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Books are the friends of solitude. They develop individuality and freedom. In solitary reading a man who is seeking himself has some chance of finding himself. ~ Georges Duhamel
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. ~ Francis Bacon
Without books, without having acquired the power of reading for pleasure, none of us can be independent, but if we can read we have a sure defence against boredom in solitude. ~ Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Grey of Fallodon
A good book is a good friend. - The Outlook
Fear the man of one book. ~ Justin McCarthy
Long books, when read, are usually overpraised, because the reader wants to convince others and himself that he has not wasted his time. ~ E. M. Forster, Commonplace Book (1985), p. 11
What a sense of security in an old book which Time has criticised for us! – James Russell Lowell
The birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the author. ~ Roland Barthes

A book is a set of written, printed, illustrated, or blank sheets, made of ink, paper, parchment, or other materials, fastened together to hinge at one side.

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  • Protect me from oil, water, insects and loose bonding, and above all, O Lord, protect me from falling into the hands of a fool.
    • A frequent scribal appearing at the end of ancient Indian manuscripts
  • A good book is a good friend. It will talk to you when you want it to talk, and it will keep still when you want it to keep still – and there are not many friends who know enough for that.
    • Ernest Hamlin Abbott; Lyman Abbott; Francis Rufus Bellamy (1901). The Outlook. p. 588. Retrieved on 14 July 2013. 
  • Shelving books improperly is as good as stealing them. It is actually much worse.
  • One reader is better than another in proportion as he is able of a greater range of activity in reading and exerts more effort.
  • Why is marking a book indispensable to reading it? First, it keeps you awake — not merely conscious, but wide awake. Second, reading, if it is active, is thinking, and thinking tends to express itself in words, spoken or written...Third, writing your reactions down helps you to remember the thoughts of the author...Marking a book is literally an expression of your differences or your agreements with the author, It is the highest respect you can pay him.
  • In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but how many can get through to you.
    • Mortimer Adler, The Wordsworth Book of Humorous Quotations (1998), p.2
  • How can one be in the limelight and still write? Books deserve compassion. They are delicate creatures born to be accepted or rejected as a whole; they can't endure dissection under the microscope of the pathologist. Most writers are as vulnerable as their work.


A love of books, of holding a book, turning its pages, looking at its pictures, and living its fascinating stories goes hand-in-hand with a love of learning. ~ Laura Welch Bush
The power of a book lies in its power to turn a solitary act into a shared vision. As long as we have books, we are not alone. ~ Laura Welch Bush
  • Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man.
  • 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.
  • Worthy books
    Are not companions—they are solitudes:
    We lose ourselves in them and all our cares.
  • Why can't people just sit and read books and be nice to each other?
  • The birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the author.
  • [C]e voyage au pays de l'autre, qu'est un bon livre.
    • Translation: [T]hat voyage to the land of the other, which a good book is.
    • Marthe Bibesco, "Letter to Laura Lovat", in Laura Lovat, Maurice Baring: A Postscript (New York: Sheed & Ward, 1948), p. 113.
  • The covers of this book are too far apart.
  • Books were something that happened to readers. Readers were the victims of books.
    • Holly Black, Paper Cuts Scissors (2007), reprinted in Paula Guran (ed.), Ex Libris: Stories of Librarians, Libraries & Lore (p. 147)
  • Reading well is one of the great pleasures that solitude can afford you.
  • After Gutenberg, realms of everyday life once ruled and served by Memory would be governed by the printed page. ...A man could now refer to the rules of grammar, the speeches of Cicero, and texts of theology, canon law, and morality without storing them in himself.
    The printed book... [was] superior in countless ways to the internal invisible warehouse in each person. ...When they were equipped with indexes, as ...sometimes the sixteenth century, then the only essential feat of Memory was to remember the order of the alphabet. Before the end of the eighteenth century the... index... had become standard. The technology of Memory retrieval... played a much smaller role in the higher realms of... knowledge. Spectacular feats of Memory became mere stunts.
  • I have always imagined Paradise as a kind of library.
  • There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches. Every minority, be it Baptist/Unitarian, Irish/Italian/Octogenarian/Zen Buddhist, Zionist/Seventh-day Adventist, Women's Lib/Republican, Mattachine/FourSquareGospel feels it has the will, the right, the duty to douse the kerosene, light the fuse. Every dimwit editor who sees himself as the source of all dreary blanc-mange plain porridge unleavened literature, licks his guillotine and eyes the neck of any author who dares to speak above a whisper or write above a nursery rhyme.
    • Ray Bradbury, Afterword to the 1979 edition of Fahrenheit 451
  • "Do you ever read any of the books you burn?"
    He laughed. "That's against the law!"
    "Oh. Of course."
  • Surely you remember the boy in your own school class who was exceptionally ‘bright,’ did most of the reciting and answering while the others sat like so many leaden idols, hating him. And wasn't it this bright boy you selected for beatings and tortures after hours? Of course it was. We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against. So! A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it. Take the shot from the weapon. Breach man's mind. Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man? Me? I won't stomach them for a minute.
  • The same infinite detail and awareness could be projected through the radios and televisors, but are not. No, no, it's not books at all you're looking for! Take it where you can find it, in old phonograph records, old motion pictures, and in old friends; look for it in nature and look for it in yourself. Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them at all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us. Of course you couldn't know this, of course you still can't understand what I mean when I say all this.
  • What traitors books can be! You think they’re backing you up, and then they turn on you. Others can use them, too, and there you are, lost in the middle of the moor, in a great welter of nouns and verbs and adjectives.
  • Don’t mind me, Miss Adams. You ever smell new books? Binding, pages, print. Like fresh bread when you’re hungry.
    • Ray Bradbury, Exchange (1996), reprinted in Paula Guran (ed.), Ex Libris: Stories of Librarians, Libraries & Lore (p. 136)
  • We get no good
    By being ungenerous, even to a book,
    And calculating profits—so much help
    By so much reading. It is rather when
    We gloriously forget ourselves, and plunge
    Soul-forward, headlong, into a book's profound,
    Impassioned for its beauty, and salt of truth—
    'Tis then we get the right good from a book.
  • Books, books, books!
    I had found the secret of a garret room
    Piled high with cases in my father's name;
    Piled high, packed large,—where, creeping in and out
    Among the giant fossils of my past,
    Like some small nimble mouse between the ribs
    Of a mastodon, I nibbled here and there
    At this or that box, pulling through the gap,
    In heats of terror, haste, victorious joy,
    The first book first. And how I felt it beat
    Under my pillow, in the morning's dark,
    An hour before the sun would let me read!
    My books!
    At last, because the time was ripe,
    I chanced upon the poets.
  • Master books, but do not let them master you. Read to live, not live to read.
  • Some books are lies frae end to end.
  • A love of books, of holding a book, turning its pages, looking at its pictures, and living its fascinating stories goes hand-in-hand with a love of learning.
    • Laura Welch Bush, The Gift of Books" in Biography Today : Profiles of People of Interest to Young Readers, Vol. 12, Issue 2 : Laura Bush by Joanne Mattern (2003), p. 17.
  • Every child in American should have access to a well-stocked school library. … An investment in libraries is an investment in our children's future.
    • Laura Welch Bush. As quoted in Biography Today : Profiles of People of Interest to Young Readers, Vol. 12, Issue 2 : Laura Bush by Joanne Mattern (2003), p. 34
  • The power of a book lies in its power to turn a solitary act into a shared vision. As long as we have books, we are not alone.
    • Laura Welch Bush, Bringing Out the Best in Everyone You Coach: Use the Enneagram System for Exceptional Results (2009) by Ginger Lapid-Bogda, p. 123.
  • 'Tis pleasant, sure, to see one's name in print;
    A book's a book, although there's nothing in't.
    • Lord Byron, English Bards and Scotch Reviewers (1809), line 51.


