Best Quotes About Books I Wish I Had Read

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We have compiled a list of Books quotes for you to read.


Quotes About Books

Very young children eat their books, literally devouring their contents. This is one reason for the scarcity of first editions of Alice in Wonderland and other favorites of the nursery.

S. W. Rosenbach (1876-1952, American collector, scholar, and seller of rare books and manuscripts)


The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who’ll get me a book I ain’t read.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865, Sixteenth President of the USA)


A novel is never anything, but a philosophy put into images.

Albert Camus (1913-1960, French Existential Writer)


A bad book is as much of a labor to write as a good one; it comes as sincerely from the author’s soul.

Aldous Huxley (1894-1963, British Author)


The failure to read good books both enfeebles the vision and strengthens our most fatal tendency –the belief that the here and now is all there is.

Allan Bloom (1930-1992, American Educator, Author)


The more sins you confess, the more books you will sell.

American Proverb


That is a good book which is opened with expectation, and closed with delight and profit.

Amos Bronson Alcott (1799-1888, American Educator, Social Reformer)


All books are either dreams or swords.

Amy Lowell (1874-1925, American Poet, Critic)


For books are more than books, they are the life, the very heart and core of ages past, the reason why men lived and worked and died, the essence and quintessence of their lives.

Amy Lowell (1874-1925, American Poet, Critic)


The books that everybody admires are those that nobody reads.

Anatole France (1844-1924, French Writer)


What is the most precious, the most exciting smell awaiting you in the house when you return to it after a dozen years or so? The smell of roses, you think? No, moldering books.

Andre Sinyavsky



I read the newspaper avidly. It is my one form of continuous fiction.

Aneurin Bevan (1897-1960, British Labor Politician)


Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.

Angela Carter (1940-1992, British Author)


The lessons taught in great books are misleading. The commerce in life is rarely so simple and never so just.

Anita Brookner (1938-, British Novelist, Art Historian)


Americans will listen, but they do not care to read. War and Peace must wait for the leisure of retirement, which never really comes: meanwhile it helps to furnish the living room. Blockbusting fiction is bought as furniture. Unread, it maintains its value. Read, it looks like money wasted. Cunningly, Americans know that books contain a person, and they want the person, not the book. 

Anthony Burgess (1917-1993, British Writer, Critic)


A book might be written on the injustice of the just.

Anthony Hope (1863-1933, British Writer)


Once we have learned to read, meaning of words can somehow register without consciousness.

Anthony Marcel


Book love… is your pass to the greatest, the purest, and the most perfect pleasure that God has prepared for His creatures.

Anthony Trollope (1815-1882, British Novelist)


Does there, I wonder, exist a being who has read all, or approximately all, that the person of average culture is supposed to have read, and that not to have read is a social sin? If such a being does exist, surely he is an old, a very old man. 

Arnold Bennett (1867-1931, British Novelist)


All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality — the story of escape.

It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape.

Arthur Christopher Benson (1862-1925, British Author, Poet)


He has only half learned the art of reading who has not added to it the more refined art of skipping and skimming.

Arthur James Balfour (1848-1930, British Conservative Politician, Prime Minister)


Reading is equivalent to thinking with someone else’s head instead of with one’s own.

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860, German Philosopher)


Buying books would be a good thing if one could also buy the time to read them in: but as a rule the purchase of books is mistaken for the appropriation of their contents.

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860, German Philosopher)


To buy books would be a good thing if we also could buy the time to read them.

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860, German Philosopher)


Without books the development of civilization would have been impossible. They are the engines of change, windows on the world, “Lighthouses” as the poet said “erected in the sea of time.” They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind, Books are humanity in print.

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860, German Philosopher)


Books are like a mirror. If an ass looks in, you can’t expect an angel to look out.

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860, German Philosopher)


No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.

Atwood H. Townsend


Reading is not a duty, and has consequently no business to be made disagreeable.

Augustine Birrell (1850-1933, British Essayist, Liberal Politician)


I am what libraries and librarians have made me, with little assistance from a professor of Greek and poets.

K. Sandwell


He that loves a book will never want a faithful friend, a wholesome counselor, a cheerful companion, an effectual comforter. By study, by reading, by thinking, one may innocently divert and pleasantly entertain himself, as in all weathers, as in all fortunes.



Books are fatal: they are the curse of the human race. Nine-tenths of existing books are nonsense, and the clever books are the refutation of that nonsense. The greatest misfortune that ever befell man was the invention of printing.

Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881, British Statesman, Prime Minister)


Nine-tenths of the existing books are nonsense and the clever books are the refutation of that nonsense.

Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881, British Statesman, Prime Minister)


Reading makes a full man, meditation a profound man, discourse a clear man.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American Scientist, Publisher, Diplomat)


Read much, but not many books.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American Scientist, Publisher, Diplomat)


One man is as good as another until he has written a book.

Benjamin Jowett (1817-1893, British Scholar)


Books had instant replay long before televised sports.

Bert Williams


The last thing one discovers in composing a work is what to put first.

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662, French Scientist, Religious Philosopher)


I don’t think any good book is based on factual experience. Bad books are about things the writer already knew before he wrote them.

Carlos Fuentes (1928-, Mexican Novelist, Short-Story Writer)


For a good book has this quality, that it is not merely a petrifaction of its author, but that once it has been tossed behind, like Deucalion’s little stone, it acquires a separate and vivid life of its own.

Caroline Lejeune (1897-1973, British Film Critic)


The books we think we ought to read are poky, dull, and dry; The books that we would like to read we are ashamed to buy; The books that people talk about we never can recall; And the books that people give us, oh, they’re the worst of all. 

Carolyn Wells (1870-1942, American Author)



Hypocrite reader — my fellow — my brother!

Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867, French Poet)


Books, like friends, should be few and well chosen. Like friends, too, we should return to them again and again for, like true friends, they will never fail us — never cease to instruct — never cloy.

Charles Caleb Colton (1780-1832, British Sportsman Writer)


Next to acquiring good friends, the best acquisition is that of good books.

Charles Caleb Colton (1780-1832, British Sportsman Writer)


I’ve never know any trouble than an hour’s reading didn’t assuage.

Charles de Secondat


There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.

Charles Dickens (1812-1870, British Novelist)


A person of mature years and ripe development, who is expecting nothing from literature but the corroboration and renewal of past ideas, may find satisfaction in a lucidity so complete as to occasion no imaginative excitement, but young and ambitious students are not content with it. They seek the excitement because they are capable of the growth that it accompanies.

Charles Horton Cooley (1864-1929, American Sociologist)


We ought to reverence books; to look on them as useful and mighty things. If they are good and true, whether they are about religion, politics, farming, trade, law, or medicine, they are the message of Christ, the maker of all things — the teacher of all truth.

