Books Quotes

'Tis the good reader that makes the good book; in every book he finds passages which seem to be confidences or sides hidden from all else and unmistakably meant for his ear; the profit of books is according to the sensibility of the reader; the profound thought or passion sleeps as in a mine, until it is discovered by an equal mind and heart.-Ralph Waldo Emerson

A bad book is the worse that it cannot repent. It has not been the devil's policy to keep the masses of mankind in ignorance; but finding that they will read, he is doing all in his power to poison their books.-E.N. Kirk

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.--Pablo Neruda

A house without books is like a room without windows. No man has a right to bring up his children without surrounding them with books, if he has the means to buy them. It is a wrong to his family. Children learn to read by being in the presence of books. The love of knowledge comes with reading and grows upon it. And the love of knowledge, in a young mind, is almost always a warrant against the inferior excitement of passions and vices.-Horace Mann

A man is known by the books he reads, by the company he keeps, by the praise he gives, by his dress, by his tastes, by his distastes, by the stories he tells, by his gait, by the notion of his eye, by the look of his house, of his chamber; for nothing on earth is solitary but every thing hath affinities infinite.-Ralph Waldo Emerson

A morning glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books.-Walt Whitman

A multitude of books distracts the mind.-Socrates

A room without books is like a body without a soul.-Marcus T. Cicero

A single conversation across the table with a wise man is worth a month's study of books.-Chinese Proverb

A vacuum of ideas affects people differently than a vacuum of air, otherwise readers of books would be constantly collapsing.-Georg C. Lichtenberg

 

After all manner of professors have done their best for us, the place we are to get knowledge is in books. The true university of these days is a collection of books.-Thomas Carlyle

After all, the world is not a stage -- not to me: nor a theatre: nor a show-house of any sort. And art, especially novels, are not little theatres where the reader sits aloft and watches... and sighs, commiserates, condones and smiles. That's what you want a book to be: because it leaves you so safe and superior, with your two-dollar ticket to the show. And that's what my books are not and never will be. Whoever reads me will be in the thick of the scrimmage, and if he doesn't like it -- if he wants a safe seat in the audience -- let him read someone else.-D. H. Lawrence

Al forms of consensus about ''great'' books and ''perennial'' problems, once stabilized, tend to deteriorate eventually into something philistine. The real life of the mind is always at the frontiers of ''what is already known.'' Those great books don't only need custodians and transmitters. To stay alive, they also need adversaries. The most interesting ideas are heresies.-Susan Sontag

All books are either dreams or swords.-Amy Lowell

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.-Ernest Hemingway

All the known world, excepting only savage nations, is governed by books.-Voltaire

Americans will listen, but they do not care to read. War and Peace must wait for the leisure of retirement, which never really comes: meanwhile it helps to furnish the living room. Blockbusting fiction is bought as furniture. Unread, it maintains its value. Read, it looks like money wasted. Cunningly, Americans know that books contain a person, and they want the person, not the book.-Anthony Burgess

An author who speaks about his own books is almost as bad as a mother who talks about her own children.-Benjamin Disraeli

And for the citation of so many authors, 'tis the easiest thing in nature. Find out one of these books with an alphabetical index, and without any farther ceremony, remove it verbatim into your own... there are fools enough to be thus drawn into an opinion of the work; at least, such a flourishing train of attendants will give your book a fashionable air, and recommend it for sale.-Miguel De Cervantes

Argument, as usually managed, is the worst sort of conversation, as in books it is generally the worst sort of reading.-Jonathan Swift

Artists use frauds to make human beings seem more wonderful than they really are. Dancers show us human beings who move much more gracefully than human beings really move. Films and books and plays show us people talking much more entertainingly than people.-Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

At night, when the curtains are drawn and the fire flickers, my books attain a collective dignity.-Edward M. Forster

Be a little careful about your library. Do you foresee what you will do with it? Very little to be sure. But the real question is, What it will do with you? You will come here and get books that will open your eyes, and your ears, and your curiosity, and turn you inside out or outside in.-Ralph Waldo Emerson

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.-Paxton Hood

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.-Mark Twain

Because I have conducted my own operas and love sheep-dogs; because I generally dress in tweeds, and sometimes, at winter afternoon concerts, have even conducted in them; because I was a militant suffragette and seized a chance of beating time to ''The March of the Women'' from the window of my cell in Holloway Prison with a tooth-brush; because I have written books, spoken speeches, broadcast, and don't always make sure that my hat is on straight; for these and other equally pertinent reasons, in a certain sense I am well known.-Dame Ethel Smyth

Behind the complicated details of the world stand the simplicities: God is good, the grown-up man or woman knows the answer to every question, there is such a thing as truth, and justice is as measured and faultless as a clock. Our heroes are simple: they are brave, they tell the truth, they are good swordsmen and they are never in the long run really defeated. That is why no later books satisfy us like those which were read to us in childhood --for those promised a world of great simplicity of which we knew the rules, but the later books are complicated and contradictory with experience; they are formed out of our own disappointing memories.-Graham Greene

Beware you be not swallowed up in books! An ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge.-John Wesley

Books and harlots have their quarrels in public.-Walter Benjamin

Books and marriage go ill together.-MoliFre

 

Books are but waste paper unless we spend in action the wisdom we get from thought -- asleep. When we are weary of the living, we may repair to the dead, who have nothing of peevishness, pride, or design in their conversation.-Jeremy Collier

Books are divided into two classes, the books of the hour and the books of all time.-John Ruskin

Books are fatal: they are the curse of the human race. Nine-tenths of existing books are nonsense, and the clever books are the refutation of that nonsense. The greatest misfortune that ever befell man was the invention of printing.-Benjamin Disraeli

Books are good enough in their own way, but they are a mighty bloodless substitute for life.-Robert Louis Stevenson

Books are lighthouses erected in the great sea of time.-Edwin P. Whipple

Books are like a mirror. If an ass looks in, you can't expect an angel to look out.-Arthur Schopenhauer

Books are masters who instruct us without rods or ferules, without words or anger, without bread or money. If you approach them, they are not asleep; if you seek them, they do not hide; if you blunder, they do not scold; if you are ignorant, they do not laugh at you.-Richard De Bury

Books are men of higher stature; the only men that speak aloud for future times to hear.-E.S. Barrett

Books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a certain potency of life in them, to be as active as the soul whose progeny they are; they preserve, as in a vial, the purest efficacy and extraction of the living intellect that bred them.-John Milton

Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house.-Henry Ward Beecher

Books are not men and yet they stay alive.-Stephen Vincent Benet

Books are standing counselors and preachers, always at hand, and always disinterested; having this advantage over oral instructors, that they are ready to repeat their lesson as often as we please.-Oswald Chambers

Books are the bees which carry the quickening pollen from one to another mind.-James Russell Lowell

Books are the best of things if well used; if abused, among the worst. They are good for nothing but to inspire. I had better never see a book than be warped by its attraction clean out of my own orbit, and made a satellite instead of a system.-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Books are the blessed chloroform of the mind.-Robert Chambers

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.-Joseph Addison

Books are the money of Literature, but only the counters of Science.-Thomas H. Huxley

Books are those faithful mirrors that reflect to our mind the minds of sages and heroes.-Edward Gibbon

Books choose their authors; the act of creation is not entirely a rational and conscious one.-Salman Rushdie

Books constitute capital. A library book lasts as long as a house, for hundreds of years. It is not, then, an article of mere consumption but fairly of capital, and often in the case of professional men, setting out in life, it is their only capital.-Thomas Jefferson

 

Books give not wisdom where none was before. But where some is, there reading makes it more.-John Harington

Books had instant replay long before televised sports.-Bert Williams

Books in a large university library system: 2, 000,000. Books in an average large city library: 1 0,000. Average number of books in a chain bookstore: 30, 000. Books in an average neighborhood branch library: 20, 000.-Lois Horowitz