  • Reading is going toward something that is about to be, and no one yet knows what it will be.
    • Italo Calvino, If on a Winter's Night a Traveler (1979), translated by William Weaver (1981), p. 72.
  • I learn more from the anatomy of an ant or a blade of grass...than from all the books which have been written since the beginning of time. This is so, since I have read the book of God...the model according to which I correct the human books which have been copied badly and arbitrarily and without attention to the things that are written in the original book of the Universe.
    • Tommaso Campanella, "Letter of 1607", as cited by Eisenstein, Elizabeth L., 2012, The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe, Cambridge University Press, p. 218.
  • Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, 'and what is the use of a book,' thought Alice, 'without pictures or conversations?'
  • If a book come from the heart, it will contrive to reach other hearts; all art and authorcraft are of small amount to that.
  • All that Mankind has done, thought, gained or been it is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of Books. They are the chosen possession of men.
  • In books lies the soul of the whole Past Time; the articulate audible voice of the Past, when the body and material substance of it has altogether vanished like a dream.
    • Thomas Carlyle, Heroes and Hero Worship (1840), The Hero as a Man of Letters.
  • The true University of these days is a collection of Books.
    • Thomas Carlyle, Heroes and Hero Worship (1840), The Hero as a Man of Letters.
  • Putting the right book in the right kid’s hands is kind of like giving that kid superpowers. Because one book leads to the next book and the next book and the next book and that is how a world-view grows. That is how you nourish thought.
  • "There is no book so bad," said the bachelor, "but something good may be found in it."
  • God be thanked for books. They are the voices of the distant and the dead, and make us heirs of the spiritual life of past ages. Books are the true levellers. They give to all, who will faithfully use them, the society, the spiritual presence of the best and greatest of our race.
  • For out of olde feldes, as men seith,
    Cometh al this newe corn fro yeer to yere;
    And out of olde bokes, in good feith,
    Cometh al this newe science that men lere.
  • There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person.
  • There is a great deal of difference between the eager man who wants to read a book, and the tired man who wants a book to read.
  • There is an undeniable correlation between functional illiteracy, poverty, and crime—in fact, eleven states predict their future need for prison cells based on the reading levels of their fourth graders. Books can change lives, yes, and so can the lack of them.
  • 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.
  • Observe reader your old books, for they are the fountains out of which these resolutions issue.
    • Lord Edward Coke, Spencer's Case (1583), 3 Co. 33; reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 20.
  • Books cannot always please, however good;
    Minds are not ever craving for their food.
    • George Crabbe, The Borough (1810), Letter XXIV. Schools, line 402.


  • A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity and once more in old age.
  • The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man. Nothing else that he builds ever lasts. Monuments fall; nations perish; civilizations grow old and die out; and, after an era of darkness, new races build others. But in the world of books are volumes that have seen this happen again and again, and yet live on, still young, still as fresh as the day they were written, still telling men’s hearts of the hearts of men centuries dead.

    And even the books that do not last long, penetrate their own times at least, sailing farther than Ulysses even dreamed of, like ships on the seas. It is the author’s part to call into being their cargoes and passengers,—living thoughts and rich bales of study and jeweled ideas. And as for the publishers, it is they who build the fleet, plan the voyage, and sail on, facing wreck, till they find every possible harbor that will value their burden.
    • Clarence Day, The Story of the Yale University Press Told by a Friend (1920), pp. 7–8.
  • Whatever we read from intense curiosity gives us a model of how we should always read.
  • There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates' loot on Treasure Island and at the bottom of the Spanish Main... and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life.
    • Walt Disney, as quoted in Peter's Quotations: Ideas for Our Time (1977) by Laurence J. Peter.
  • The book is one of the springs of creative individualism, that individualism which, in these uncertain times, remains the guardian angel of human society. For five hundred years the book has been, for the solitary mind, an incomparable instrument of uplift and liberation.
    • Georges Duhamel, In Defense of Letters (1937), E. Bozman, trans. (1939), p. vii.
  • Books are the friends of solitude. They develop individuality and freedom. In solitary reading a man who is seeking himself has some chance of finding himself.
    • Georges Duhamel, In Defense of Letters (1937), E. Bozman, trans. (1939), p. 42.


