Quotes about books and reading


No Booking Through Thursday for me this week: the question was about graphic novels, about which I know next to nothing. But as I am used to doing a bookish post on Thursdays, I decided to share several quotes I’ve collected over the last few years about books and reading.

“And indeed, what is better than to sit by one’s fireside in the evening with a book, while the wind beats against the window and the lamp is burning?”
~ Gustave Flaubert

“Books are chocolate for the soul. They don’t make one fat. One need not brush one’s teeth after reading. They are quiet. One can bring them anywhere–no passport required. Books have only one downfall: even the fattest book has a last page, and then one needs a new one again.”
~Antonie Schneider

“Consider what you have in the smallest chosen library. A company of the wisest and wittiest men that could be picked out of all civil countries, in a 1000 years, have set in best order the results of their learning and wisdom. The men themselves were hid and inaccessible, solitary, impatient of interruption, fenced by etiquette; but the thought which they did not uncover to their bosom friend is here written out in transparent words to us, the strangers of another age.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We read literature for a lot of reasons, but two of the most compelling ones are to get out of ourselves and our own life stories and–equally important–to find ourselves by understanding our own life stories more clearly in the context of others’.”
~ From Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading: Finding and Losing Myself in Books by Maureen Corrigan, page 34 (I haven’t read the book and I know nothing of the author, but I saw this quote somewhere and liked it.)

“…and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading.”
~Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

“In reading, a lonely quiet concert is given to our minds; all our mental faculties will be present in this symphonic exaltation.”
~Stéphane Mallarmé

“These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves. From each of them goes out its own voice… and just as the touch of a button on our set will fill the room with music, so by taking down one of these volumes and opening it, one can call into range the voice of a man far distant in time and space, and hear him speaking to us, mind to mind, heart to heart.”
~Gilbert Highet

“Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.”
~Francis Bacon

“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

“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

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”
~ Charles W. Eliot

“Books let us into their souls and lay open to us the secrets of our own.”
~William Hazlitt

“A little before you go to sleep read something that is exquisite and worth remembering; and contemplate upon it till you fall asleep.”

“A good book has no ending. ”
~R.D. Cumming

Where My Books Go

All the words that I utter,
And all the words that I write,
Must spread out their wings untiring,
And never rest in their flight,
Till they come where your sad, sad heart is,
And sing to you in the night,
Beyond where the waters are moving,
Storm-darken’d, or starry bright.

~ William Butler Yeats

Do you have any good quotes about books or reading?

I am connecting this to today’s Thursday Thirteen.

5 thoughts on “Quotes about books and reading

  1. How very true, Barbara: “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

I love hearing from you. I've had to turn on comment moderation. Comments will appear here after I see and approve them.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.