copy of Discovering Scarfolk in Canada?

    I've been unsuccessful with and


  6. I'm not sure if it's available in Canada at the moment, but we hope to change that very soon!

  7. Looks like have some listed...