Do you know why books such as this are so important? Because they have quality. And what does the word quality mean? To me it means texture. This book has
Faber speaks these words to Montag toward the beginning of “The Sieve and the Sand,” as he explains the importance of books. Faber tells Montag that it’s not the books themselves that Montag is looking for, but the meaning they contain. The same meaning could be included in existing media like television and radio, but people no longer demand it. According to Faber, Montag is really in search of “quality,” which the professor defines as “texture”—the details of life, that is, authentic experience. People need quality information, the leisure to digest it, and the freedom to act on what has been learned. Faber’s comment that a book has “pores” also evokes the sieve in the title “The Sieve and the Sand.” Trying to fill your mind by reading books is like trying to fill a leaking bucket, because the words slip from your memory before you can even finish reading anything.