  • And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
  • Books are not made to be believed, but to be subjected to inquiry.
    • Umberto Eco, Il nome della rosa [The Name of the Rose] (1980), said by character William of Baskerville, originally in Italian.
  • There are magic moments, involving great physical fatigue and intense motor excitement, that produce visions of people known in the past. As I learned later from the delightful little book of the Abbé de Bucquoy, there are also visions of books as yet unwritten.
    • Umberto Eco, Il nome della rosa [The Name of the Rose] (1980).
  • 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 William Eliot, "The Happy Life", The Durable Satisfactions of Life (1910, reprinted 1969), p. 37. Eliot first read this before Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, New Hampshire, but it was later rewritten.
  • 'Tis the good reader that makes the good book; in every book he finds passages which seem confidences or asides hidden from all else and unmistakenly meant for his ear.
  • 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.
  • Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers.


  • Books may look like nothing more than words on a page, but they are actually an infinitely complex imaginotransference technology that translates odd, inky squiggles into pictures inside your head.
    1. READ IT
    3. REREAD IT

  • That place that does contain
    My books, the best companions, is to me
    A glorious court, where hourly I converse
    With the old sages and philosophers;
    And sometimes, for variety, I confer
    With kings and emperors, and weigh their counsels.
    • John Fletcher, The Elder Brother (c. 1625; published 1637), Act I, scene 2.
  • Long books, when read, are usually overpraised, because the reader wants to convince others and himself that he has not wasted his time.


  • Reading anything less than 50 years old is like drinking new wine: permissible once or twice a year and usually followed by regret and a headache.
  • books are only what we want them to be; rather, what we read into them.
  • Gone are the days of highlighting books featuring two dads or, as astonishing as it is to think about, the simple controversy of breaking out definitions of gay, bisexual, and transgender in a glossary. Now kids get dozens of sex and “gender” options to choose from, including queer, genderqueer, sapphic, panromantic, and two-spirit. They also get a new term to designate anyone who isn’t queer, “allocishet,” which the “Read With Pride” guide defines as, “people whose gender and sexuality are privileged by society.”
  • Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas.


  • This book is just right-- // I'm reading by flashlight deep into the night // Deliciously thirsty to see how it ends. // Books are such mind-thrilling // spine-tingling friends.
    • Avis Harley,This Book (2011), In Lee Bennett Hopkins. (2011). I am the book. NY: Holiday House, p. 24.
  • Books give not wisdom where was none before,
    But where some is, there reading makes it more.
  • Books are published with an expectation, if not a desire, that they will be criticised in reviews, and if deemed valuable that parts of them will be used as affording illustrations by way of quotation, or the like, and if the quantity taken be neither substantial nor material, if, as it has been expressed by some Judges, "a fair use" only be made of the publication, no wrong is done and no action can be brought.
    • William Wood, 1st Baron Hatherley, Chatterton v. Cave (1877), L. R. 3 App. Cas. 492; reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 20.
  • Wahrhaftig, der Umgang mit schlechten Büchern ist oft gefährlicher als mit schlechten Menschen.
    • Truly, associating with bad books is often more dangerous than associating with bad people.
      • Wilhelm Hauff, Das Buch und die Leserwelt.
If I have not read a book before, it is, to all intents and purposes, new to me, whether it was printed yesterday or three hundred years ago. ~ William Hazlitt
  • If I have not read a book before, it is, to all intents and purposes, new to me, whether it was printed yesterday or three hundred years ago.
    • William Hazlitt, "On Reading New Books" (1825), in Sketches and Essays (1839).
  • In every reading life, certain works are talismans, especially those read in early years.
    • Shirley Hazzard, "Introduction to Geoffrey Scott's The Portrait of Zélide" (2000), in We Need Silence to Find Out What We Think: Selected Essays, edited by Brigitta Olubas (New York: Columbia University Press, 2016), p. 90.
  • Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen.
    • Where one begins by burning books, one will end up burning people.
  • You recollect what Hobbes used to say, "that if he had read as many books as other men, he should have been as ignorant as they," clearly implying that reading is sometimes an ingenious device for avoiding thought.
  • The hardest thing to do is to write straight honest prose on human beings. First you have to know the subject; then you have to know how to write.
    All good books are alike in that 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.
    • Ernest Hemingway, "Old Newsman Writes : A Letter from Cuba" in Esquire (December 1934).
  • I feel that peace has hardly been imagined. It is rarely dramatized in the theater, in the movies, even in books.
    • 1993 interview in Conversations with Maxine Hong Kingston edited by Paul Skenazy and Tera Martin (1998)
  • Life-transforming ideas have always come to me through books.


  • Justin Wadlow, a professor at the French Université de Picardie Jules Verne (UPJV) in Amiens and a well-known scholar of comics, explained how books combining texts and comics as a new form of art have been used to spread deep ideas and raise awareness of social issues. He suggested that the essence of [the] Tai Ji Men culture may also be illustrated and presented to the world through these new media.


