Reading Quotes

Most popular reading quotes

The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.
I know no wise person who doesn't read a lot.

wisdom

Read what you love until you love to read.
"Classic." A book which people praise and don't read.
Mark Twain (Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar in Following the Equator (1897))

classics funny

Look at this generation, with all of its electronic devices and multitasking. I will confidently predict less success than Warren, who just focused on reading. If you want wisdom, you'll get it sitting on your ass. That's the way it comes.
Reading means borrowing.
Reading is seeing by proxy.
Rereading, we find a new book.

re-reading

Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.
A book that is shut is but a block.
Books may well be the only true magic.

books

Rereading, not reading, is what counts.

re-reading

What is reading but silent conversation?
A writer is a reader moved to emulation.
Saul Bellow (Connections: A Rhetoric/Short Prose Reader)

writers

Choose an author as you choose a friend.

authors

Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere.
A book, tight shut, is but a block of paper.
— Chinese proverb

books Chinese proverbs proverbs

Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures.

fiction

The wise man reads both books and life itself.

wisdom

The use of our reading is to aid us in thinking.
Edward Gibbon (The Miscellaneous Works of Edward Gibbon, Esq.)
You cannot open a book without learning something.
One must be a wise reader to quote wisely and well.

quotations

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.
Reading without purpose is sauntering, not exercise.
Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.
There is creative reading as well as creative writing.
The sheer pleasure of time spent in a vivid elsewhere.
Sven Birkerts (Rereadings: Seventeen Writers Revisit Books They Love)
The greatest pleasures of reading consist in re-reading.

re-reading

People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.
With one day's reading a man may have the key in his hands.
Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting.

thinking

As I read, my ears are opened to the magic of the spoken word.
Reading is sometimes an ingenious device for avoiding thought.
Any book which is at all important should be reread immediately.

re-reading

Thou Shalt Not Let a Day Pass Without Re-Reading Something Great.

re-reading

Reading is thinking with someone else's head instead of one's own.
Do not read so much, look about you and think of what you see there.
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting.
To learn to read is to kindle a fire; every syllable spelled sparkles.
I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once.
C. S. Lewis (They Stand Together: The Letters of C. S. Lewis to Arthur Greeves, 1914–1963,)

re-reading

Books must be read as deliberately and reservedly as they were written.
Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them all.
The real purpose of books is to trap the mind into doing its own thinking.

books critical thinking

How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.

books

For the last decade or so I prefer writers I've already read.  Proven wine.
Truman Capote (The Dogs Bark: Public People and Private Places)
Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.

writing

Reading is very important—read between the lines.  Don't swallow everything.
Reading made Don Quixote a gentleman, but believing what he read made him mad.
Reading. . .that fruitful miracle of a communication in the midst of solitude.

biblical

It's called "reading."  It's how people install new software into their brains.
When I am not walking, I am reading, I cannot sit and think. Books think for me.
Men of power have not time to read; yet men who do not read are unfit for power.
I forget the greater part of what I read, but all the same it nourishes my mind.
To describe my scarce leisure time in today's terms, I always default to reading.
There was going to be a storm and it was a perfect night for rereading Jane Eyre.
I can't write without a reader.  It's precisely like a kiss—you can't do it alone.
When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing.

books writing

The mere brute pleasure of reading—the sort of pleasure a cow must have in grazing.
If a book read when young is a lover, that same book, reread later on, is a friend.
Anne Fadiman (Rereadings: Seventeen Writers Revisit Books They Love)

books re-reading

Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.
The man who does not read books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.
No man can be called friendless when he has God and the companionship of good books.

friendship God

Reading is equivalent to thinking with someone else's head instead of with one's own.
Let us read and let us dance—two amusements that will never do any harm to the world.

dancing

A conventional good read is usually a bad read, a relaxing bath in what we already know.
The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.
You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.

books

I don't think we should read for instruction but to give our souls a chance to luxuriate.
Henry Miller (Dear, Dear Brenda: The Love Letters of Henry Miller to Brenda Venus)
When we read a story, we inhabit it.  The covers of the book are like a roof and four walls.
Any kid who has two parents who are interested in him and has a houseful of books isn't poor.

