Quotations About
reading

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.

Letter to his editor and friend, Pascal "Pat" Covici, 1952
Posted in: John Steinbeck

I should as soon think of swimming across Charles River when I wish to go to Boston, as of reading all my books in originals when I have them rendered for me in my mother tongue.

Books

Tracy Lord: These stories are beautiful. Why, Mike, they’re almost poetry.
Macaulay Connor: Don’t kid yourself, they are.

Prospero:
my library
Was dukedom large enough

Act i, Sc. 2
Posted in: The Tempest

I blame the newspapers because every day they call our attention to insignificant things, while three or four times in our lives, we read books that contain essential things. Once we feverishly tear the band of paper enclosing our newspapers, things should change and we should find—I do not know—the Pensées by Pascal!

Nouvelle Revue Française (1913)
Posted in: Marcel Proust

But Shakespeare one gets acquainted with without knowing how. It is a part of an Englishman’s constitution.

Posted in: Mansfield Park

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.

Memoirs, ch. 11
Posted in: Pablo Neruda

The more that you read,
The more things you will know.
The more that you learn,
The more places you’ll go.

Oh, the Places You'll Go! (1990)
Posted in: Dr. Seuss

Read – let me charge you to read. Study books that treat of your profession, and of history.

Letter to Mr. Lane, on the Duties of a young officer, London, November 7, 1787

John Teller: First time I read Emma Goldman wasn’t in a book. I was sixteen, hiking near the Nevada border. The quote was painted on a wall in red. When I saw those words it was like someone ripped them from the inside of my head.

Posted in: Sons of Anarchy

“Lord!” he said, “when you sell a man a book you don’t sell him just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue — you sell him a whole new life. Love and friendship and humour and ships at sea by night — there’s all heaven and earth in a book, a real book I mean. Jiminy! If I were the baker or the butcher or the broom huckster, people would run to the gate when I came by — just waiting for my stuff. And here I go loaded with everlasting salvation — yes, ma’am, salvation for their little, stunted minds — and it’s hard to make ’em see it. That’s what makes it worth while — I’m doing something that nobody else from Nazareth, Maine, to Walla Walla, Washington, has ever thought of. It’s a new field, but by the bones of Whitman, it’s worth while. That’s what this country needs — more books!”

Parnassus on Wheels (1917)

Janine: I like to read a lot myself.
Egon: Print is dead.

Posted in: Ghostbusters

What is more important in a library than anything else — is the fact that it exists.

The Premise Of Meaning, American Scholar (Washington, DC, June 5, 1972)

Wayne: Am I supposed to just turn my back and leave, am I supposed to be a man? Am I supposed say, it’s okay, I don’t mind, I don’t mind? Well I mind, I mind big time! And you know what the worst part of it all is? I never learned to read!
Cassandra: Is that true?
Wayne: Yes, everything except the reading part.

Posted in: Wayne's World

If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.

unsourced.
This quote is attributed / unsourced.
Posted in: Toni Morrison

Books let us into their souls and lay open to us the secrets of our own.

"The Sick Chamber," The New Monthly Magazine (August 1830)
Posted in: William Hazlitt

With a novelist, like a surgeon, you have to get a feeling that you’ve fallen into good hands – someone from whom you can accept the anesthetic with confidence.

This quote is attributed / unsourced.
Posted in: Saul Bellow

There is only one way to defeat the enemy, and that is to write as well as one can. The best argument is an undeniably good book.

Quoted by Granville Hicks in The Living Novel: A Symposium (1957)
Posted in: Saul Bellow