The author uses a good amount of suspense to keep readers reading. Another reason that people today keep reading it is because the setting is very close to what we might imagine our future to be. A look into a possible future is a very good reason to keep reading a book.
When Montag starts talking to Clarisse, he starts to become a bit of a misfit like her. He starts paying attention to the things she talks to him about (Bradbury 28) and starts to think about the books he burns (Bradbury 33). The fireman side and the side that wants to learn and think can not exist together, and he starts to struggle with it himself (Bradbury 24). There is suspense in wondering which of the two will end up being who Montag is. Eventually the thinking side wins out, and that puts him in conflict with a society that is very dangerous, and has no problem killing those who do not fit in, like the lady who the firemen were about to burn alive before she lit the fire herself (Bradbury 38). Then the suspense is in whether or not Montag will get away.
Another good reason people get hooked to reading the book is that the future Bradbury writes about seems uncomfortably possible, especially today. The way everything has to be done with quickly and how people spend entirely too much time in front of a television is fairly close to daily life in the story, where people just sit in a room made of television screens (Bradbury 20). Do I even have to mention how many people I meet that say they do not like reading, and do it only when they are forced to? Things like that make Bradbury’s future seem more plausible, and make the reader more curious about it. I wonder if that played any part in its popularity when it was written. Did people feel the same way about the future then?
Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. New York: Ballantine, 1996. Print.