  • Sometimes you need more than just one book, more than just one bookshop. Sometimes you need a whole book town.
    A book town is simply a small town, usually rural and scenic, full of bookshops and book-related industries. The movement started with Richard Booth in Hay-on-Wye in Wales in the 1960s ..., picked up speed in the 1980s and is continuing to thrive in the new millenium.
  • Just about anyone with intellectual ambition in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was likely to keep a commonplace book. In its most customary form, “commonplacing,” as it was called, involved transcribing interesting or inspirational passages from one’s reading, assembling a personalized encyclopedia of quotations. ... The great minds of the period—Milton, Francis_Bacon, Locke—were zealous believers in the memory-enhancing powers of the commonplace book. There is a distinct self-help quality to the early descriptions of commonplacing’s virtues: in the words of one advocate, maintaining the books enabled one to “lay up a fund of knowledge, from which we may at all times select what is useful in the several pursuits of life.”
    • Steven Berlin Johnson, "The Glass Box and the Commonplace Book," Hearst New Media lecture, April 22, 2010.
  • Quicquid agunt homines, votum, timor, ira, voluptas, gaudia, discursus, nostri est farrago libelli.
    • The doings of men, their prayers, fear, wrath, pleasure, delights, and recreations, are the subject of this book.
    • Juvenal, Satires (early 2nd century), I, I, 85.


Reading, in contrast to sitting before the screen, is not a purely passive exercise... ~ George F. Kennan
  • Gutenberg, your printing press has been violated by this evil book, Mein Kampf!
  • Reading, in contrast to sitting before the screen, is not a purely passive exercise. The child, particularly one who reads a book dealing with real life, has nothing before it but the hieroglyphics of the printed page. Imagination must do the rest; and imagination is called upon to do it. Not so the television screen. Here everything is spelled out for the viewer, visually, in motion, and in all three dimensions. No effort of imagination is called upon for its enjoyment.
  • It is true that a book used to cost during the Middle Ages the equivalent of two to five hundred dollars whereas Gone With the Wind can be bought in editions of $1.49 and even less. Libraries were the privileges of a very few. But on the other side people enjoyed books far more, and the purchase of a book was a greater event in life than today the acquisition of a Cadillac. Nowadays one walks nonchalantly into a bookstore, pushes two and a half dollars over a counter, reads the book and forgets it sometimes in the suburban train.


  • Any of us might live a long life or pass away tomorrow. I have come to believe that living your well-read life is measured not by the number of books read at the end of your life but by whether you are in book love today, tomorrow, and next week.
    • Steve Leveen, The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life (2005), p. 7.
  • A single book at the right time can change our views dramatically, give a quantum boost to our knowledge, help us construct a whole new outlook on the world and our life. Isn't it odd that we don't seek those experiences more systematically?
    • Steve Leveen, The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life (2005), p. 11.
  • The first step to retention is to briefly review your book almost immediately after finishing it. It's easier if you've marked passages and taken notes in the margins and on the endpapers. You can then go back through your book, reminding yourself why you marked the particular passages and wrote the commentary you did. This may encourage you to add to your marginalia or write longer notes elsewhere.
    • Steve Leveen, The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life (2005), p. 39.
  • You will be surprised what psychological motivation there is in your having physical possession of the books you plan to read.
  • There is a strange idea abroad that in every subject the ancient books should be read only by the professionals, and that the amateur should content himself with the modern books. Thus I have found as a tutor in English Literature that if the average student wants to find out something about Platonism, the very last thing he thinks of doing is to take a translation of Plato off the library shelf and read the Symposium. He would rather read some dreary modern book ten times as long, all about “isms” and influences and only once in twelve pages telling him what Plato actually said. The error is rather an amiable one, for it springs from humility. The student is half afraid to meet one of the great philosophers face to face. He feels himself inadequate and thinks he will not understand him. But if he only knew, the great man, just because of his greatness, is much more intelligible than his modern commentator. The simplest student will be able to understand, if not all, yet a very great deal of what Plato said; but hardly anyone can understand some modern books on Platonism. It has always therefore been one of my main endeavours as a teacher to persuade the young that firsthand knowledge is not only more worth acquiring than secondhand knowledge, but is usually much easier and more delightful to acquire.
    • C. S. Lewis, Introduction to The Incarnation of The Word of God (Macmillan, 1946) [1]
  • Naturally, since I myself am a writer, I do not wish the ordinary reader to read no modern books. But if he must read only the new or only the old, I would advise him to read the old. And I would give him this advice precisely because he is an amateur and therefore much less protected than the expert against the dangers of an exclusive contemporary diet. A new book is still on its trial and the amateur is not in a position to judge it.
    • C. S. Lewis, Introduction to The Incarnation of The Word of God (Macmillan, 1946) [2]
  • When a book and a head collide and there is a hollow sound, is that always in the book?
    • Original German: "Wenn ein Buch und ein Kopf zusammenstoßen und es klingt hohl, ist das allemal im Buche?"
    • Georg Christoph Lichtenberg Vermischte Schriften, E (1775 - 1776), 103.
  • A sure sign of a good book is that you like it more the older you get.
    • Georg Christoph Lichtenberg Vermischte Schriften, K (1789-1793), 351.
    • Original German: "Ein sicheres Zeichen von einem guten Buche ist, wenn es einem immer besser gefällt, je älter man wird".
  • The Council was right about one thing: books are only alive when they’re read. For books are seeds, and they grow in minds.
    • Ken Liu, Summer Reading (2012), reprinted in Paula Guran (ed.), Ex Libris: Stories of Librarians, Libraries & Lore (p. 165)
  • The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,
    And all the sweet serenity of books.
  • What a sense of security in an old book which Time has criticised for us!
  • Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds…