advisory books parenting

The pleasure of all reading is doubled when one lives with another who shares the same books.
When I am reading a book, whether wise or silly, it seems to me to be alive and talking to me.
Reading to most people, means an ashamed way of killing time disguised under a dignified name.
I divide all readers into two classes: Those who read to remember and those who read to forget.
It's been my experience in life, if you just keep thinking and reading, you don't have to work.

how to live life

When I only begin to read, I forget I'm on this world.  It lifts me on wings with high thoughts.
I would rather be a poor man in a garret with plenty of books than a king who did not love reading.
Traversing a slow page, to come upon a lode of pure shining metal is to exult inwardly for greedy hours.
Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.

critical thinking thinking

To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.
The library is the temple of learning, and learning has liberated more people than all the wars in history.

learning libraries

I'm always nervous about going home, just as I am nervous about rereading books that have meant a lot to me.

re-reading

I only read what I am hungry for at the moment when I have an appetite for it, and then I do not read, I eat.
Reading is like permitting a man to talk a long time, and refusing you the right to say anything in rebuttal.
October is crisp days and cool nights, a time to curl up around the dancing flames and sink into a good book.
John Sinor (in Union-Tribune (San Diego, California))
The habit of reading is the only enjoyment in which there is no alloy; it lasts when all other pleasures fade.
Don't ask who's influenced me. A lion is made up of the lambs he's digested, and I've been reading all my life.

poets

She could give herself up to the written word as naturally as a good dancer to music or a fine swimmer to water.
Do not read as children do to enjoy themselves, or, as the ambitious do to educate themselves. No, read to live.
If you would understand your own age, read the works of fiction produced in it. People in disguise speak freely.

fiction

Let us see the result of good food in a strong body, and the result of great reading in a full and powerful mind.
Sydney Smith (Elementary Sketches of Moral Philosophy)
Reading is not an operation performed on something inert but a relationship entered into with another vital being.
Reading makes immigrants of us all—it takes us away from home, but more important, it finds homes for us everywhere.
In a sense, one can never read the book that the author originally wrote, and one can never read the same book twice.
Edmund Wilson (The Triple Thinkers: Twelve Essays on Literary Subjects)

books

Reading makes immigrants of us all. It takes us away from home, but, most important, it finds homes for us everywhere.
A bit of trash now and then is good for the severest reader.  It provides that necessary roughage in the literary diet.
To read a writer is for me not merely to get an idea of what he says, but to go off with him, and travel in his company.
No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.
When you reread a classic you do not see more in the book than you did before; you see more in you than there was before.

classics re-reading

Reading is a joy, but not an unalloyed joy. Books do not make life easier or more simple, but harder and more interesting.
It is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another's skin; another's voice; another's soul.
"Tell me what you read and I'll tell you who you are" is true enough, but I'd know you better if you told me what you reread.

re-reading

Some read to think, these are rare; some to write, these are common; and some read to talk, and these form the great majority.
I love to lose myself in other men's minds.  When I am not walking, I am reading; I cannot sit and think.  Books think for me.
Study has been my sovereign remedy against the worries of life.  I have never had a care that an hour's reading could not dispel.
It just came to me. The great pleasure of the book was that it came so easily. All I had to do was be there with buckets to catch it.
Employ your time in improving yourself by other people's writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for.
The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp.  The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story.
Ursula Le Guin (Dancing at the Edge of the World: Thoughts on Words, Women, Places)
The right reader of a good poem can tell the moment it strikes him that he has taken an immortal wound—that he will never get over it.

poetry

You can reread not from love or hatred but from a sense, often inchoate, that there's more to this book than you have been yet able to receive.
Alan Jacobs (The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction)

re-reading

Reading well is one of the great pleasures that solitude can afford you, because it is, at least in my experience, the most healing of pleasures.

pleasure solitude

The transaction between writer and reader is human civilization's most dazzling feat, yet it's such a part of our lives that it's, well, prosaic.
But reading is not idleness...it is the passive, receptive side of civilization without which the active and creative world would be meaningless.
From your parents you learn love and laughter and how to put one foot before the other. But when books are opened you discover that you have wings.