Charles Kingsley (1819-1875, British Author, Clergyman)


Except a living man there is nothing more wonderful than a book! a message to us from the dead — from human souls we never saw, who lived, perhaps, thousands of miles away. And yet these, in those little sheets of paper, speak to us, arouse us, terrify us, teach us, comfort us, open their hearts to us as brothers. 

Charles Kingsley (1819-1875, British Author, Clergyman)


He has left off reading altogether, to the great improvement of his originality.

Charles Lamb (1775-1834, British Essayist, Critic)


I love to lose myself in other men’s minds. When I am not walking, I am reading. I cannot sit and think; books think for me.

Charles Lamb (1775-1834, British Essayist, Critic)


Borrowers of books –those mutilators of collections, spoilers of the symmetry of shelves, and creators of odd volumes.

Charles Lamb (1775-1834, British Essayist, Critic)


You will be the same person in five as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.

Charles “Tremendous” Jones (American Motivational Speaker, Author)


The man who is fond of books is usually a man of lofty thought, and of elevated opinions.

Christopher Dawson (1898-1970, Welsh Cultural Historian, Educational Theorist)


The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man nothing else that he builds ever lasts monuments fall; nations perish; civilization grow old and die out; new races build others. But in the world of books are volumes that have seen this happen again and again and yet live on. Still young, still as fresh as the day they were written, still telling men’s hearts, of the hearts of men centuries dead.

Clarence Day (1874-1935, American Essayist)


Many books require no thought from those who read them, and for a very simple reason: they made no such demand upon those who wrote them. Those works, therefore, are the most valuable, that set our thinking faculties in the fullest operation. understand them.



When you reread a classic, you do not see more in the book than you did before; you see more in you than there was before.

Cliff Fadiman (American Writer)


I used to walk to school with my nose buried in a book.

Coolio (1963-, American Musician, Rapper, Actor, Singer, Songwriter)


The Brahmins say that in their books there are many predictions of times in which it will rain. But press those books as strongly as you can, you can not get out of them a drop of water. So you can not get out of all the books that contain the best precepts the smallest good deed.

Count Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910, Russian Novelist, Philosopher)


After all, the world is not a stage — not to me: nor a theatre: nor a show-house of any sort. And art, especially novels, are not little theatres where the reader sits aloft and watches… and sighs, commiserates, condones and smiles. That’s what you want a book to be: because it leaves you so safe and superior, with your two-dollar ticket to the show. And that’s what my books are not and never will be. Whoever reads me will be in the thick of the scrimmage, and if he doesn’t like it — if he wants a safe seat in the audience — let him read someone else.

H. Lawrence (1885-1930, British Author)


One sheds one’s sicknesses in books — repeats and presents again one’s emotions, to be master of them.

H. Lawrence (1885-1930, British Author)


I can’t bear art that you can walk round and admire. A book should be either a bandit or a rebel or a man in the crowd.

H. Lawrence (1885-1930, British Author)


Show me the books he loves and I shall know the man far better than through mortal friends.

Dawn Adams


When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.

Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536, Dutch Humanist)


This book is not to be tossed lightly aside, but to be hurled with great force.

Dorothy Parker (1893-1967, American Humorous Writer)


Read Homer once, and you can read no more. For all books else appear so mean, and so poor. Verse will seem prose; but still persist to read, and Homer will be all the books you need.

Duke of Buckingham (1628-1687, British Poet, Satirist, Dramatist)


A bad book is the worse that it cannot repent. It has not been the devil’s policy to keep the masses of mankind in ignorance; but finding that they will read, he is doing all in his power to poison their books.

E.N. Kirk


Books are men of higher stature; the only men that speak aloud for future times to hear.

E.S. Barrett


A person who publishes a book appears willfully in public with his pants down.

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950, American Poet)


In science read the newest works, in literature read the oldest.

Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873, British Novelist, Poet)


Reading without purpose is sauntering not exercise.

Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873, British Novelist, Poet)


Books are those faithful mirrors that reflect to our mind the minds of sages and heroes.

Edward Gibbon (1737-1794, British Historian)


My early and invincible love of reading I would not exchange for all the riches of India.

Edward Gibbon (1737-1794, British Historian)


One always tends to overpraise a long book, because one has got through it.

Edward M. Forster (1879-1970, British Novelist, Essayist)


I suggest that the only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little further down our particular path than we have yet got ourselves.

Edward M. Forster (1879-1970, British Novelist, Essayist)


The only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which

have gone a little farther down our particular path than we have yet got ourselves.

Edward M. Forster (1879-1970, British Novelist, Essayist)


Books are lighthouses erected in the great sea of time.

Edwin P. Whipple (1819-1886, American Essayist)


This will never be a civilized country until we expend more money for books than we do for chewing gum.

Elbert Hubbard (1859-1915, American Author, Publisher)


The reason that fiction is more interesting than any other form of literature, to

those who really like to study people, is that in fiction the author can really tell the truth without humiliating himself.

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962, American First Lady, Columnist, Lecturer, Humanitarian)


Books, books, books had found the secret of a garret-room piled high with cases in my father’s name; Piled high, packed large, –where, creeping in and out among the giant fossils of my past, like some small nimble mouse between the ribs of a mastodon, I nibbled here and there at this or that box, pulling through the gap, in heats of terror, haste, victorious joy, the first book first. And how I felt it beat under my pillow, in the morning’s dark. An hour before the sun would let me read! My books!

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861, British Poet)


Books succeed, and lives fail.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861, British Poet)


The greatest gift is the passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination.

Elizabeth Hardwick (1916-, American Novelist)


There is no Frigate like a book to take us lands away nor any coursers like a page of prancing Poetry.

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886, American Poet)


He ate and drank the precious Words, his Spirit grew robust; He knew no more that he was poor, nor that his frame was Dust.

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886, American Poet)


The good parts of a book may be only something a writer is lucky enough to overhear or it may be the wreck of his whole damn life –and one is as good as the other.

Ernest Hemingway (1898-1961, American Writer)


All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse, and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was.

Ernest Hemingway (1898-1961, American Writer)


With one day’s reading a man may have the key in his hands.

Ezra Pound (1885-1972, American Poet, Critic)


No man understands a deep book until he has seen and lived at least part of its contents.

Ezra Pound (1885-1972, American Poet, Critic)


Properly, we should read for power. Man reading should be man intensely alive. The book should be a ball of light in one’s hand.

Ezra Pound (1885-1972, American Poet, Critic)


Some books are to be tasted; others to be swallowed; and some few to be chewed and digested.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626, British Philosopher, Essayist, Statesman)


Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626, British Philosopher, Essayist, Statesman)


If the riches of the Indies, or the crowns of all the kingdom of Europe, were laid at my feet in exchange for my love of reading, I would spurn them all.

