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If anyone can find a notable attribution for: "There's nothing more entirely fascinating than a library, for it is there that a million stories, a million lives, rest serenely, waiting for someone daring enough to pick up the dusty book in which they are contained and let them come alive once more." -Anonymous

Please add it back. Thanks ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 22:44, 10 December 2005 (UTC)


Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable and precise source for any quote on this list please move it to Books.

  • Books are keys to wisdom's treasure;
    Books are gates to lands of pleasure;
    Books are paths that upward lead;
    Books are friends; Come, let us read.
  • A book is a version of the world. If you do not like it, ignore it; or offer your own version in return.
  • A room without books is like a body without a soul.
  • 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.
  • All my life I have been trying to learn to read, to see and hear, and to write.
  • An ordinary man can...surround himself with two thousand books..and thenceforward have at least one place in the world in which it is possible to be happy.
  • 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.
  • Book-love...never flags or fails, but, like Beauty itself, is a joy forever.
  • Books must follow sciences, and not sciences books.
    • Francis Bacon (1561-1626), Proposition touching Amendment of Laws
  • Don't deny a book a place in your collection simply because you may not find time to read it.
  • Don't join the book burners. Don't think you're going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed. Don't be afraid to go in your library and read every book...
  • For him that stealeth, or borroweth and returneth not, this book from its owner, let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him. Let him be struck with palsy, and all his members blasted. Let him languish in pain, crying aloud for mercy, and let there be no surcease to this agony till he sing in dissolution. Let bookworms gnaw his entrails...and when at last he goeth to his final punishment, let the flames of Hell consume him forever.
    • Anonymous "curse" on book thieves from the monastery of San Pedro, Barcelona, Spain
  • I think it's an essential need of the human being to hear another human being tell them a makes us feel there's somebody else here with us.
  • I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage.
  • In all things I have sought rest, and nowhere have I found it save in a corner with a book.
    • Original Latin: "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro."
    • Thomas à Kempis
  • If they cannot be your friends, let them at any rate be your acquaintances. If they cannot enter the circle of your life, do not deny them at least a nod of recognition.
  • Just the omission of Jane Austen's books alone would make a fairly good library out of a library that hadn't a book in it.
  • Learn as much by writing as by reading.
  • Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity.
  • Live always in the best company when you read.
  • Never force yourself to read a book that you do not enjoy. There are so many good books in the world that it is foolish to waste time on one that does not give you pleasure.
    • Atwood H. Townsend, NYU Professor, chair of group that created Good Reading: A Helpful Guide for Serious Readers
  • Never read a book through merely because you have begun it.
  • Oh for a book and a shady nook...
  • One cannot begin too soon to buy one's own books, if for no other reason (and there are many more) than the freedom which they give you ton use their fly-leaves for your own private index of those matters in their pages which are particularly yours--those things which the index-makers never by any possibility include. To be able to turn at will, in a book of your own, to those passages which count for you, is to have your wealth at instant command, and your books become a record of your intellectual adventures...
  • One hour of steady thinking over a subject (a solitary walk is as good an opportunity for the process as any other) is worth two or three of reading only.
    • Lewis Carroll, on allowing time for what you're reading to sink in before you dive back in
  • Properly, we should read for power. Man reading should be man intensely alive. The book should be a ball of light in one's hand.
  • Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to be always part of unanimity.
  • Reading good books implants good ideas in the mind, develops good aspirations, and leads to the cultivation of good friends.
  • Read not to contradict and confute…nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider.
  • Read the best books first, or (for) you may not have the chance to read them again.
  • Reading confirms your aliveness. It's very validating. That's what book groups ultimately are; you get validated in the human condition--the conditions and puzzles, the good stuff and the bad stuff, the aspirations and hopes and despairs. You're not alone out there.
  • Resolve to edge in a little reading every day, if it is but a single sentence. If you gain fifteen minutes a day, it will make itself felt at the end of the year.
  • Some books are undeservedly forgotten; none are undeservedly remembered.
    • W. H. Auden, US (English-born) critic and poet, (1907 - 1973)
  • 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.
  • The book remains the carrier of civilization, the voice of the individual.
  • The contents of someone's bookcase are part of his history, like an ancestral portrait.
  • The dear good people don't know how long it takes to learn how to read. I've been at it eighty years, and can't say yet that I've reached the goal.
  • The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.
  • The multitude of books is making us ignorant.
    • Voltaire, French author, humanist, rationalist, and satirist (1694 - 1778)
  • The only obligation to which in advance we may hold a novel, without incurring the accusation of being arbitrary, is that it be interesting.