books

To feel most beautifully alive means to be reading something beautiful, ready always to apprehend in the flow of language the sudden flash of poetry.
There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we believe we left without having lived them: those we spent with a favorite book.
The great thing is to be always reading but not to get bored—treat it not like work, more as a vice! Your book bill ought to be your biggest extravagance.
Every man who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify, to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant and interesting.
I was at that age when reading was still a passion and thus, save for a happy marriage, the best state possible in which to keep absolute loneliness at bay.
The worst readers are those who behave like plundering troops: they take away a few things they can use, dirty and confound the remainder, and revile the whole.
Language is the soul of intellect, and reading is the essential process by which that intellect is cultivated beyond the commonplace experiences of everyday life.

language

The use of our reading is to aid us in thinking.  The perusal of a particular work gives birth, perhaps, to ideas unconnected with the subject of which it treats.
Edward Gibbon (The Miscellaneous Works of Edward Gibbon, Esq.)
Every man who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant and interesting.
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.

books classics re-reading

The profit of books is according to the sensibility of the reader; the profoundest thought or passion sleeps as in a mine, until an equal mind and heart find and publish it.
The reader who plucks a book from her shelf only once is as deprived as the listener who, after attending a single performance of a Beethoven symphony, never hears it again.
Anne Fadiman (Rereadings: Seventeen Writers Revisit Books They Love)

re-reading

One of life's best pleasures is reading a book of perfect beauty; more pleasurable still is rereading that book; most pleasurable of all is lending it to the person one loves.

re-reading

There are times in one's life when a good book—the right book—feels like a voice speaking in the darkness, or a hand reaching out from the past; providing solace when all else seems lost.

books

If a book told you something when you were fifteen, it will tell it to you again when you're fifty, though you may understand it so differently that it seems you're reading a whole new book.

re-reading

The greatest gift is the passion for reading.  It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind.  It is a moral illumination.
If you have a good paperback library of great writers, and if you keep re-reading them, you will have access to more secrets of literature than all the culture phonies who set the tone in big cities.

re-reading

'Tis the good reader that makes the good book; a good head cannot read amiss; in every book he finds passages which seem confidences or asides hidden from all else and unmistakably meant for his ear.
To read good books is like holding a conversation with the most eminent minds of past centuries and, moreover, a studied conversation in which these authors reveal to us only the best of their thoughts.

books

Every reader finds himself. The writer's work is merely a kind of optical instrument that makes it possible for the reader to discern what, without this book, he would perhaps never have seen in himself.

books

Once the disease of reading has laid hold upon the system it weakens it so that it falls an easy prey to that other scourge which dwells in the ink pot and festers in the quill. The wretch takes to writing.

writing

Many readers judge the power of a book by the shock it gives their feelings—as some savage tribes determine the power of muskets by their recoil; that being considered best which fairly prostrates the purchaser.
What is read with delight is commonly retained, because pleasure always secures attention; but the books which are consulted by occasional necessity, and perused with impatience, seldom leave any traces on the mind.
If you read twenty or thirty pages by a writer, and want to continue, you are in his sea and swimming in that sea.  He can write quite badly after that.  Because by that time, you're in his sea, and you're moving forward.
Will felt that the reader was in serious trouble most of the time, floundering in a swamp, and that it was the duty of anyone attempting to write English to drain this swamp quickly and get his man up on dry ground, or at least throw him a rope.
The return to a favorite novel is generally tied up with changes in oneself that must be counted as improvements, but have the feel of losses. It is like going back to a favorite house, country, person; nothing is where it belongs, including one's heart.

novels re-reading

It is often said that one has but one life to live, but that is nonsense.  For one who reads, there is no limit to the number of lives that may be lived, for fiction, biography, and history offer an inexhaustible number of lives in many parts of the world, in all periods of time.
A cow stands in clover. When she is milked, that is her work; when she is merely eating, that is her play....  Not a handsome or elegant analogy, but it approximates for me the habit of reading—standing in a world of clover, the eating of which is occasionally utilitarian, usually nourishing.
The best moments in reading are when you come across something—a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things—which you had thought special and particular to you.  Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead.  And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours.
Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself.  Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real.  Reading is grist.  Reading is bliss.
Nora Ephron (I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman)