Quotations about Reading, Books and Authors


"As long as we have stories, we will never be alone."

Sheree Fitch


"To learn to read is to light a fire." - Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

"You can find magic wherever you look.  Sit back and relax.  All you need is a book! - Dr. Seuss

"The more that you read, the more things you will know.

The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." - Roald Dahl

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies...

the man who never reads lives only one. - anon

Thanks, Rita!


"There are three kinds of men:  The ones that learn by reading; the few who learn by observation; the rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves."' and

"A man only learns in two ways:  one by reading; and the other by association with smarter people."

Will Rogers


"....one of the most frequently mentioned enjoyable activities the world over is reading.  Reading is an activity because it requires the concentration of attention and has a goal, and to do it one must know the rules of written language. The skills involved in reading include not only literacy but also the ability to translate words into images, to emphathize with fictional characters, to recognize historical and cultural contexts, to anticipate turns of the plot, to criticize and evaluate the author's style, and so on.

from page 49-50 - Flow - the psychology of optimal experience - Chapter 3 / Enjoyment and the Quality of Life by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi


"In every bit of honest writing in the world ... there is a base theme.  Try to understand men. If you understand each other, you will be kind to each other.  Knowing a man well never leads to hate and nearly always leads to love.  There are shorter means.  Many of them.  There is writing promoting social change.  Writing punishing injustice.  Writing in celebration of heroism.  But always that base theme.  Try to understand each other."


"I guess there are never enough books."

John Steinbeck


" The best of a book is not the thought which is 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


"Men and books have been my real school.  Reading is the source of education and of style.  Read what you like, not what somebody else tells you that you ought to like.  That reading alone which becomes part of the reader's own mind and nature is valuable.  Read anything and read everything - just as a man with a sound digestion and a good appetite eats largely and indifferently of all that is set before him.  The process of selection and rejection - in other words, of taste - will come naturally to any man who has the right kind of brains in his head.  Some books he will throw away; others he will read over again. "

from "Read!" by Lord Beaverbrook


"Take one brisk walk to a library.  Take out any book by a tried and true writer.  Take a brisk walk home and read with all attention.  The exercise plus the tonic of the book will provide all physical and mental requirements for good health."

Helen Hayes


"When you read about the lives of other people, people of different circumstances or similar circumstances, you are part of their lives for that moment.  You inhabit their lives, and you feel what they're feeling, and that is compassion.  If we see that reading does allow us that, we see how absolutely essential reading is."

Amy Tan


"Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have laboured hard for."



"You have a unique gift to offer this world.  Be true to yourself, be kind to yourself, read and learn about everything that interests you and keep away from people who bring you down.  When you treat yourself kindly and respect the uniqueness of those around you, you will be giving this world an amazing gift....YOU!"

Steve Maraboli, Unqpologetically You


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

Thomas Carlyle


Whenever I see someone reading a book, especially if it is someone I don't expect, I feel civilisation has become a little safer.

Matt Haig - How to Stop Time - page 320


"Just because something is on Facebook doesn't necessarily mean it's true.

William Shakespeare


Reading while sunbathing makes you well, red.

A book hit my head and I've only my shelf to blame.

sorry about the groaners..........


"A book is like a friend to me." - one very wise 12 year old girl


"Let there be half an hour of STORYTIME at the end of school in primary schools all across the country.  Make this the half hour they all long for, that they don't want to be over.  Let the children go home dreaming of the story, reliving it, wondering. 

Michael Morpurgo


"Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life."

Fernando Pessoa


"It is a great thing to start life with a small number of really good books which are your very own."

Arthur Conon Doyle


"Over he course of my lifetime, books have helped me know that I'm not alone, even when I'm at my loneliest."