  • My mind is my weapon ... And a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.
  • 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.
  • We teach and instruct one another only through writings; we learn to know nature and man only through writings. We work and relax, edify and amuse ourselves through overmuch writing. ... Everything is dead letter; the spirit of living conversation has vanished.
    • Moses Mendelssohn, Jerusalem, or on Religious Power and Judaism (1783), as translated by Allan Arkush (1983), p. 103.
  • As good almost kill a man as kill a good book; who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God's image; but he who destroys a good book kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were, in the eye.
  • Books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a progeny of life in them to be as active as that soul was whose progeny they are; nay, they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them.
  • The Musalman General, who had already made his name a terror by repeated plundering expeditions in Bihar, seized the capital by a daring stroke... Great quantities of plunder were obtained, and the slaughter of the 'shaven headed Brahmans', that is to say the Buddhist monks, was so thoroughly completed, that when the victor sought for someone capable of explaining the contents of the books in the libraries of the monasteries, not a living man could be found who was able to read them.
    • Minhaj-i-Siraj, Tabakat-i-Nasiri, cited by Vincent Smith and quoted from B. R. Ambedkar, "The decline and fall of Buddhism," Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar: Writings and Speeches, Vol. III, Government of Maharashtra. 1987, p. 232-233, quoting Vincent Smith.
  • A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man's mind can get both provocation and privacy.
  • At home these men’s works [Kant, Schiller, Goethe] were kept in the bookcase with the green glass panes in Papa’s study, and Törless knew this bookcase was never opened except to display its contents to a visitor. It was like the shrine of some divinity to which one does not readily draw nigh and which one venerates only because one is glad that thanks to its existence there are certain things one need no longer bother about.
    • Robert Musil, Young Törless (1966), E. Wilkins and E. Kaiser, trans. (1955), p. 115.


  • A book is like a trunk tightly packed with things. At the customs an official's hand plunges perfunctorily into it, but he who seeks treasures examines every thread.
  • I early formed the habit of buying books, and, thank God, I have never lost it. Authors living and dead — dead, for the most part — afford me my greatest enjoyment, and it is my pleasure to buy more books than I can read. Who was it who said, "I hold the buying of more books than one can peradventure read, as nothing less than the soul's reaching towards infinity; which is the only thing that raises us above the beasts that perish"? Whoever it was, I agree with him (...)
    • A. Edward Newton, "What About the Bookshop?", in: A Magnificent Farce and Other Diversions of a Book-Collector (1921), p. 78.
  • Just the knowledge that a good book is awaiting one at the end of a long day makes that day happier.


  • Books, I was starting to discover, could be great points of reference, even if they weren’t true. Some of them had a way of telling things how they were, whether they were completely true or not.


  • Affect not as some do that bookish ambition to be stored with books and have well-furnished libraries, yet keep their heads empty of knowledge; to desire to have many books, and never to use them, is like a child that will have a candle burning by him all the while he is sleeping.
  • You will get little or nothing from the printed page if you bring it nothing but your eye.
  • Literature is news that stays news.
  • Even big collections of ordinary books distort space and time, as can readily be proved by anyone who has been around a really old-fashioned second-hand bookshop, one of those that has more staircases than storeys and those rows of shelves that end in little doors that are surely too small for a full sized human to enter.
    The relevant equation is Knowledge = Power = Energy = Matter = Mass; a good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read. Mass distorts space into polyfractal L-space, in which Everywhere is also Everywhere Else.
    All libraries are connected in L-space by the bookwormholes created by the strong space-time distortions found in any large collection of books. Only a very few librarians learn the secret, and there are inflexible rules about making use of the fact — because it amounts to time travel.
    The three rules of the Librarians of Time and Space are: (1) Silence; (2) Books must be returned no later than the last date shown, and (3) the nature of causality must not be interfered with.


People ought to work out for themselves, and through their own study, the determination of their best interest rather than accept such so-called information as may be handed out to them by certain types of self-constituted leaders who decide what is best for them. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Give me a man or woman who has read a thousand books and you give me an interesting companion. Give me a man or woman who has read perhaps three and you give me a dangerous enemy indeed.
  • No one ever reads a book. He reads himself through books, either to discover or to control himself. And the most objective books are the most deceptive. The greatest book is not the one whose message engraves itself on the brain, as a telegraphic message engraves itself on the ticker-tape, but the one whose vital impact opens up other viewpoints, and from writer to reader spreads the fire that is fed by the various essences, until it becomes a vast conflagration leaping from forest to forest.
  • It seems to me that the dedication of a library is in itself an act of faith.
  • To bring together the records of the past and to house them in buildings where they will be preserved for the use of men and women in the future, a Nation must believe in three things. It must believe in the past. It must believe in the future. It must, above all, believe in the capacity of its own people so to learn from the past that they can gain in judgment in creating their own future.
  • Among democracies, I think through all the recorded history of the world, the building of permanent institutions like libraries and museums for the use of all the people flourishes. And that is especially true in our own land, because we believe that people ought to work out for themselves, and through their own study, the determination of their best interest rather than accept such so-called information as may be handed out to them by certain types of self-constituted leaders who decide what is best for them.
  • The fact that a book, though interesting, is untrue, of course removes it at once from the category of history, however much it may still deserve to retain a place in the always desirable group of volumes which deal with entertaining fiction. But the converse also holds, at least to the extent of permitting us to insist upon what would seem to be the elementary fact that a book which is written to be read should be readable. This rather obvious truth seems to been forgotten by some of the more zealous scientific historians, who apparently hold that the worth of a historical book is directly in proportion to the impossibility of reading it, save as a painful duty.
  • Personally the books by which I have profited infinitely more than by any others have been those in which profit was a by-product of the pleasure; that is, I read them because I enjoyed them, because I liked reading them, and the profit came in as part of the enjoyment.