François Fénelon (1651-1715, French Roman Catholic archbishop, theologian, poet and writer)


The book salesman should be honored because he brings to our attention, as a rule, the very books we need most and neglect most.

Frank Crane (American Actor)


The great American novel has not only already been written, it has already been rejected.

Frank Dane


Why pay a dollar for a bookmark? Why not use the dollar for a bookmark?

Fred Stoller


The worst readers are those who behave like plundering troops: they take away a few things they can use, dirty and confound the remainder, and revile the whole. 

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900, German Philosopher)


Early in the morning, at break of day, in all the freshness and dawn of one’s strength, to read a book –I call that vicious!

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900, German Philosopher)


Education… has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading, an easy prey to sensations and cheap appeals.

M. Trevelyan (1876-1962, British Historian)


To feel most beautifully alive means to be reading something beautiful, ready always to apprehend in the flow of language the sudden flash of poetry.

Gaston Bachelard (1884-1962, French Scientist, Philosopher, Literary Theorist)


A vacuum of ideas affects people differently than a vacuum of air, otherwise readers of books would be constantly collapsing.

Georg C. Lichtenberg (1742-1799, German Physicist, Satirist)


There are very many people who read simply to prevent themselves from thinking.

Georg C. Lichtenberg (1742-1799, German Physicist, Satirist)


Do we write books so that they shall merely be read? Don’t we also write them for employment in the household? For one that is read from start to finish, thousands are leafed through, other thousands lie motionless, others are jammed against mouseholes, thrown at rats, others are stood on, sat on, drummed on, have gingerbread baked on them or are used to light pipes.

Georg C. Lichtenberg (1742-1799, German Physicist, Satirist)


A book is a mirror: If an ass peers into it, you can’t expect an apostle to look out.

Georg C. Lichtenberg (1742-1799, German Physicist, Satirist)


How can you dare teach a man to read until you’ve taught him everything else first?

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950, Irish-born British Dramatist)


No story is the same to us after a lapse of time; or rather we who read it are no longer the same interpreters.

George Eliot (1819-1880, British Novelist)


The newest books are those that never grow old.

George Holbrook Jackson (1874-1948, British Essayist, Literary Historian,)


The books one reads in childhood, and perhaps most of all the bad and good bad books, create in one’s mind a sort of false map of the world, a series of fabulous countries into which one can retreat at odd moments throughout the rest of life, and which in some cases can survive a visit to the real countries which they are supposed to represent.

George Orwell (1903-1950, British Author, “Animal Farm”)



I know every book of mine by its smell, and I have but to put my nose between the pages to be reminded of all sorts of things.

George Robert Gissing (1857-1903, British Novelist, Critic, Essayist)


The age of the book is almost gone.

George Steiner (1929-, French-born American Critic, Novelist)


I feel like I’m drowning. Every night, I’m carrying home loads of things to read but I’m too exhausted. I keep clipping things and Xeroxing them and planning to read them eventually, but I just end up throwing it all away and feeling guilty.

Ghita Levine


A good novel tells us the truth about it’s hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.

Gilbert K. Chesterton (1874-1936, British Author)


The mere brute pleasure of reading –the sort of pleasure a cow must have in grazing.

Gilbert K. Chesterton (1874-1936, British Author)


Don’t ask me who’s influenced me. A lion is made up of the lambs he’s digested, and I’ve been reading all my life.

Giorgos Seferis


From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it.

Groucho Marx (1895-1977, American Comic Actor)


Read in order to live.

Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880, French Novelist)


There are people who read too much: bibliobibuli. I know some who are constantly drunk on 

books, as other men are drunk on whiskey or religion. They wander through this most diverting and stimulating of worlds in a haze, seeing nothing and hearing nothing.

L. Mencken (1880-1956, American Editor, Author, Critic, Humorist)


The chief knowledge that a man gets from reading books is the knowledge that very few of them are worth reading.

L. Mencken (1880-1956, American Editor, Author, Critic, Humorist)


There are two kinds of books. Those that no one reads and those that no one ought to read.

L. Mencken (1880-1956, American Editor, Author, Critic, Humorist)


This book fills a much-needed gap.

Hadas In A Review.


The constant habit of perusing devout books is so indispensable, that it has been

termed the oil of the lamp of prayer. Too much reading, however, and too little meditation, may produce the effect of a lamp inverted; which is extinguished by the very excess of that ailment, whose property is to feed it.

Hannah More (1745-1833, British Writer, Reformer, Philanthropist)


When you have mastered numbers, you will in fact no longer be reading numbers, any more than you read words when reading books You will be reading meanings.

Harold S. Geneen (1910-, American Accountant, Industrialist, CEO, ITT)


Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.

Harper Lee (1926-, American Author)


Readers are plentiful: thinkers are rare.

Harriet Martineau (1802-1876, British Writer, Social Critic)


Reading makes immigrants of us all. It takes us away from home, but more important, it finds homes for us everywhere.

Hazel Rochman


What is a diary as a rule? A document useful to the person who keeps it. Dull to the contemporary who reads it and invaluable to the student, centuries afterwards, who treasures it.

Helen Terry


A novel is a mirror carried along a main road.

Henri B. Stendhal (1783-1842, French Writer)


Upon books the collective education of the race depends; they are the sole instruments of registering, perpetuating and transmitting thought.

Henry C. Rogers


Books must be read as deliberately and reservedly as they were written.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862, American Essayist, Poet, Naturalist)


Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862, American Essayist, Poet, Naturalist)


How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book! The book exists for us, perchance, that will explain our miracles and reveal new ones. The at present unutterable things we may find somewhere uttered.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862, American Essayist, Poet, Naturalist)


To read well, that is, to read true books in a true spirit, is a noble exercise, and one that will task the reader more than any other exercise which the customs of the day esteem. It requires a training such as the athletes underwent, the steady intention almost of the whole life to this object.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862, American Essayist, Poet, Naturalist)


Books, not which afford us a cowering enjoyment, but in which each thought is of unusual daring; such as an idle man cannot read, and a timid one would not be entertained by, which even make us dangerous to existing institution –such call I good books.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862, American Essayist, Poet, Naturalist)


We are as liable to be corrupted by books, as by companions.

Henry Fielding (1707-1754, British Novelist, Dramatist)


There is a set of religious, or rather moral, writings which teach that virtue is the certain road to happiness, and vice to misery in this world. A very wholesome and comfortable doctrine, and to which we have but one objection, namely, that it is not true.

Henry Fielding (1707-1754, British Novelist, Dramatist)


The only obligation to which in advance we may hold a novel, without incurring the accusation of being arbitrary, is that it be interesting.

