It’s hard to practice self care with the increasing political turmoil these days. All the bitching and moaning about “wealth gaps,” “American imperialism,” and “Facebook turning into a flesh-ravenous superbeing” is stressful, and stress is bad for your pores. Know what’s a great way to relax? Lighting aromatic books on fire as you soak in a bath of your own blissful naiveté. Here are a few of my absolute favorite page-burner books:
This books, with its crisp pages full of U.S atrocities, makes an excellent source of tinder for your next intimate social gathering. With 729 pages detailing toxic nationalism, you’ll have plenty of fuel for an atmospheric evening of polite chatter with your gal pals about inheritance tax. You may hear the faint screaming of the ghosts of the past, but think of it as a fun ASMR experience. When burned, this book gives off a delicious aromatic odor of blood, money, and the smoking ruins of native civilizations.
This collection of short stories by American novelist Flannery O’Connor will give out a mellow, medium-heat flame that’s perfect for heating a fondu. Mix some garlic, Gruyère cheese, white wine, and heat over the burning pages of a bleak, violent portrayal of Americana. Personally, my favorite thing to dip is focaccia bread, but cherry tomatoes can also be exquisite. Flannery O’Connor’s take on racism and poverty, intermingled with her own white privilege and prejudices, imparts a complex smokiness to the flavor.
For a night of hot, smoky romance, why not burn this historically pivotal work of literature? Tales of sex, infidelity, morality, and violence will create the perfect erotic atmosphere for you and your lover to woo each other upon a bearskin rug. Set the mood by reducing hundreds of pages of linguistic and cultural significance to rubble. You’ll also be burning written depictions of Middle English people having ye olde sexe, which, when inhaled, is a natural aphrodisiac (and only moderately carcinogenic). When you’re done, the remaining ash makes great compost.
This is a short one. More pamphlet, actually. Very dry, burns extremely quickly, so you’ll need to toss a lot of them into the fireplace to get a nice blaze going. I would recommend buying numerous copies, shredding, and using them for kindling.
This collection of historic Persian (modern-day Iranian) poetry by famed astronomer and mathematician Omar Khayyamis makes for a great burn on a cozy night in. You’ll feel super toasty as you destroy quatrain after quatrain of irreplaceable written artwork. The poems incorporate themes of romance, hedonism, and religious skepticism (which burns especially well).
Remember how we elected a black person that one time? Racism is over! So no need for this book that takes an unflinching look at the Black experience in America. Burn it in the giant fireplace at your next political donor soirée, as you talk about the true troubles plaguing America, like how difficult the upkeep is on your luxury super-yacht, such that you can’t even afford to buy a second luxury super-yacht. (Pro tip: Be sure to buy Ta-Nehisi Coates’ other books to burn, as it will take a lot of heat to warm the yawning expanse of your marble foyer).
This is more of a public service. Be sure to practice proper safety procedures, wear eye protection, an industrial respirator, ear plugs, close-toed shoes, and full body covering. Be sure to burn in a well-ventilated abandoned field, inside a circle of salt. As the books burn, walk away. Do not look back, not even for a second, no matter what the disembodied voices say.