Oprah Winfrey


"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


"I was built in a library.  My parents didn't have much money when I was growing up so the weekly visit to the local library was a key part of my education, and my love of reading.  Libraries are one of the few resources where people can be sheltered, educated and entertained without having to pay, and it pains me that they are under such threat.  Without knowledge, people have fewer opportunities to move upward."  Jojo Moyes

"To Seek Knowledge Is To Expand Your Own Universe" (stitched on a sampler)

from The Giver of the Stars by Jojo Moyes


"We have an obligation to support libraries.  If you do not value libraries then you do not value information or culture or wisdom.  You are silencing the voices of the past and you are damaging the future."

Neil Gaiman


"The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library."

- and -

"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.

If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales."

Albert Einstein


"Being with people who enjoy reading is a pleasure."

anonymous book club member


"Mom always showed me, over the course of two years and dozens of books and hundreds of hours in hospitals, that books can be how we get closer to each other, and stay close, even in the case of a mother and son who were very close to each other to begin with, and even after one of them has died."

Will Schwalbe - last line in The End of Your Life Book Club


When reading, only read.

When eating, only eat.

When thinking, only think.

Seung Sahn


"Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries."

Anne Herbert


"Show me a family of readers, and I will show you the people who move the world."

Napoleon Bonaparte


"Let us read and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world."



"Think before you speak.

Read before you think."

Fran Lebowitz


"To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge for almost all the miseries of life."

W. Somerset Maugham


"Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life."

Fernando Pessoa


"It is a great thing to start life with a small number of really good books which are your very own."

Arthur Conan Doyle


“Public libraries have been a mainstay of my life. They represent an individual's right to acquire knowledge; they are the sinews that bind civilized societies the world over. Without libraries, I would be a pauper, intellectually and spiritually.” and "If you did not read when you were young, you might never catch the disease and then what would be the use of living?"

James A. Michener


A word after a word after a word is power.

Margaret Atwood


Fascism is cured by reading, and racism is cured by traveling.

Miguel de Unamuno


If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.  If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.

Albert Einstein


What a miracle it is that out of these small flat, rigid squares of paper, unfolds world after world after world.  Worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you.  Books help us to understand who we are and how we are to behave.  

Anne Lamott


These are not books, stacks of lifeless paper, but minds, alive, on the shelves.

Gilbert Highet


"She could read anything now...and once you can read anything, you can learn everything.  It was up to her."

p. 131 Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

 Asking for help and guidance can sometimes be a key that opens doorways of opportunity.  In addition to trying to contact people who might help you, you can also stand on the shoulders of giants by procuring a helpful book from your local library or bookstore.  "A book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit," wrote John Milton.  In a few hours of reading, in quiet companionship across time and space, you may stumble upon an idea that changes your life; you may also find the inspiration you need to move beyond discouragement and fear.  Others have surmounted great difficulties in pursuing their dreams.  Drawing strength from their example, you can, too."  

A field, however fertile, cannot be fruitful without cultivation; neither can a mind without learning.  Cicero

He who is afraid of asking is afraid of learning.  Dutch Proverb

No one knows less than he who knows it all.  American Proverb

Learning is a treasure that follows its owner everywhere.  Chinese Proverb

Books are nourishment to the mind.  Italian Proverb


"Literacy is a bridge from misery and hope."  Kofi Annan

 "If you want to be powerful, educate yourself." anon

 Books don't just go with you, they take you where you've never been.  Thanks Monet!


"Let's pick up our books and our pens.  They are our most powerful weapons.  One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world."

Malala Yousafzai - in her speech to the United Nations, nine months after she was shot by the Taliban in 2012


 "If we are to nurture our own particular beauty, we must nourish our bodies with healthy food and drink; nourish our minds with literature, art and good company; nourish our spirits with silence, stillness and prayer.  This way we can rid ourselves of anxiety, anger and negativity, and replace them with peace and joy and positive energy.

from Gardening the Soul by Sister Stanislaus Kennedy


"Read.  Read.  Read. 

Write.  Write.  Write."

Margaret Atwood


Abraham Lincoln walked for miles with legendary resolve just to borrow a book.  "I will study and get ready, and perhaps my chance will come," he said.