  • There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and the tired man who wants a book to read.
  • There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it. It is like falling in love.
  • We are a listening animal. The human animal has had millenia listening to stories before there were books.
  • What counts, in the long run, is not what you read; it is what you sift through your own mind; it is the ideas and impressions that are aroused in you by your reading.
  • When I am attacked by gloomy thoughts, nothing helps me so much as running to my books. They quickly absorb me and banish the clouds from my mind.
  • When one stops to consider what life would be like without the ability to read after age forty or thereabouts, and the consequences for the life of the mind in general, eyeglasses suddenly appear as important as the wheel.
  • Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?
  • Without books, God is silent, justice dormant, natural science at a stand, philosophy lame, letters dumb, and all things involved in darkness.
  • Woe be to him that reads but one book.
    • George Herbet, English clergyman, metaphysical poet, 1593-1633
  • You can cover a great deal of country in books.
    • Andrew Lang, Scottish author and scholar, (1844 - 1912)
  • You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel as if you've lost a friend.
  • Resolve to edge in a little reading every day, if it is but a single sentence. If you gain fifteen minutes a day, it will make itself felt at the end of the year.
  • We never read without profit if with the pen or pencil in our hand we mark such ideas as strike us by their novelty, or correct those we already possess.
  • When what you read elevates your mind and fills you with noble aspirations, look for no other rule by which to judge a book; it is good, and is the work of a master-hand.
  • When in reading we meet with any maxim that may be of use, we should take it for our own, and make an immediate application of it, as we would of the advice of a friend whom we have purposely consulted.
  • We should accustom the mind to keep the best company by introducing it only to the best books.
  • If I were to pray for a taste which should stand me in stead under every variety of circumstances, and be a source of happiness and cheerfulness to me through life, and a shield against its ills, however things might go amiss, and the world frown upon me, it would be a taste for reading.
  • Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man.... Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtile; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend.
  • Nothing, in truth, has such a tendency to weaken not only the powers of invention, but the intellectual powers in general, as a habit of extensive and various reading without reflection.
  • Mr. Johnson had never, by his own account, been a close student, and used to advise young people never to be without a book in their pocket, to be read at bye-times, when they had nothing else to do. "It has been by that means," said he to a boy at our house one day, "that all my knowledge has been gained, except what I have picked up by running about the world with my wits ready to observe, and my tongue ready to talk."
  • Reading without purpose is sauntering, not exercise. More is got from one book on which the thought settles for a definite end in knowledge, than from libraries skimmed over by a wandering eye. A cottage flower gives honey to the bee, a king's garden none to the butterfly.
  • Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest.
  • Much reading is like much eating,—wholly useless without digestion.
  • A book should never be lent from one person to another. For in the lending a sense of urgency or deadline for return is imparted, whether one truly exists is irrelevant, and this is anathema to the true joy of literature. Books should be read at ones leisure, marked upon, put down and picked up again, started and re-started, dog-eared, coffee stained and pregnant with the individual character of the owner. Truly books can only be given with the hope that the recipient will enjoy it in their own way and at their own pace, and that one day perhaps will pass the book along to another party to make their own mark on the work


  • Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
  • Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.
  • Books have a sense of honor. If they are lent out, they will not come back.
    • Original German: "Bücher haben Ehrgefühl. Wenn man sie verleiht, kommen sie nicht mehr zurück."
    • Theodor Fontane (1819-1898)
  • From the moment I picked up your book until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it.
  • I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.
  • I have read your book and much like it.
  • It was a book to kill time for those who like it better dead.
  • Most new books are forgotten within a year, especially by those who borrow them.
  • Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.
  • Reading this book is like waiting for the first shoe to drop.
  • Thank you for sending me a copy of your book. I'll waste no time reading it.
  • This book fills a much-needed gap.
  • This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.
  • This paperback is very interesting, but I find it will never replace a hardcover book - it makes a very poor doorstop.
  • I suggest that the only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little further down our particular path than we have gone ourselves.
  • So many people I know say they hate reading. What they seem not to get is that a book is an alternate universe, where you can go anywhere, or choose to just set the book down and leave that universe alone.
  • A big book is like a serious relationship; it requires a commitment. Not only that, but there's no guarantee that you will enjoy it, or that it will have a happy ending. Kind of like going out with a girl, having to spend time every day with her - with absolutely no guarantee of nailing her in the end. No thanks.