Henry James (1843-1916, American Author)


All my good reading, you might say, was done in the toilet. There are passages in Ulysses which can be read only in the toilet — if one wants to extract the full flavor of their content.

Henry Miller (1891-1980, American Author)


Until it is kindled by a spirit as flamingly alive as the one which gave it birth a book is dead to us. Words divested of their magic are but dead hieroglyphs. 

Henry Miller (1891-1980, American Author)


This is not a book. This is libel, slander, defamation of character. This is not a book, in the ordinary sense of the word. No, this is a prolonged insult, a gob of spit in the face of Art, a kick in the pants to God, Man, Destiny, Time, Love, Beauty… what you will. I am going to sing for you, a little off key perhaps, but I will sing.

Henry Miller (1891-1980, American Author)


A book is a part of life, a manifestation of life, just as much as a tree or a horse or a star. It obeys its own rhythms, its own laws, whether it be a novel, a play, or a diary. The deep, hidden rhythm of life is always there — that of the pulse, the heart beat.

Henry Miller (1891-1980, American Author)


Many readers judge of the power of a book by the shock it gives their feelings —

as some savage tribes determine the power of muskets by their recoil; that being considered best which fairly prostrates the purchaser.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1819-1892, American Poet)


I feel a kind of reverence for the first books of young authors. There is so much aspiration in them, so much audacious hope and trembling fear, so much of the heart’s history, that all errors and shortcomings are for a while lost sight of in the amiable self assertion of youth.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1819-1892, American Poet)


Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?

Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887, American Preacher, Orator, Writer)


A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a party, a company by the way, a counselor, a multitude of counselors.

Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887, American Preacher, Orator, Writer)


Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house.

Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887, American Preacher, Orator, Writer)


A library is thought in cold storage.

Herbert Samuel (1870-1963, British Liberal Statesman , Philosophical Writer)


One half who graduate from college never read another book.

Herbert True


When I am dead, I hope it may be said: “His sins were scarlet, but his books were read.”

Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953, British Author)


Read as you taste fruit or savor wine, or enjoy friendship, love or life.

Holbrook Jackson


A house without books is like a room without windows. No man has a right to bring up his children without surrounding them with books, if he has the means to buy them. It is a wrong to his family. Children learn to read by being in the presence of books. The love of knowledge comes with reading and grows upon it. And the love of knowledge, in a young mind, is almost always a warrant against the inferior excitement of passions and vices.

Horace Mann (1796-1859, American Educator)


A novel must be exceptionally good to live as long as the average cat.

Hugh Maclennan (1907-1990, Canadian Novelist, Essayist)


I am not a speed reader. I am a speed understander.

Isaac Asimov (1920-1992, Russian-born American Author)


There is an art of reading, as well as an art of thinking, and an art of writing.

Isaac Disraeli


There is no robber worse than a bad book.

Italian Proverb


Most books, like their authors, are born to die; of only a few books can it be said that death has no dominion over them; they live, and their influence lives forever.



Never judge a book by its movie.

W. Eagan


Learning to read has been reduced to a process of mastering a series of narrow, specific, 

hierarchical skills. Where armed-forces recruits learn the components of a rifle or the intricacies of close order drill “by the numbers,” recruits to reading learn its mechanics sound by sound and word by word.

Jacquelyn Gross


When the book comes out it may hurt you — but in order for me to do it, it had to hurt me first. I can only tell you about yourself as much as I can face about myself.

James Baldwin (1924-1987, American Author)


What a sense of security in an old book which time has criticized for us.

James Russell Lowell (1819-1891, American Poet, Critic, Editor)


Books are the bees which carry the quickening pollen from one to another mind.

James Russell Lowell (1819-1891, American Poet, Critic, Editor)


What is important is not to be able to read rapidly, but to be able to decide what not to read.

James T. Mccay


I always begin at the left with the opening word of the sentence and read toward the right and I recommend this method.

James Thurber (1894-1961, American Humorist, Illustrator)


When a book raises your spirit, and inspires you with noble and manly thoughts, seek for no other test of its excellence. It is good, and made by a good workman. 

Jean De La Bruyere (1645-1696, French Writer)


She could give herself up to the written word as naturally as a good dancer to music or a fine swimmer to water. The only difficulty was that after finishing the last sentence she was left with a feeling at once hollow and uncomfortably full. Exactly like indigestion.

Jean Rhys (1894-1979, British Author)


The books one has written in the past have two surprises in store: one couldn’t write them again, and wouldn’t want to.

Jean Rostand (1894-1977, French Biologist, Writer)


Prerequisite for rereadability in books: that they be forgettable.

Jean Rostand (1894-1977, French Biologist, Writer)


Books are but waste paper unless we spend in action the wisdom we get from thought — asleep. When we are weary of the living, we may repair to the dead, who have nothing of peevishness, pride, or design in their conversation.

Jeremy Collier (1650-1726, British Clergyman, Conjuror)


Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures.

Jessamyn West (1903-1984, American Author)


You are wise, witty and wonderful, but you spend too much time reading this sort of stuff.

Jim Critchfield


Everything you need for better future and success has already been written. And guess what? All you have to do is go to the library.

Jim Rohn (American Businessman, Author, Speaker, Philosopher)


Miss a meal if you have to, but don’t miss a book.

Jim Rohn (American Businessman, Author, Speaker, Philosopher)


The book you don’t read won’t help.

Jim Rohn (American Businessman, Author, Speaker, Philosopher)


Don’t just read the easy stuff. You may be entertained by it, but you will never grow from it.

Jim Rohn (American Businessman, Author, Speaker, Philosopher)


Surviving and thriving as a professional today demands two new approaches to the written word. First, it requires a new approach to orchestrating information, by skillfully choosing what to read and what to ignore. Second, it requires a new approach to integrating information, by reading faster and with greater comprehension.

Jimmy Calano


He had read much, if one considers his long life; but his contemplation was much more than his reading. He was wont to say that if he had read as much as other men he should have known no more than other men.

John Aubrey (1626-1697, British Antiquarian, Writer)


When we read a story, we inhabit it. The covers of the book are like a roof and four walls. What is to happen next will take place within the four walls of the story. And this is possible because the story’s voice makes everything its own. 

John Berger (1926-, British Actor, Critic)


I heard his library burned down and both books were destroyed — and one of them hadn’t even been colored in yet.

John Dawkins


Books give not wisdom where none was before. But where some is, there reading makes it more.

John Harington


I am a part of everything that I have read.

John Kieran


Reading furnishes the mind only with material for knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.

John Locke (1632-1704, British Philosopher)


Deep versed in books and shallow in himself.

John Milton (1608-1674, British Poet)


For books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency of life in them to be as active as that soul was whose progeny they are; nay, they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them. I know they are as lively, and as vigorously productive, as those fabulous dragon’s teeth; and being sown up and down, may chance to spring up armed men.