  • A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called "leaves") imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person—perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew each other. Books break the shackles of time, proof that humans can work magic.
  • All of the books in the world contain no more information than is broadcast as video in a single large American city in a single year. Not all bits have equal value.
    • Carl Sagan & P.K. Ahnelt, (1998). "The photoreceptor mosaic." Eye 12(3B):531–540; as cited in: Stefan Winkler (2013). Digital Video Quality: Vision Models and Metrics. p. 138.
  • Books, purchasable at low cost, permit us to interrogate the past with high accuracy; to tap the wisdom of our species; to understand the point of view of others, and not just those in power; to contemplate — with the best teachers — the insights, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, drawn from the entire planet and from all of our history. They allow people long dead to talk inside our heads. Books can accompany us everywhere. Books are patient where we are slow to understand, allow us to go over the hard parts as many times as we wish, and are never critical of our lapses. Books are key to understanding the world and participating in a democratic society.
    • Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (1995), Ch. 21: The Path to Freedom.
  • 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.
  • Be less concerned about the number of the books you read, and more about the good use you make of them. The best of books is the Bible.
    • Christian Scriver, Gotthold's Emblems, translated by Robert Menzies (Boston: Gould and Lincoln, 1859), p. 232.
  • O, let my books be then the eloquence
    And dumb presagers of my speaking breast;
    Who plead for love and look for recompense
    More than that tongue that more hath more express'd.
  • Knowing I lov'd my books, he furnished me
    From mine own library with volumes that
    I prize above my dukedom.
  • And in such indexes (although small pricks
    To their subsequent volumes) there is seen
    The baby figure of the giant mass
    Of things to come at large.
  • You shall see them on a beautiful quarto page, where a neat rivulet of text shall meander through a meadow of margin.
  • What this town has not given her
    the book will provide: a sheep,
    a wilderness of new solutions
  • Sikander burnt all books the same wise as fire burns hay. All the scintillating works faced destruction in the same manner that lotus flowers face with the onset of frosty winter.
    • About Sikandar Butshikan. Srivara, Zaina Rajtarangini.
  • People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.
  • When I step into this library, I cannot understand why I ever step out of it.
  • Books are good enough in their own way, but they are a mighty bloodless substitute for life.
  • When we are collecting books, we are collecting happiness.
    • Vincent Starrett, Attributed to Starrett in Michael Dirda, On Conan Doyle: Or, The Whole Art of Storytelling (2012), page 112.


  • Sometimes she thought she only dreamed about dancing while her real life was lived in books. She could get lost in a book, in being someone else, in feeling amplified, complicated, her simple self fancied up with new sensations, new ideas and perceptions. In books she had family, community, a place in history; she had travels and explorations, struggle and achievement.
  • But most of all, it seems to me now, has been the courage to know and to sense my feelings that has come, slowly, from the emotionally charged silent films at the old library at first and then later from the poems and novels and histories and biographies and how-to-do-it books that I have read. All of those books—even the dull and nearly incomprehensible ones—have made me understand more clearly what it means to be a human being. And I have learned from the sense of awe I at times develop when I feel in touch with the mind of another, long-dead person and know that I am not alone on this earth. There have been others who have felt as I feel and who have, at times, been able to say the unsayable.
  • How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.
  • A truly good book is something as natural, and as unexpectedly and unaccountably fair and perfect, as a wild-flower discovered on the prairies of the West or in the jungles of the East.
  • No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading now, or surrender yourself to self-ignorance.
    • "On Reading", Good Reading: A Helpful Guide for Serious Readers, created by a group chaired by Atwood H. Townsend, NYU professor.
  • He touched other books, scanned other volumes, all old friends, all holding for him some special grace, some captured memory. He read a story for the hundredth time and enjoyed it as if he had read it but once. He fingered worn bindings and yellowed pages, blinking as his eyes refused their duty until he had had a surfeit of reading and put away the books and sat, staring through the high windows at the late-afternoon sky beyond.
  • A good book is the best of friends, the same today and forever.




  • Un livre est une bouteille jetée en pleine mer sur laquelle il faut coller cette étiquette: attrape qui peut.
    • A book is a bottle thrown into the sea on which this label should be attached: Catch as catch can.
    • Alfred de Vigny Journal d'un poète (1867) Page 93.


  • If you go home with someone and they don't have books, don't fuck them.
  • There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written.
    • Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), Preface.
  • Putting books on an inaccessible platform is nearly as effective at destroying books as the shredder.
    • Connie Willis, I Met a Traveller in an Antique Land (2017), Subterranean Books edition, p. 34.


  • I told the Englishman that my alma mater was books, a good library. Every time I catch a plane, I have with me a book that I want to read—and that’s a lot of books these days. If I weren’t out here every day battling the white man, I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity—because you can hardly mention anything I’m not curious about.
  • People don't realize how a man's whole life can be changed by one book.
    • Ibid, p. 400


