Fahrenheit 451 is a novel written by Ray Bradbury in the early 1950’s, about a future society in America where owning books was against the law and firemen where hired to burn any books found. He wrote this because of his worries at the time about the threat of book burning in the United States.
This is the hardcover edition of the novel designed by Elizabeth Perez.
The book cover was specifically designed to emphasize book burning. The matchstick as the ‘1’ also emphasizes the auto-ignition point of book-paper in the novel. I am not sure if that value is correct but the novel specifies 451 degrees fahrenheit as the auto-ignition point of book-paper. In the novel the character Captain Beatty highlights the importance of the last one degree Fahrenheit when burning book paper while addressing the firemen. I believe that the designer replaced the ‘1’ with the matchstick to highlight the importance of the last degree when burning book-paper since the final degree fahrenheit is what sets the book ablaze.
The striking surface along the spine is very difficult to understand clearly but it definitely questions the reader’s value for books. It shows that books can easily be burnt. It acts as an easier alternative to burn the book by providing the matchstick and striking surface to set the book ablaze. It is like the author is saying that when you are done reading the book, you can decide to set it ablaze easily with the materials provided for you or you can just keep it to show your value for books.