John Milton (1608-1674, British Poet)


A good book is the precious life-blood of the master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose for a life beyond.

John Milton (1608-1674, British Poet)


Who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God’s image, but thee who destroys a good book, kills reason itself.

John Milton (1608-1674, British Poet)


Books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a certain potency of life in them, to be as active as the soul whose progeny they are; they preserve, as in a vial, the purest efficacy and extraction of the living intellect that bred them. 

John Milton (1608-1674, British Poet)


You will find most books worth reading are worth reading twice.

John Morely


Some of the most famous books are the least worth reading. Their fame was due to their having done something that needed to be doing in their day. The work is done and the virtue of the book has expired.

John Morely


To use books rightly, is to go to them for help; to appeal to them when our own knowledge and power fail; to be led by them into wider sight and purer conception than our own, and to receive from them the united sentence of the judges and councils of all time, against our solitary and unstable opinions.

John Ruskin (1819-1900, British Critic, Social Theorist)


How long most people would look at the best book before they would give the price of a large turbot for it?

John Ruskin (1819-1900, British Critic, Social Theorist)


You should read books like you take medicine, by advice, and not by advertisement.

John Ruskin (1819-1900, British Critic, Social Theorist)


A book worth reading is worth buying.

John Ruskin (1819-1900, British Critic, Social Theorist)


Books are divided into two classes, the books of the hour and the books of all time.

John Ruskin (1819-1900, British Critic, Social Theorist)


Be sure that you go to the author to get at his meaning, not to find yours.

John Ruskin (1819-1900, British Critic, Social Theorist)


A book is like a man — clever and dull, brave and cowardly, beautiful and ugly. For every flowering thought there will be a page like a wet and mangy mongrel, and for every looping flight a tap on the wing and a reminder that wax cannot hold the feathers firm too near the sun.

John Steinbeck (1902-1968, American Author)


Beware you be not swallowed up in books! An ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge.

John Wesley (1703-1791, British Preacher, Founder of Methodism)


Tradition is but a meteor, which, if it once falls, cannot be rekindled. Memory, once interrupted, is not to be recalled. But written learning is a fixed luminary, which, after the cloud that had hidden it has passed away, is again bright in its proper station. So books are faithful repositories, which may be awhile neglected or forgotten, but when opened again, will again impart instruction.



Books to judicious compilers, are useful; to particular arts and professions, they are absolutely necessary; to men of real science, they are tools: but more are tools to them.



Books like friends, should be few and well-chosen.



Books are the legacies that a great genius leaves to mankind, which are delivered down from generation to generation as presents to the posterity of those who are yet unborn.

Joseph Addison (1672-1719, British Essayist, Poet, Statesman)


Of all the diversions of life, there is none so proper to fill up its empty spaces as the reading of useful and entertaining authors.

Joseph Addison (1672-1719, British Essayist, Poet, Statesman)


There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.

Joseph Brodsky (1940-, Russian-born American Poet, Critic)


The worst thing about new books is that they keep us from reading the old ones.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824, French Moralist)


There was a time when the world acted on books; now books act on the world.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824, French Moralist)


A novel points out that the world consists entirely of exceptions.

Joyce Carey


The pleasure of reading is doubled when one lives with another who shares the same books.

Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923, New Zealand-born British Author)


No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor is any pleasure so lasting.

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762, British Society Figure, Letter Writer)


Digressions, incontestably, are the sunshine; they are the life, the soul of reading! Take them out of this book, for instance, –you might as well take the book along with them; –one cold external winter would reign in every page of it; restore them to the writer; –he steps forth like a bridegroom, – -bids All-hail; brings in variety, and forbids the appetite to fail.

Laurence Sterne (1713-1768, British Author)


One may as well be asleep as to read for anything but to improve his mind and morals, and regulate his conduct.

Laurence Sterne (1713-1768, British Author)


It is books that teach us to refine our pleasures when young, and to recall them with satisfaction when we are old.

Leigh Hunt (1784-1859, British Poet, Essayist)


In the dark colony of night, when I consider man’s magnificent capacity for malice, madness, folly, envy, rage, and destructiveness, and I wonder whether we shall not end up as breakfast for newts and polyps, I seem to hear the muffled cries of all the words in all the books with covers closed.

Leo Rosten (1908-1997, Polish Born American Political Scientist)


Begin to read a book that will help you move toward your dream.

Les Brown (1945-, American Speaker, Author, Trainer, Motivator Lecturer)


Then I though of reading — the nice and subtle happiness of reading … this joy not dulled by age, this polite and unpunishable vice, this selfish, serene, lifelong intoxication.

Logan Pearsall Smith (1865-1946, Anglo-American Essayist, Aphorist)


People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.

Logan Pearsall Smith (1865-1946, Anglo-American Essayist, Aphorist)


Books in a large university library system: 2, 000,000. Books in an average large city library: 1 0,000. Average number of books in a chain bookstore: 30, 000. Books in an average neighborhood branch library: 20, 000.

Lois Horowitz (American Librarian)


‘Tis pleasant, sure, to see one’s name in print; A book’s a book, although there’s nothing in it.

Lord Byron (1788-1824, British Poet)


The reading or non-reading a book will never keep down a single petticoat.

Lord Byron (1788-1824, British Poet)


Let blockheads read what blockheads wrote.

Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773, British Statesman, Author)


Buy good books, and read them; the best books are the commonest, and the last editions are always the best, if the editors are not blockheads.

Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773, British Statesman, Author)


In science, read by preference the newest works. In literature, read the oldest. The classics are always modern.

Lord Edward Lytton (1803-1873, British Writer, Statesman)


It is well to read everything of something, and something of everything.

Lord Henry P. Brougham (1778-1868, Scottish Whig Politician)


The novel can’t compete with cars, the movies, television, and liquor. A guy who’s had a good feed and tanked up on good wine gives his old lady a kiss after supper and his day is over. Finished.

Louis-Ferdinand Celine (1894-1961, French Author)


A conventional good read is usually a bad read, a relaxing bath in what we know already. A true good read is surely an act of innovative creation in which we, the readers, become conspirators.

Malcolm Bradbury (1932-, British Author)


To read too many books is harmful.

Mao Zedong (1893-1976, Founder of Chinese Communist State)


A room without books is like a body without a soul.

Marcus T. Cicero (106-43 BC, Great Roman Orator, Politician)


It does not follow because many books are written by persons born in America

that there exists an American literature. Books which imitate or represent the thoughts and life of Europe do not constitute an American literature. Before such can exist, an original idea must animate this nation and fresh currents of life must call into life fresh thoughts along the shore.

Margaret Fuller (1810-1850, American Writer, Lecturer)


A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.

