Selected Quotes about Books

Learn as much by writing as by reading. -- Lord Acton

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

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 Adler

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

She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain. -- Louisa May Alcott

Some books are undeservedly forgotten; none are undeservedly remembered. -- W. H. Auden

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed on and digested. -- Francis Bacon

Read not to contradict and confute, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider. -- Sir Francis Bacon

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention. -- Sir Francis Bacon

Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore? -- Henry Ward Beecher

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

Child! Do not throw this book about; Refrain from the unholy pleasure Of cutting all the pictures out! Preserve it as your chiefest treasure. -- Hilaire Belloc

The naturalistic literature of this country has reached such a state that no family of characters is considered true to life which does not include at least two hypochondriacs, one sadist, and one old man who spills food down the front of his vest. -- Robert Benchley

The book borrower...proves himself to be an inveterate collector of books not so much by the fervor with which he guards his borrowed treasures...as by his failure to read these books. -- Walter Benjamin

The covers of this book are too far apart. -- Ambrose Bierce

Reading well is one of the great pleasures that solitude can afford you. -- Harold Bloom

A wonderful thing about a book, in contrast to a computer screen, is that you can take it to bed with you. -- Daniel J. Boorstein

No one is fit to judge a book until he has rounded Cape Horn in a sailing vessel, until he has bumped into two or three icebergs, until he has been lost in the sands of the desert, until he has spent a few years in the House of the Dead. -- Van Wyck Brooks

It is chiefly through books that we enjoy the intercourse with superior minds... In the best books, great men talk to us, give us their most previous thought, and pour their souls into ours. God be thanked for books. -- William Ellery Channing

A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author. -- G. K. Chesterton

There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and the tired man who wants a book to read. -- G. K. Chesterton

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

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

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. -- Charles Caleb Colton

A library, to modify the famous metaphor of Socrates, should be the delivery room for the birth of ideasa place where history comes to life. -- Norman Cousins

A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity and once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen by morning light, at noon and by moonlight. -- Robertson Davies

To be a book-collector is to combine the worst characteristics of a dope fiend with those of a miser. -- Robertson Davies

There is no frigate like a book / To take us lands away. -- Emily Dickinson

The test of literature is, I suppose, whether we ourselves live more intensely for the reading of it. -- Elizabeth Drew

Never judge a book by its movie. -- J. W. Eagan

Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. -- Albert Einstein

Don't join the book burners. Don't think you're going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed. Don't be afraid to go in your library and read every book ... -- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers. -- Charles W. Eliot

In the highest civilization, the book is still the highest delight. He who has once known its satisfactions is provided with a resource against calamity. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Books are the best of things, well used; abused, the worst. What is the right use? What is the end which all means go to effect? They are 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 satelite instead of a system. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Some books leave us free and some books make us free. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

Most new books are forgotten within a year, especially by those who borrow them. -- Evan Esar

Other things being equal, the value of a book, and especially of an author's whole work, is proportional to its range, that is to the breadth and variety of the life and characters which it presents. -- Robert Huntington Fletcher

If I read a book that impresses me, I have to take myself firmly in hand before I mix with other people; otherwise they would think my mind rather queer. -- Anne Frank

A house is no home unless it contain food and fire for the mind as well as for the body. -- Margaret Fuller

I read part of it all the way through. -- Samuel Goldwyn

I have read your book and much like it. -- Moses Hadas

Thank you for sending me a copy of your book. I'll waste no time reading it. -- Moses Hadas

This book fills a much-needed gap. -- Moses Hadas

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

Reading is sometimes an ingenious device for avoiding thought. -- Sir Arthur Helps

Woe be to him that reads but one book. -- George Herbert

Do give books - religious or otherwise - for Christmas. They're never fattening, seldom sinful, and permanently personal. -- Lenore Hershey

This paperback is very interesting, but I find it will never replace a hardcover book - it makes a very poor doorstop. -- Alfred Hitchcock

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

Life-transforming ideas have always come to me through books. -- Bell Hooks

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

[A] lawyer without books would be like a workman without tools. -- Thomas Jefferson

You can cover a great deal of country in books. -- Andrew Lang

I don't think one can accurately measure the historical effectiveness of a poem; but one does know, of course, that books influence individuals; and individuals, although they are part of large economic and social processes, influence history. Every mass is after all made up of millions of individuals. -- Denise Levertov

Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become. -- C.S. Lewis

A book is a mirror; if an ass peers into it, you can not expect an apostle to peer out. -- G. C. (Georg Christoph) Lichtenberg

People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like. -- Abraham Lincoln

Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them! How I need them! I'll have a long beard by the time I read them. -- Arnold Lobel

The love of learning, the sequestered nooks, And all the sweet serenity of books. -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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

It was a book to kill time for those who like it better dead. -- Dame Rose Macaulay

Resolve to edge in a little reading every day, if it is but a single sentence. If you gain fifteen minutes a day, it will make itself felt at the end of the year. -- Horace Mann

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

Readers are plentiful, thinkers are rare. -- Harriet Martineau

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

I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. -- Groucho Marx

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. -- Groucho Marx

When I read a book I seem to read it with my eyes only, but now and then I come across a passage, perhaps only a phrase, which has a meaning for me, and it becomes part of me. -- W. Somerset Maugham

A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition. Like money, books must be kept in constant circulation. Lend and borrow to the maximum -- of both books and money! But especially books, for books represent infinitely more than money. A book is not only a friend, it makes friends for you. When you have possessed a book with mind and spirit, you are enriched. But when you pass it on you are enriched threefold. -- Henry Miller

No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. -- Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

When I am attacked by gloomy thoughts, nothing helps me so much as running to my books. They quickly absorb me and banish the clouds from my mind. -- Michel de Montaigne

There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it. It is like falling in love. -- Christopher Morley

I don't believe in children's books. I think after you've read Kidnapped, Treasure Island, and Huckleberry Finn, you're ready for anything. -- Sir John Mortimer

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

Just the knowledge that a good book is awaiting one at the end of a long day makes that day happier. -- Kathleen Norris

Just the knowledge that a good book is awaiting one at the end of a long day makes that day happier. -- Kathleen Norris

Reading this book is like waiting for the first shoe to drop. -- Ralph Novak

Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it. -- P. J. O'Rourke

This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force. -- Dorothy Parker

The books that help you most are those which make you think the 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

Wear the old coat and buy the new book. -- Austin Phelps

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

There's a certain kind of conversation you have from time to time at parties in New York about a new book. The word "banal" sometimes rears its by-now banal head; you say "underedited," I say "derivative." The conversation goes around and around various literary criticisms, and by the time it moves on one thing is clear: No one read the book; we just read the reviews. -- Anna Quindlen

I have a real soft spot in my heart for librarians and people who care about books. -- Ann Richards

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

There are two motives for reading a book: one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it. -- Bertrand Russell

Books tap the wisdom of our species -- the greatest minds, the best teachers -- from all over the world and from all our history. And they're patient. -- Carl Sagan

Books ... are like lobster shells, we surround ourselves with 'em, then we grow out of 'em and leave 'em behind, as evidence of our earlier stages of development. -- Dorothy L. Sayers

I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles De Secondat

When I step into this library, I cannot understand why I ever step out of it. -- Marie de Sevigne

Knowing I lov'd my books, he furnish'd me From mine own library with volumes that I prize above my dukedom. -- William Shakespeare

I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach. -- Upton Sinclair

My personal hobbies are reading, listening to music, and silence. -- Edith Sitwell

People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading. -- Logan Pearsall Smith

Live always in the best company when you read. -- Sydney Smith

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. -- Sir Richard Steele

I have every sympathy with the American who was so horrified by what he had read about the effects of smoking that he gave up reading. -- Henry G. Strauss

How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book. -- Henry David Thoreau

Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. -- Barbara Tuchman

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. -- Mark Twain

Just the omission of Jane Austen's books alone would make a fairly good library out of a library that hadn't a book in it. -- Mark Twain

The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them. -- Mark Twain

Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life. -- Mark Twain

There are some books that refuse to be written. They stand their ground year after year and will not be persuaded. It isn't because the book is not there and worth being written -- it is only because the right form of the story does not present itself. There is only one right form for a story and if you fail to find that form the story will not tell itself. -- Mark Twain

The multitude of books is making us ignorant. -- Voltaire

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

There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. -- Oscar Wilde

The difference between literature and journalism is that journalism is unreadable and literature is not read. -- Oscar Wilde

Oh for a book and a shady nook ... -- John Wilson

Never read a book through merely because you have begun it. -- John Witherspoon

I think it is good that books still exist, but they do make me sleepy. -- Frank Zappa

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