  • Unlearned men of books assume the care,
    As eunuchs are the guardians of the fair.
  • A dedication is a wooden leg.
    • Edward Young, Love of Fame (1725-1728), Satire IV, line 192.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 75-80.
  • 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.
  • That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed with profit.
  • Books are delightful when prosperity happily smiles; when adversity threatens, they are inseparable comforters. They give strength to human compacts, nor are grave opinions brought forward without books. Arts and sciences, the benefits of which no mind can calculate, depend upon books.
  • You, O Books, are the golden vessels of the temple, the arms of the clerical militia with which the missiles of the most wicked are destroyed; fruitful olives, vines of Engaddi, fig-trees knowing no sterility; burning lamps to be ever held in the hand.
  • But the images of men's wits and knowledges remain in books, exempted from the wrong of time, and capable of perpetual renovation.
    • Francis Bacon, Advancement of Learning, Book I. Advantages of Learning.
  • Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.
  • Books must follow sciences, and not sciences books.
  • The Wise
    (Minstrel or Sage,) out of their books are clay;
    But in their books, as from their graves they rise.
    Angels—that, side by side, upon our way,
    Walk with and warn us!
  • Hark, the world so loud,
    And they, the movers of the world, so still!
  • We call some books immortal! Do they live?
    If so, believe me, TIME hath made them pure.
    In Books, the veriest wicked rest in peace.
  • All books grow homilies by time; they are
    Temples, at once, and Landmarks.
  • There is no Past, so long as Books shall live!
  • In you are sent
    The types of Truths whose life is THE TO COME;
    In you soars up the Adam from the fall;
    In you the FUTURE as the PAST is given—
    Ev'n in our death ye bid us hail our birth;—
    Unfold these pages, and behold the Heaven,
    Without one grave-stone left upon the Earth.
  • Some said, John, print it, others said, Not so;
    Some said, It might do good, others said, No.
  • Go now, my little book, to every place
    Where my first pilgrim has but shown his face.
    Call at their door: if any say "Who's there?"
    Then answer thou "Christiana is here."
  • Some books are lies frae end to end.
  • In the poorest cottage are Books: is one Book, wherein for several thousands of years the spirit of man has found light, and nourishment, and an interpreting response to whatever is Deepest in him.
  • It is chiefly through books that we enjoy intercourse with superior minds, and these invaluable means of communication are in the reach of all. In the best books, great men talk to us, give us their most precious thoughts, and pour their souls into ours.
  • Go, litel boke! go litel myn tregedie!
  • O little booke, thou art so unconning,
    How darst thou put thyself in prees for dred?
  • And as for me, though than I konne but lyte,
    On bokes for to rede I me delyte,
    And to hem yeve I feyth and ful credence,
    And in myn herte have hem in reverence
    So hertely, that ther is game noon.
    That fro my bokes maketh me to goon,
    But yt be seldome on the holy day.
    Save, certeynly, when that the monthe of May
    Is comen, and that I here the foules synge,
    And that the floures gynnen for to sprynge,
    Farwel my boke, and my devocion.
  • It is saying less than the truth to affirm that an excellent book (and the remark holds almost equally good of a Raphael as of a Milton) is like a well-chosen and well-tended fruit tree. Its fruits are not of one season only. With the due and natural intervals, we may recur to it year after year, and it will supply the same nourishment and the same gratification, if only we ourselves return to it with the same healthful appetite.
  • Books should, not Business, entertain the Light;
    And Sleep, as undisturb'd as Death, the Night.
  • The monument of vanished mindes.
  • Give me a book that does my soul embrace
    And makes simplicity a grace—
    Language freely flowing, thoughts as free—
    Such pleasing books more taketh me
    Than all the modern works of art
    That please mine eyes and not my heart.
    • Margaret Denbo. Suggested by "Give me a look, give me a face, / That makes simplicity a grace." Ben Jonson, Silent Woman, Act I, scene 1.
  • Books should to one of these four ends conduce,
    For wisdom, piety, delight, or use.
  • He ate and drank the precious words,
    His spirit grew robust;
    He knew no more that he was poor,
    Nor that his frame was dust.
    He danced along the dingy days,
    And this bequest of wings
    Was but a book. What liberty
    A loosened spirit brings!
  • There is no frigate like a book
    To take us lands away,
    Nor any coursers like a page
    Of prancing poetry.
    This traverse may the poorest take
    Without oppress of toll;
    How frugal is the chariot
    That bears a human soul.
  • Golden volumes! richest treasures,
    Objects of delicious pleasures!
    You my eyes rejoicing please,
    You my hands in rapture seize!
    Brilliant wits and musing sages,
    Lights who beam'd through many ages!
    Left to your conscious leaves their story,
    And dared to trust you with their glory;
    And now their hope of fame achiev'd,
    Dear volumes! you have not deceived!
  • Homo unius libri, or, cave ab homine unius libri.
    • Beware of the man of one book.
    • Isaac D'Israeli, quoted in Curiosities of Literature.
  • Not as ours the books of old—
    Things that steam can stamp and fold;
    Not as ours the books of yore—
    Rows of type, and nothing more.
  • The spectacles of books.
  • Of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
    • Ecclesiastes, XII, 12.
  • Books are the best things, well used: abused, among the worst.
  • In every man's memory, with the hours when life culminated are usually associated certain books which met his views.
  • There are many virtues in books, but the essential value is the adding of knowledge to our stock by the record of new facts, and, better, by the record of intuitions which distribute facts, and are the formulas which supersede all histories.
  • We prize books, and they prize them most who are themselves wise.
  • The princeps copy, clad in blue and gold.
  • Now cheaply bought, for thrice their weight in gold.
  • How pure the joy when first my hands unfold
    The small, rare volume, black with tarnished gold.
  • Books are necessary to correct the vices of the polite; but those vices are ever changing, and the antidote should be changed accordingly—should still be new.
  • In proportion as society refines, new books must ever become more necessary.
  • I armed her against the censures of the world; showed her that books were sweet unreproaching companions to the miserable, and that if they could not bring us to enjoy life, they would at least teach us to endure it.
  • I have ever gained the most profit, and the most pleasure also, from the books which have made me think the most: and, when the difficulties have once been overcome, these are the books which have struck the deepest root, not only in my memory and understanding, but likewise in my affections.
    • J. C. and A. W. Hare, Guesses at Truth, p. 458.
  • Thou art a plant sprung up to wither never,
    But, like a laurell, to grow green forever.
  • The foolishest book is a kind of leaky boat on a sea of wisdom; some of the wisdom will get in anyhow.