Margaret Fuller (1810-1850, American Writer, Lecturer)


There are books so alive that you’re always afraid that while you weren’t reading, the book has gone and changed, has shifted like a river; while you went on living, it went on living too, and like a river moved on and moved away. No one has stepped twice into the same river. But did anyone ever step twice into the same book?

Marina Tsvetaeva (1892-1941, Russian Poet)



The man who does not read books has no advantage over the man that can not read them.

Mark Twain (1835-1910, American Humorist, Writer)


My books are water; those of the great geniuses are wine — everybody drinks water.

Mark Twain (1835-1910, American Humorist, Writer)


A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.

Mark Twain (1835-1910, American Humorist, Writer)


A big leather-bound volume makes an ideal razor strap. A thin book is useful to stick under a table with a broken caster to steady it. A large, flat atlas can be used to cover a window with a broken pane. And a thick, old-fashioned heavy book with a clasp is the finest thing in the world to throw at a noisy cat.

Mark Twain (1835-1910, American Humorist, Writer)


People are much more willing to lend you books than bookcases.

Mark Twain (1835-1910, American Humorist, Writer)


A successful book cannot afford to be more than ten percent new.

Marshall Mcluhan (1911-1980, Canadian Communications Theorist)


The multitude of books is a great evil. There is no limit to this fever for writing.

Martin Luther (1483-1546, German Leader of the Protestant Reformation)


A good book is the best of friends, the same today and for ever.

Martin Tupper (1810-1889, British Author, Poet, Inventor)


The book to read is not the one which thinks for you, but the one which makes you think. No book in the world equals the Bible for that.



Every abridgement of a good book is a fool abridged.

Michel Eyquem De Montaigne (1533-1592, French Philosopher, Essayist)


Books and marriage go ill together.

MoliFre (1622-1673, French Playwright)


In the case of good books, the point is not how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.

Mortimer J. Adler (1902-, American Educator, Philosopher)


Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.

Mortimer J. Adler (1902-, American Educator, Philosopher)


Thank you for sending me a copy of your book — I’ll waste no time reading it.

Moses Hadas (1900-1966, American Classicist and Translator)


I have read your book and much like it.

Moses Hadas (1900-1966, American Classicist and Translator)


Footnotes are the finer-suckered surfaces that allow testicular paragraphs to hold fast to the wider reality of the library.

Nicholson Baker (1957-, American Author)


No one can read with profit that which he cannot learn to read with pleasure.

Noah Porter


As writers become more numerous, it is natural for readers to become more indolent; whence must necessarily arise a desire of attaining knowledge with the greatest possible ease.

Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774, Anglo-Irish Author, Poet, Playwright)


The best of a book is not the thought which it contains, but the thought which it suggests; just as the charm of music dwells not in the tones but in the echoes of our hearts.

Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894, American Author, Wit, Poet)


The most foolish kind of a book is a kind of leaky boat on the sea of wisdom; some of the wisdom will get in anyhow.

Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894, American Author, Wit, Poet)


Old books, you know well, are books of the world’s youth, and new books are the fruits of its age.

Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894, American Author, Wit, Poet)


The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame.

Oscar Wilde (1856-1900, British Author, Wit)


There is no such thing as a moral book or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. That is all.

Oscar Wilde (1856-1900, British Author, Wit)


Books are standing counselors and preachers, always at hand, and always disinterested; having this advantage over oral instructors, that they are ready to repeat their lesson as often as we please.

Oswald Chambers (1874-1917 Scottish Preacher, Author)


A good book, in the language of the book-sellers, is a salable one; in that of the curious, a scarce one; in that of men of sense, a useful and instructive one.

Oswald Chambers (1874-1917 Scottish Preacher, Author)


A bibliophile of little means is likely to suffer often. Books don’t slip from his hands but fly past him through the air, high as birds, high as prices.

Pablo Neruda (1904-1973, Chilean Poet)


Next, in importance to books are their titles.

Paul Davies (1946-, British Physicist, Popularizer of Science)


The books we read should be chosen with great care, that they may be, as an Egyptian king wrote over his library, “The medicines of the soul.”

Paxton Hood


Be as careful of the books you read, as of the company you keep; for your habits and character will be as much influenced by the former as by the latter.

Paxton Hood


Read good, big important things.

Peggy Noonan (1950-, American Author, Presidential Speechwriter)


You can either read something many times in order to be assured that you got it all, or else you can define your purpose and use techniques which will assure that you have met it and gotten what you need.

Peter Kump


Read nothing that you do not care to remember, and remember nothing you do not mean to use.

Professor Blackie


A wicked book cannot repent.



Some books leave us free and some books make us free.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American Poet, Essayist)


Our high respect for a well read person is praise enough for literature.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American Poet, Essayist)


Never read any book that is not a year old.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American Poet, Essayist)


If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American Poet, Essayist)


There is creative reading as well as creative writing.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American Poet, Essayist)


We are too civil to books. For a few golden sentences we will turn over and actually read a volume of four or five hundred pages.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American Poet, Essayist)


‘Tis the good reader that makes the good book; in every book he finds passages which seem to be confidences or sides hidden from all else and unmistakably meant for his ear; the profit of books is according to the sensibility of the reader; the profound thought or passion sleeps as in a mine, until it is discovered by an equal mind and heart.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American Poet, Essayist)


Books are the best of things if well used; if abused, among the worst. They are good for nothing but to inspire. I had better never see a book than be warped by its attraction clean out of my own orbit, and made a satellite instead of a system.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American Poet, Essayist)


Ideally a book would have no order to it, and the reader would have to discover his own.

Raoul Vaneigem (1934-, Belgian Situationist Philosopher)


You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.

Ray Bradbury (1920-, American Science Fiction Writer)



At least half the mystery novels published violate the law that the solution, once revealed, must seem to be inevitable.

Raymond Chandler (1888-1959, American Author)


A good title is the title of a successful book.

Raymond Chandler (1888-1959, American Author)


The reading of all good books is like a conversation with all the finest men of past centuries.

Rene Descartes (1596-1650, French Philosopher, Scientist)


Everything in this book may be wrong. [The Savior’s Manual]

Richard Bach (1936-, American Author)


Here, my dear Lucy, hide these books. Quick, quick! Fling “Peregrine Pickle” under the toilette –throw “Roderick Random” into the closet –put “The Innocent Adultery” into “The Whole Duty of Man”; thrust “Lord Aimworth” under the sofa! cram “Ovid” behind the bolster; there –put “The Man of Feeling” into your pocket. Now for them.

Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816, Anglo-Irish Dramatist)


Books are masters who instruct us without rods or ferules, without words or anger, without bread or money. If you approach them, they are not asleep; if you seek them, they do not hide; if you blunder, they do not scold; if you are ignorant, they do not laugh at you.

