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.
Books let us into their souls and lay open to us the secrets of our own.
What is more important in a library than anything else — is the fact that it exists.
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.
Read – let me charge you to read. Study books that treat of your profession, and of history.
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.
Janine: I like to read a lot myself.
Egon: Print is dead.
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.
Was dukedom large enough
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.
“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!”
Tracy Lord: These stories are beautiful. Why, Mike, they’re almost poetry.
Macaulay Connor: Don’t kid yourself, they are.
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!
But Shakespeare one gets acquainted with without knowing how. It is a part of an Englishman’s constitution.
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.
The more that you read,
The more things you will know.
The more that you learn,
The more places you’ll go.
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.
If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.