"Books let you fight dragons, meet the love of your life, travel to faraway lands and laugh alongside friends, all within their pages.  They're an escape that brings you home." anon


"If you are going to get anywhere in life, you have to read a lot of books."  

Roald Dahl


"A library is the delivery room for the birthplace of ideas, a place where history comes to life." 

Norman Cousins


"Books give a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything." 



"Books and doors are the same thing.  You open them, and you go through into another world." 

Jeanette Winterson


"The greatest part of a writer's time is spent in reading in order to write.  A man will turn over half a library to make a book.

Samuel Johnson


"The more you read, the more you know.  The more you know, the smarter you grow.  The smarter you grow, the stronger your voice, when speaking your mind or making a choice."

"Open books lead to open minds."  

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

Thomas Carlyle

"There is no friend as loyal as a book."

"Imagination?  It is the one thing besides honesty that a good writer must have."

"All good books have one thing in common - 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.  If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer."

"All you have to do is write one true sentence.  Write the truest sentence you know."

Ernest Hemingway


"Writing and reading is to me synonymous with existing"

"Poetry is essentially the discovery, the love, the passion for the name of everything."

Gertrude Stein


"Develop interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music -

the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures,

beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself."

Henry Miller


"It is with the reading of books the same as with looking at pictures;

one must without doubt, without hesitations, with assurance,

admire what is beautiful."

and - "The way to know life is to love many things."

Vincent van Gogh


"Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries."

Anne Herbert


"Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience; this is the ideal life."

Mark Twain


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

Leonore Hershey


"We live through books; we have adventures in them, we lead alternative lives through them. 

We expand our memories through them.  And that sometimes art can offer us more intense experiences of the world than life itself can."


"Here's what I mean by the miracle of language.  When you're falling into a good book, exactly as you might fall into a dream, a little conduit opens, a passageway between a reader's heart and a writer's, a connection that transcends the barriers of continents and generations and even death.....

And here's the magic.  You're different. You can never go back to being exactly the same person you were before you disappeared into that book."

both by Anthony Doerr


"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."

Henry Frederic Amiel - Swiss Philosopher 1821-1881


"A great reader seldom recognizes his solitude."

Mason Cooley


"We all need our inspiration refreshed regularly, and the way to get it is to turn to inspiring friends and inspiring books."

Andrei Codresu


"I believe that books, once they are written, have no need of their authors."

Elena Ferante


"Libraries promote reading.

Reading promotes understanding.

Understanding reduces conflict and promotes peace.



Plum Johnson


"There are three rules for writing the great English novel.  Unfortunately, no one knows what they are."

Somerset Maugham


"No person who can read is ever successful at cleaning out an attic."

Ann Landers


"I think it is impossible to reach your full potential as a human being without being a reader."

LeVar Burton


"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies.

The man who never reads lives only one."


"We read books to find out who we are.  What other people, real or imaginary, do

and think and feel is an essential guide to our understanding of what we ourselves are and may become."

Ursula K. LeGuin


"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


"Books, to the reading child, are so much more than books -

they are dreams and knowledge, they are a future, and a past."

Esther Meynell


"If you have a garden and a library, you have all you need."

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

both by Cicero, Roman philosopher 


"Books, the children of the brain."  

Jonathan Swift


"O, there is lovely to feel a book, a good book, firm in the hand, for its fatness holds rich promise, and you are hot inside to think of good hours to come."  

Richard Llewellyn (page 464 - How Green Was My Valley)


"We all need our inspiration refreshed regularly - and the way to get it is to turn to inspiring friends and inspiring books."

Andrei Codresu


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

Victor Hugo


"Books are a uniquely portable magic." and

"If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others:

read a lot and write a lot."

Stephen King


"The finest thing we can do in life is to grow a soul and then use it in service of humankind.  Writers foster the growth of reader's souls, and the best soil for growth is love.  Writing can be love made visible.  In the end, one of our best ways to truly change readers is to love them.  We can create a world in which those who know teach those who wish to learn.  We writers may not live to see the changes that we work for, but readers will enjoy the shade of the trees we have planted."