  • Dear little child, this little book
    Is less a primer than a key
    To sunder gates where wonder waits
    Your "Open Sesame!"
  • Medicine for the soul.
    • Inscription over the door of the Library at Thebes. Diodorus Siculus. I. 49. 3.
  • Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book.
    • Isaiah, XXX. 8.
  • Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book!
    • Job. XLX. 23.
  • My desire is … that mine adversary had written a book.
    • Job, XXXI. 35.
  • Blest be the hour wherein I bought this book;
    His studies happy that composed the book,
    And the man fortunate that sold the book.
    • Ben Jonson, Every man out of his Humour, Act I, scene 1.
  • Pray thee, take care, that tak'st my book in hand,
    To read it well; that is to understand.
  • When I would know thee * * * my thought looks
    Upon thy well-made choice of friends and books;
    Then do I love thee, and behold thy ends
    In making thy friends books, and thy books friends.
  • In omnibus requiem quæsivi
    Et non inveni
    Nisi seorsim sedans
    In angulo cum libello.
    • Everywhere I have sought rest and found it not except sitting apart in a nook with a little book.
    • Written in an autograph copy of Thomas à Kempis's De Imitatione, according to Cornelius a Lapide (Cornelius van den Steen), a Flemish Jesuit of the 17th century, who says he saw this inscription. At Zwoll is a picture of à Kempis with this inscription, the last clause being "in angello cum libello"—in a little nook with a little book. In angellis et libellis—in little nooks (cells) and little books. Given in King—Classical Quotations as being taken from the preface of De Imitatione.
  • Every age hath its book.
    • Koran, Chapter XIII.
  • Books which are no books.
    • Charles Lamb, Last Essay of Elia. Detached Thoughts on Books.
  • A book is a friend whose face is constantly changing. If you read it when you are recovering from an illness, and return to it years after, it is changed surely, with the chance in yourself.
  • A wise man will select his books, for he would not wish to class them all under the sacred name of friends. Some can be accepted only as acquaintances. The best books of all kinds are taken to the heart, and cherished as his most precious possessions. Others to be chatted with for a time, to spend a few pleasant hours with, and laid aside, but not forgotten.
  • The love of books is a love which requires neither justification, apology, nor defence.
  • The pleasant books, that silently among
    Our household treasures take familiar places,
    And are to us as if a living tongue
    Spake from the printed leaves or pictured faces!
  • Leaving us heirs to amplest heritages
    Of all the best thoughts of the greatest sages,
    And giving tongues unto the silent dead!
  • All books are either dreams or swords,
    You can cut, or you can drug, with words.
    * * * * * *
    My swords are tempered for every speech,
    For fencing wit, or to carve a breach
    Through old abuses the world condones.
  • If I were asked what book is better than a cheap book, I would answer that there is one book better than a cheap book, and that is a book honestly come by.
  • What a sense of security in an old book which
    Time has criticised for us!
  • Gentlemen use books as Gentlewomen handle their flowers, who in the morning stick them in their heads, and at night strawe them at their heeles.
    • John Lyly, Euphues, To the Gentlemen Readers.
  • As you grow ready for it, somewhere or other you will find what is needful for you in a book.
  • You importune me, Tucca, to present you with my books. I shall not do so; for you want to sell, not to read, them.
    • Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book VII, Epistle 77.
  • Un livre est un ami qui ne trompe jamais.
    • A book is a friend that never deceives.
    • Ascribed to Guilbert De Pixérécourt. Claimed for Desbarreaux Bernard.
  • Within that awful volume lies
    The mystery of mysteries!
  • Distrahit animum librorum multitudo.
    • A multitude of books distracts the mind.
    • Seneca the Younger, Epistolæ Ad Lucilium, II. 3.
  • Their books of stature small they take in hand,
    Which with pellucid horn secured are;
    To save from finger wet the letters fair.
  • Nor wyll suffer this boke
    By hooke ne by crooke
    Printed to be.
  • Some books are drenched sands,
    On which a great soul's wealth lies all in heaps,
    Like a wrecked argosy.
  • When St. Thomas Aquinas was asked in what manner a man might best become learned, he answered, "By reading one book." The homo unius libri is indeed proverbially formidable to all conversational figurantes.
  • Go, little Book! From this my solitude
    I cast thee on the Waters,—go thy ways:
    And if, as I believe, thy vein be good,
    The World will find thee after many days.
    Be it with thee according to thy worth:
    Go, little Book; in faith I send thee forth.
  • Books, the children of the brain.
  • Aquinas was once asked, with what compendium a man might become learned? He answered "By reading of one book."
    • Jeremy Taylor, Life of Christ, Part II. S, XII. 16. He also quotes Acclus, XI. 10, Stanza Gregory, St. Bernard, Seneca, Quintilian, Juvenal. See British Critic. No. 59, p. 202.
  • Books, like proverbs, receive their chief value from the stamp and esteem of ages through which they have passed.
  • But every page having an ample marge,
    And every marge enclosing in the midst
    A square of text that looks a little blot.
  • Thee will I sing in comely wainscot bound
    And golden verge enclosing thee around;
    The faithful horn before, from age to age
    Preserving thy invulnerable page.
    Behind thy patron saint in armor shines
    With sword and lance to guard the sacred lines;
    Th' instructive handle's at the bottom fixed
    Lest wrangling critics should pervert the text.
  • Beware you be not swallowed up in books! An ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge.
    • John Wesley Letter to Joseph Benson (7 November 1768); published in The Letters of John Wesley (1915) edited by George Eayrs
  • They are for company the best friends, in Doubt's Counsellors, in Damps Comforters, Time's Prospective the Home Traveller's Ship or Horse, the busie Man's best Recreation, the Opiate of idle Weariness, the Mindes best Ordinary, Nature's Garden and Seed-plot of Immortality.
  • O for a Booke and a shadie nooke, eyther in-a-doore or out;
    With the grene leaves whisp'ring overhede, or the Streete cries all about.
    Where I maie Reade all at my ease, both of the Newe and Olde;
    For a jollie goode Booke whereon to looke, is better to me than Golde.
    • John Wilson. Motto in his second-hand book catalogues. Claimed for him by Austin Dobson. Found in Sir John Lubbock's Pleasures of Life and Ireland's Enchiridion, where it is given as an old song. (See Notes and Queries, Nov. 1919, P. 297, for discussion of authorship).
  • Books, we know,
    Are a substantial world, both pure and good:
    Round these, with tendrils strong as flesh and blood,
    Our pastime and our happiness will grow.
  • Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books,
    Or surely you'll grow double;
    Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
    Why all this toil and trouble?


  • I fear the man of one book.
    • Reported as a "general known maxim" in Justin McCarthy (1903). Portraits of the sixties. p. 152. Retrieved on 14 July 2013. 

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