Books like friends, should be few and well-chosen.-Joineriana

Books must be read as deliberately and reservedly as they were written.-Henry David Thoreau

Books should to one of these fours ends conduce, for wisdom, piety, delight, or use.-Sir John Denham

Books succeed, and lives fail.-Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Books that have become classics -- books that have had their day and now get more praise than perusal -- always remind me of retired colonels and majors and captains who, having reached the age limit, find themselves retired on half pay.-Thomas B. Aldrich

Books that you carry to the fire, and hold readily in your hand, are most useful after all.-Samuel Johnson

Books to judicious compilers, are useful; to particular arts and professions, they are absolutely necessary; to men of real science, they are tools: but more are tools to them.-Johnson

Books, books, books 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!-Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Books, like friends, should be few and well chosen. Like friends, too, we should return to them again and again for, like true friends, they will never fail us -- never cease to instruct -- never cloy.-Charles Caleb Colton

Books, like proverbs, receive their chief value from the stamp and esteem of the ages through which they have passed-Sir William Temple

Books, not which afford us a cowering enjoyment, but in which each thought is of unusual daring; such as an idle man cannot read, and a timid one would not be entertained by, which even make us dangerous to existing institution --such call I good books.-Henry David Thoreau

Borrowers of books --those mutilators of collections, spoilers of the symmetry of shelves, and creators of odd volumes.-Charles Lamb

But look what we have built low-income projects that become worse centers of delinquency, vandalism and general social hopelessness than the slums they were supposed to replace. Cultural centers that are unable to support a good bookstore. Civic centers that are avoided by everyone but bums. Promenades that go from no place to nowhere and have no promenaders. Expressways that eviscerate great cities. This is not the rebuilding of cities. This is the sacking of cities.-Jane Jacobs

Buy good books, and read them; the best books are the commonest, and the last editions are always the best, if the editors are not blockheads.-Lord Chesterfield

Buying books would be a good thing if one could also buy the time to read them in: but as a rule the purchase of books is mistaken for the appropriation of their contents.-Arthur Schopenhauer

By and large the literature of a democracy will never exhibit the order, regularity, skill, and art characteristic of aristocratic literature; formal qualities will be neglected or actually despised. The style will often be strange, incorrect, overburdened, and loose, and almost always strong and bold. Writers will be more anxious to work quickly than to perfect details. Short works will be commoner than long books, wit than erudition, imagination than depth. There will be a rude and untutored vigor of thought with great variety and singular fecundity. Authors will strive to astonish more than to please, and to stir passions rather than to charm taste.-Alexis De Tocqueville

Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books nobody reads.-George Bernard Shaw

 

Culture is the name for what people are interested in, their thoughts, their models, the books they read and the speeches they hear, their table-talk, gossip, controversies, historical sense and scientific training, the values they appreciate, the quality of life they admire. All communities have a culture. It is the climate of their civilization.-Walter Lippmann

Deep versed in books and shallow in himself.-John Milton

Do we write books so that they shall merely be read? Don't we also write them for employment in the household? For one that is read from start to finish, thousands are leafed through, other thousands lie motionless, others are jammed against mouseholes, thrown at rats, others are stood on, sat on, drummed on, have gingerbread baked on them or are used to light pipes.-Georg C. Lichtenberg

Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.-Sir John Lubbock

England has two books, one which she has made and one which has made her: Shakespeare and the Bible.-Victor Hugo

Every ceremony or rite has a value if it is performed without alteration. A ceremony is a book in which a great deal is written. Anyone who understands can read it. One rite often contains more than a hundred books.-George Gurdjieff

Facts in books, statistics in encyclopedias, the ability to use them in men's heads.-Fogg Brackell

Few are sufficiently sensible of the importance of that economy in reading which selects, almost exclusively, the very first order of books. Why, except for some special reason, read an inferior book, at the very time you might be reading one of the highest order?-John W. Foster

Films and gramophone records, music, books and buildings show clearly how vigorously a man's life and work go on after his ''death,'' whether we feel it or not, whether we are aware of the individual names or not. There is no such thing as death according to our view!-Martin Bormann

Five daily newspapers arrive in my California driveway. The New York times and the Wall Street Journal are supplemented by three local papers. As for magazines, I read, or at least skim, Business Week, Forbes, The Economist, INC; Industry Week, Fortune. Other subscriptions include Sales and Marketing Management, Modern Health Care, Progressive Grocer, High Tech Business, and Slaon Management Review from MIT. I religiously read Business Tokyo, Asia Week, and Far Eastern Economic Review. I glance at Newsweek and Time ... but I devour the New Republic, Policy Review, Foreign Affairs, The Washington Monthly, and Public Interest. How about books? A dozen or more each month.-Thomas J. Peters

For a long time I found the celebrities of modern painting and poetry ridiculous. I loved absurd pictures, fanlights, stage scenery, mountebanks backcloths, inn-signs, cheap colored prints; unfashionable literature, church Latin, pornographic books badly spelt, grandmothers novels, fairy stories, little books for children, old operas, empty refrains, simple rhythms.-Arthur Rimbaud

For books are more than books, they are the life, the very heart and core of ages past, the reason why men lived and worked and died, the essence and quintessence of their lives.-Amy Lowell

For books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency 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. I know they are as lively, and as vigorously productive, as those fabulous dragon's teeth; and being sown up and down, may chance to spring up armed men.-John Milton

For whatever is truly wondrous and fearful in man, never yet was put into words or books.-Herman Melville

Formerly we used to canonize our heroes. The modern method is to vulgarize them. Cheap editions of great books may be delightful, but cheap editions of great men are absolutely detestable.-Oscar Wilde

Give me books, fruit, French wine and fine weather and a little music out of doors, played by someone I do not know. I admire lolling on a lawn by a water-lilied pond to eat white currants and see goldfish: and go to the fair in the evening if I'm good. There is not hope for that --one is sure to get into some mess before evening.-John Keats

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.-William Ellery Channing

Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life. The conviction of the rich that the poor are happier is no more foolish than the conviction of the poor that the rich are.-Mark Twain

Having books published is very destructive to writing. It is even worse than making love too much. Because when you make love too much at least you get a damned clarte that is like no other light. A very clear and hollow light.-Ernest Hemingway

Here, my dear Lucy, hide these books. Quick, quick! Fling ''Peregrine Pickle'' under the toilette --throw ''Roderick Random'' into the closet --put ''The Innocent Adultery'' into ''The Whole Duty of Man''; thrust ''Lord Aimworth'' under the sofa! cram ''Ovid'' behind the bolster; there --put ''The Man of Feeling'' into your pocket. Now for them.-Richard Brinsley Sheridan

 

History books that contain no lies are extremely dull.-Anatole France

How very seldom do you encounter in the world a man of great abilities, acquirements, experience, who will unmask his mind, unbutton his brains, and pour forth in careless and picturesque phrase all the results of his studies and observation; his knowledge of men, books, and nature. On the contrary, if a man has by any chance an original idea, he hoards it as if it were old gold; and rather avoids the subject with which he is most conversant, from fear that you may appropriate his best thoughts.-Benjamin Disraeli

I believe that it is my job not only to write books but to have them published. A book is like a child. You have to defend the life of a child.-George Konrad

I cannot live without books.-Thomas Jefferson

I demand that my books be judged with utmost severity, by knowledgeable people who know the rules of grammar and of logic, and who will seek beneath the footsteps of my commas the lice of my thought in the head of my style.-Louis Aragon

I do not hesitate to read all good books in translations. What is really best in any book is translatable -- any real insight or broad human sentiment.-Ralph Waldo Emerson

I do then with my friends as I do with my books. I would have them where I can find them, but I seldom use them.-Ralph Waldo Emerson

I don't think any good book is based on factual experience. Bad books are about things the writer already knew before he wrote them.-Carlos Fuentes

I feel a kind of reverence for the first books of young authors. There is so much aspiration in them, so much audacious hope and trembling fear, so much of the heart's history, that all errors and shortcomings are for a while lost sight of in the amiable self assertion of youth.-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I have a new method of poetry. All you got to do is look over your notebooks... or lay down on a couch, and think of anything that comes into your head, especially the miseries. Then arrange in lines of two, three or four words each, don't bother about sentences, in sections of two, three or four lines each.-Allen Ginsberg

I have read many books, but the Bible reads me.-Anonymous

I heard his library burned down and both books were destroyed -- and one of them hadn't even been colored in yet.-John Dawkins

I love everything that's old: old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wines; and, I believe, Dorothy, you'll own I have been pretty fond of an old wife.-Oliver Goldsmith

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.-Charles Lamb

I prefer the honest jargon of reality to the outright lies of books.-Jean Rostand

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 yet got ourselves.-Edward M. Forster

I think the adjective ''post-modernist'' really means ''mannerist.'' Books about books is fun but frivolous.-Angela Carter

I'm afraid we have become a nation of plodders, who feel that all problems can be found in books and that the answers are on a certain page.-Clarence Linder

I've given up reading books. I find it takes my mind off myself.-Oscar Levant

Identity is a bag and a gag. Yet it exists for me with all the force of a fatal disease. Obviously I am here, a mind and a body. To say there's no proof my body exists would be arty and specious and if my mind is more ephemeral, less provable, the solution of being a writer with solid (touchable, tearable, burnable) books is as close as anyone has come to a perfect answer.-Judith Rossner

 

If a secret history of books could be written, and the author's private thoughts and meanings noted down alongside of his story, how many insipid volumes would become interesting, and dull tales excite the reader!-William M. Thackeray

If I had my way books would not be written in English, but in an exceedingly difficult secret language that only skilled professional readers and story-tellers could interpret. Then people like you would have to go to public halls and pay good prices to hear the professionals decode and read the books aloud for you. This plan would have the advantage of scaring off all amateur authors, retired politicians, country doctors and I-Married-a-Midget writers who would not have the patience to learn the secret language.-Robertson Davies

If my books had been any worse, I should not have been invited to Hollywood, and if they had been any better, I should not have come.-Raymond Chandler

If some books are deemed most baneful and their sale forbid, how, then, with deadlier facts, not dreams of doting men? Those whom books will hurt will not be proof against events. Events, not books, should be forbid.-Herman Melville

If the reviewing of books be... ''an ungentle craft,'' the making of them is, for the most part, a dishonest one -- and that department of literature which ought to be entrusted to those only who are distinguished for their moral qualities is, not infrequently, in the hands of authors totally devoid of good taste, good feeling, and generous sentiment. The writers of Lives have, in our time, assumed a license not enjoyed by their more scrupulous predecessors -- for they interweave the adventures of the living with the memoirs of the dead; and, pretending to portray the peculiarities which sometimes mark the man of genius, they invade the privacy and disturb the peace of his surviving associates.-John Cam Hobhouse

If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.-Ralph Waldo Emerson

In an extensive reading of recent books by psychologists, psychoanalysts, psychiatrists, and inspirationalists, I have discovered that they all suffer from one or more of these expression-complexes: italicizing, capitalizing, exclamation-pointing, multiple-interrogating, and itemizing. These are all forms of what the psychos themselves would call, if they faced their condition frankly, Rhetorical-Over-Compensation.-James Thurber

In my opinion, the most fruitful and natural play of the mind is in conversation. I find it sweeter than any other action in life; and if I were forced to choose, I think I would rather lose my sight than my hearing and voice. The study of books is a drowsy and feeble exercise which does not warm you up.-Michel Eyquem De Montaigne

In quoting of books, quote such authors as are usually read; others you may read for your own satisfaction, but not name them.-John Selden

In the case of good books, the point is not how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.-Mortimer J. Adler