Mary Pipher - "Writing to Change the World"


"Reading is sometimes thought of as a form of escapism, and it's a common turn of phrase

to speak of getting lost in a book. But a book can also be where one finds oneself; and

when a reader is grasped and held by a book, reading does not feel like an escape from life

so much as it feels like an urgent, crucial dimension of life itself."

Rebecca Mead


"Reading fiction is important. It is a vital means of imagining a life other than our own,

which in turn makes us more empathetic beings."

Anne Patchett


"You start dying slowly

if you do not travel,

if you do not read......."

- from the poem 'You start dying slowly' by Pablo Neruda


"I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set,

I go into the other room and read a book."

Groucho Marx


"Give me books, fruit, French wine and fine weather

and a little music........." John Keats


"What is reading, but silent conversation."

Charles Lamb


"Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad books."

from The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows


"I am a part of all I have read." John Kieran


"One of the greatest gifts to give a child is the love of reading." - anon


"I declare after all there is no enjoyment like Reading!

How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book."


"If a book is well-written, I always find it too short."


 "If I go too long without picking up a good book, I feel like I've done nothing useful with my life."

Jane Austen


"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 William Elliot


"Five years from now you will be pretty much the same as you are today

except for two things: the books you read

and the people you get close to." Charles Jones ?

You are the same today that you'll be five years from now except for two things:  

the people you meet and the books you read.  M. MacMillan ?


"The man who does not read good books has no advantage

over the man who cannot read." Mark Twain


"We read books to find out who we are. What other people, real or imaginary,

do and think and feel is an essential guide to our understanding of what we ourselves are or may become."

Ursula K. LeGuin


"When you sell a man a book, you don't sell him 12 ounces of paper and ink and glue -

you sell him a whole new life." Christopher Morley


"You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture.

Just get people to stop reading them." Mohandas Gandhi


"Be careful about reading health books -

you may die of a misprint." Mark Twain


"A book is a path of words which takes the heart

in new directions." John O'Donohue


"Reading gave me hope." Oprah Winfrey


"Life is full of wonderful passions that come and go over the years,

but the only one that will never let you down is reading." Miss Manners


"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


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


"You cannot open a book without learning something." - and

"No matter how busy you are, you must find time for reading,

or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance."

both are quotes by Confuscius,Chinese Philosopher 551 BC-479 BC


"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed,

and some few to be chewed and digested."

Francis Bacon, English philosopher 1561-1626


"If I could always read, I should never feel the want of company."

Lord Byron, English Poet 1788-1824


"The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest

minds of past centuries." Rene Descartes


"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


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


"Just the knowledge that a good book is awaiting one at the end of a long day

makes that day happier." Kathleen Norris


Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend.

Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. Groucho Marx


"The greatest gift that you can give to children is your time.

The best way to spend that time is by reading with them."


"If a book is a journey, each word is a stepping stone."  


"A Library is a great place to find yourself."


"A child who has never been read to is a neglected child.

They have never been given the respect and attention that every child deserves."


If you can read, you can cook.

If you can read you can garden.

If you can read, you can armchair travel around the world and to the moon and back.

If you can read, you can teach yourself to do anything.


If you can read, you can be inspired by the words of the world's greatest thinkers and artists and spiritual leaders.

Read carefully, deeply, slowly, attentive.

Absorb the lessons.  

Look up words in the dictionary - even the ones you know.

Life is a slow read.

Treasure hunt in each book you read.

Search for deeper understanding.



"If you can read you can cook."

"I lived in books more than I lived anywhere else."

"Write the book you want to read."

"Reading is dreaming with eyes wide open."

"When in doubt, go to the Library."

"When the week-end comes, I'll be booked."



"In the end, we all become stories."

Margaret Atwood


"What a woman wants is to be in charge of her own life."



This room is for napping, journaling, puttering, meditating, organizing, reading, writing and reflecting.