Richard De Bury (1287-1345, British Chancellor)


Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.

Richard McKenna


Books are the blessed chloroform of the mind.

Robert Chambers (1802-1871, Scottish Publisher, Writer)


No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.

Robert Frost (1875-1963, American Poet)


Books are good enough in their own way, but they are a mighty bloodless substitute for life.

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1895, Scottish Essayist, Poet, Novelist)


If I had my way books would not be written in English, but in an exceedingly difficult secret language that only skilled professional readers and story-tellers could interpret. Then people like you would have to go to public halls and pay good prices to hear the professionals decode and read the books aloud for you.

This plan would have the advantage of scaring off all amateur authors, retired politicians, country doctors and I-Married-a-Midget writers who would not have the patience to learn the secret language.

Robertson Davies (1913-, Canadian Novelist, Journalist)


A book is the only immortality.

Rufus Choate (1799-1859, American Lawyer, Statesman)


Happy is he who has laid up in his youth, and held fast in all fortune, a genuine and passionate love for reading.

Rufus Choate (1799-1859, American Lawyer, Statesman)


A book may be compared to your neighbor: if it be good, it cannot last too long; if bad, you cannot get rid of it too early.

Rupert Brooke (1887-1915, British Poet)


In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish.

I. Hayakawa (1902-1992, Canadian Born American Senator, Educator)


The real risks for any artist are taken in pushing the work to the limits of what is possible, in the attempt to increase the sum of what it is possible to think. Books become good when they go to this edge and risk falling over it –when they endanger the artist by reason of what he has, or has not, artistically dared. 

Salman Rushdie (1948-, Indian-born British Author)


A book is a version of the world. If you do not like it, ignore it; or offer your own version in return.

Salman Rushdie (1948-, Indian-born British Author)


The oldest books are still only just out to those who have not read them.

Samuel Butler (1612-1680, British Poet, Satirist)


I read part of it all the way through.

Samuel Goldwyn (1882-1974, American Film Producer, Founder, MGM)


A man ought to read just as his inclination leads him; for what he reads as a task will do him little good.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British Author)


What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British Author)


Books that you carry to the fire, and hold readily in your hand, are most useful after all.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British Author)


Most books today seemed to have been written overnight from books read the day before.

Sebastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort (1741-1794, French Writer, Journalist, Playwright)

You will, I am sure, agree with me that… if page 534 only finds us in the second chapter, the length of the first one must have been really intolerable.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930, British Author, “Sherlock Holmes”)


The Bible remained for me a book of books, still divine — but divine in the sense that all great books are divine which teach men how to live righteously.

Sir Arthur Keith


Choose an author as you choose a friend.

Sir Christopher Wren


The first time I read an excellent work, it is to me just as if I gained a new friend; and when I read over a book I have perused before, it resembles the meeting of an old one.

Sir James Goldsmith


The printing press is either the greatest blessing or the greatest curse of modern times, sometimes one forgets which it is.

Sir James M. Barrie (1860-1937, British Playwright)


Books should to one of these fours ends conduce, for wisdom, piety, delight, or use.

Sir John Denham (1615-1668, British Poet, Dramatist)


Old books that have ceased to be of service should no more be abandoned than should old friends who have ceased to give pleasure.

Sir Peregrine Worsthorne (1923-, British Journalist)


Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. It is wholesome and bracing for the mind to have its faculties kept on the stretch.

Sir Richard Steele (1672-1729, British Dramatist, Essayist, Editor)


Who ever converses among old books will be hard to please among the new.

Sir William Temple (1628-1699, British Diplomat, Essayist)


Books, like proverbs, receive their chief value from the stamp and esteem of the ages through which they have passed

Sir William Temple (1628-1699, British Diplomat, Essayist)


A multitude of books distracts the mind.

Socrates (469-399 BC, Greek Philosopher of Athens)


You’ve really got to start hitting the books because it’s no joke out here.

Spike Lee (1956-, American Film director)


Beware of the person of one book.

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274, Italian Scholastic Philosopher and Theologian)


The world may be full of fourth-rate writers but it’s also full of fourth-rate readers.

Stan Barstow (1928-, British Novelist, Playwright)


Everything in the world exists to end up in a book.

Stephane Mallarme (1842-1898, French Symbolist Poet)


The classics are only primitive literature. They belong to the same class as primitive machinery and primitive music and primitive medicine.

Stephen B. Leacock (1869-1944, Canadian Humorist, Economist)


Books are not men and yet they stay alive.

Stephen Vincent Benet (1989-1943, American Novelist, Poet)


Only a generation of readers will span a generation of writers.

Steven Spielberg (1947-, American Director, Screenwriter)


Live always in the best company when you read.

Sydney Smith (1771-1845, British Writer, Clergyman)


No furniture is so charming as books.

Sydney Smith (1771-1845, British Writer, Clergyman)


Readers are less and less seen as mere non-writers, the subhuman “other” or flawed derivative of the author; the lack of a pen is no longer a shameful mark of secondary status but a positively enabling space, just as within every writer can be seen to lurk, as a repressed but contaminating antithesis, a reader.

Terry Eagleton (1943-, British Critic)


A good book is the very essence of a good man. His virtues survive in it, while the foibles and faults of his actual life are forgotten. All the goodly company of the excellent and great sit around my table, or look down on me from yonder shelves, waiting patiently to answer my questions and enrich me with their wisdom. A precious book is a foretaste of immortality.

Theodore L. Cuyler (1822-1909, American Pastor, Author)


The books that help you most are those which make you think that most. The hardest way of learning is that of easy reading; but a great book that comes from a great thinker is a ship of thought, deep freighted with truth and beauty. 

Theodore Parker (1810-1860, American Minister)


The best effect of any book, is that it excites the reader to self-activity.

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish Philosopher, Author)


If a book comes from the heart it will contrive to reach other hearts. All art and author craft are of small account to that.

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish Philosopher, Author)


After all manner of professors have done their best for us, the place we are to get knowledge is in books. The true university of these days is a collection of books.

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish Philosopher, Author)


What we become depends on what we read after all the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is the collection of books.

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish Philosopher, Author)



A book that is shut is but a block.

Thomas Fuller (1608-1661, British Clergyman, Author)


Books are the money of Literature, but only the counters of Science.

Thomas H. Huxley (1825-1895, British Biologist, Educator)


My books kept me from the ring, the dog-pit, the tavern, and the saloon.

Thomas Hood (1799-1845, British Poet and Humorist)


Five daily newspapers arrive in my California driveway. The New York times and the Wall Street Journal are supplemented by three local papers. As for magazines, I read, or at least skim, Business Week, Forbes, The Economist, INC; Industry Week, Fortune. Other subscriptions include Sales and Marketing Management, Modern Health Care, Progressive Grocer, High Tech Business, and Slaon Management Review from MIT. I religiously read Business Tokyo, Asia Week, and Far Eastern Economic Review. I glance at Newsweek and Time … but I devour the New Republic, Policy Review, Foreign Affairs, The Washington Monthly, and Public Interest. How about books? A dozen or more each month.

Thomas J. Peters (1942-, American Management Consultant, Author, Trainer)


Books constitute capital. A library book lasts as long as a house, for hundreds of

years. It is not, then, an article of mere consumption but fairly of capital, and often in the case of professional men, setting out in life, it is their only capital. 

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826, Third President of the USA)


I cannot live without books.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826, Third President of the USA)


Everywhere I have sought rest and not found it, except sitting in a corner by myself with a little book.

Thomas p Kempis (1379-1471, German Monk, Mystic, Religious Writer)


An empty book is like an infant’s soul, in which anything may be written. It is capable of all things, but containeth nothing. I have a mind to fill this with profitable wonders.

Thomas Traherne (1636-1674, British Clergyman, Poet, Mystic)


The reason a writer writes a book is to forget a book and the reason a reader reads one is to remember it.

Thomas Wolfe (1931-, American Author, Journalist)


We should be as careful of the books we read, as of the company we keep. The dead very often have more power than the living.

Tryon Edwards (1809-1894, American Theologian)


The good of a book lies in its being read. A book is made up of signs that speak of other signs, which in their turn speak of things. Without an eye to read them, a book contains signs that produce no concepts; therefore it is dumb.

Umberto Eco (1929-, Italian Novelist and critic)


The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story.

Ursula K. Le Guin (1929-, American Author)


To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.

Victor Hugo (1802-1885, French Poet, Dramatist, Novelist)


It is from books that wise people derive consolation in the troubles of life.

Victor Hugo (1802-1885, French Poet, Dramatist, Novelist)


Somewhere, everywhere, now hidden, now apparent in what ever is written down, is the form of a human being. If we seek to know him, are we idly occupied?

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941, British Novelist, Essayist)


All the known world, excepting only savage nations, is governed by books.

Voltaire (1694-1778, French Historian, Writer)


It is far better to be silent than merely to increase the quantity of bad books.

Voltaire (1694-1778, French Historian, Writer)


Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.



Some books are undeservedly forgotten; none are undeservedly remembered.

H. Auden (1907-1973, Anglo-American Poet)


A real book is not one that we read, but one that reads us.

H. Auden (1907-1973, Anglo-American Poet)


I would sooner read a timetable or a catalog than nothing at all.

Somerset Maugham (1874-1965, British Novelist, Playwright)


The successful Accelerated Reader is able to read larger than normal “blocks” or “bites” of the printed page with each eye stop. He has accepted, without reservation, the philosophy that the most important benefit of reading is the gaining of information, ideas, mental “picture” and entertainment- not the fretting over words. He has come to the realization that words in and of themselves are for the most part insignificant.

Wade E. Cutler


There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates loot on Treasure Island and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life.

Walt Disney (1901-1966, American Artist, Film Producer)


I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.

Walt Disney (1901-1966, American Artist, Film Producer)


Camerado! This is no book; who touches this touches a man.

Walt Whitman (1819-1892, American Poet)


The words of my book nothing, the drift of it everything.

Walt Whitman (1819-1892, American Poet)


The power of a text is different when it is read from when it is copied out. Only the copied text thus commands the soul of him who is occupied with it, whereas the mere reader never discovers the new aspects of his inner self that are opened by the text, that road cut through the interior jungle forever closing behind it: because the reader follows the movement of his mind in the free flight of day- dreaming, whereas the copier submits it to command.

Walter Benjamin (1982-1940, German Critic, Philosopher)


Of all the ways of acquiring books, writing them oneself is regarded as the most praiseworthy method. Writers are really people who write books not because they are poor, but because they are dissatisfied with the books which they could buy but do not like.

Walter Benjamin (1982-1940, German Critic, Philosopher)


What is reading, but silent conversation.

Walter Savage Landor (1775-1864, British Poet, Essayist)


The flood of print has turned reading into a process of gulping rather than savoring

Warren Chappell



What gunpowder did for war the printing press has done for the mind.

Wendell Phillips (1811-1884, American Reformer, Orator)


Perhaps there are none more lazy, or more truly ignorant, than your everlasting readers.

William Cobbett (1762-1835, British Journalist, Reformer)


The mortality of all inanimate things is terrible to me, but that of books most of all.

William Dean Howells (1837-1920, American Novelist, Critic)


It is chiefly through books that we enjoy intercourse with superior minds, and

these invaluable means of communication are in the reach of all. In the best books, great men talk to us, give us their most precious thoughts, and pour their souls into ours.

William Ellery Channing (1780-1842, American Unitarian Minister, Author)


Every man is a volume if you know how to read him.

William Ellery Channing (1780-1842, American Unitarian Minister, Author)


God be thanked for books; they are the voices of the distant and the dead, and make us heirs of the spiritual life of past ages.

William Ellery Channing (1780-1842, American Unitarian Minister, Author)


The tools I need for my work are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whiskey.

William Faulkner (1897-1962, American Novelist)


Read, read, read. Read everything– trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out the window.

William Faulkner (1897-1962, American Novelist)


If I have not read a book before, it is, for all intents and purposes, new to me whether it was printed yesterday or three hundred years ago.

William Hazlitt (1778-1830, British Essayist)


I divide all readers into two classes: those who read to remember and those who read to forget.

William Lyon Phelps


If a secret history of books could be written, and the author’s private thoughts and meanings noted down alongside of his story, how many insipid volumes would become interesting, and dull tales excite the reader!

William M. Thackeray (1811-1863, Indian-born British Novelist)


A dose of poison can do its work but once. A bad book can go on poisoning minds for generations.

William Murray (1705-1793, American Judge)


Much reading is an oppression of the mind, and extinguishes the natural candle, which is the reason of so many senseless scholars in the world.

William Penn (1644-1718, British Religious Leader, Founder of Pennsylvania)


O, let my books be then the eloquence and dumb presages of my speaking breast.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616, British Poet, Playwright, Actor)


A great book should leave you with many experiences and slightly exhausted at the end. You should live several lives while reading it.

William Styron (1925-, American Novelist)


Thy books should, like thy friends, not many be, yet such wherein men may thy judgment see.

William Wycherley (1640-1716, British Dramatist)


Man ceased to be an ape, vanquished the ape, on the day the first book was written.

Yevgeny Zamyatin (1884-1937, Russian Writer)


To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations — such is pleasure beyond compare.

Yoshida Kenko

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