Mendo Island Journal — Timely. Useful. Sometimes Cranky.

40 Inspiring Quotes About Reading

In Around the web, Books on December 5, 2011 at 6:07 am

Mark Twain

From FLAVORWIRE

December is one of our favorite months to curl up and read. If you need a little extra inspiration in this most hectic of months, however, never fear. To spur you on, we’ve collected a few inspiring quotes about reading by some people who read quite a lot — the authors themselves. Click through to read forty of our favorite quotes from writers about books and reading, and let us know if we’ve missed any of your own favorite inspirational declarations in the comments!

“When I get a little money, I buy books. If any is left, I buy food and clothes.” — Erasmus

“We don’t need a list of rights and wrongs, tables of dos and don’ts: we need books, time, and silence. Thou shalt not is soon forgotten, but Once upon a time lasts forever.” — Philip Pullman

“If one reads enough books one has a fighting chance. Or better, one’s chances of survival increase with each book one reads.” — Sherman Alexie

“Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.” — Joyce Carol Oates

“You should never read just for “enjoyment.” Read to make yourself smarter! Less judgmental. More apt to understand your friends’ insane behavior, or better yet, your own. Pick “hard books.” Ones you have to concentrate on while reading. And for god’s sake, don’t let me ever hear you say, “I can’t read fiction. I only have time for the truth.” Fiction is the truth, fool! Ever hear of “literature”? That means fiction, too, stupid.” — John Waters

“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”  – Ernest Hemingway

“What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.” — Anne Lamott

“I am simply a ‘book drunkard.’ Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.” — L.M. Montgomery

“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” — Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler)

“I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us. If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for? So that it will make us happy, as you write? Good Lord, we would be happy precisely if we had no books, and the kind of books that make us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But we need books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. That is my belief.” – Franz Kafka

“Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.” — Henry David Thoreau

“A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.” — Madeleine L’Engle

“We read to know that we are not alone.” — C.S. Lewis

“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” — Oscar Wilde

“I still love books. Nothing a computer can do can compare to a book. You can’t really put a book on the Internet. Three companies have offered to put books by me on the Net, and I said, ‘If you can make something that has a nice jacket, nice paper with that nice smell, then we’ll talk.’ All the computer can give you is a manuscript. People don’t want to read manuscripts. They want to read books. Books smell good. They look good. You can press it to your bosom. You can carry it in your pocket.”  – Ray Bradbury

“Be awesome! Be a book nut!” — Dr. Seuss

“Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.” — Louisa May Alcott

“The one way of tolerating existence is to lose oneself in literature as in a perpetual orgy.” — Gustave Flaubert

“My alma mater was books, a good library…. I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity.” — Malcolm X

“I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I owe everything I am and everything I will ever be to books.” — Gary Paulsen

“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.” — Confucius

“Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. 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

“Picking five favorite books is like picking the five body parts you’d most like not to lose.” — Neil Gaiman

“A good book is an education of the heart. It enlarges your sense of human possibility what human nature is of what happens in the world. It’s a creator of inwardness.” — Susan Sontag

“Reading brings us unknown friends.” — Honoré de Balzac

“When the Day of Judgment dawns and people, great and small, come marching in to receive their heavenly rewards, the Almighty will gaze upon the mere bookworms and say to Peter, “Look, these need no reward. We have nothing to give them. They have loved reading.” — Virginia Woolf

“We don’t need to have just one favorite. We keep adding favorites. Our favorite book is always the book that speaks most directly to us at a particular stage in our lives. And our lives change. We have other favorites that give us what we most need at that particular time. But we never lose the old favorites. They’re always with us. We just sort of accumulate them.” — Lloyd Alexander

“We need to make books cool again. If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t fuck them. Don’t sleep with people who don’t read!” – John Waters

“Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” — Mark Twain

“To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.” — Victor Hugo

“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.” — Marcel Proust

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” — Stephen King

“Knowing you have something good to read before bed is among the most pleasurable of sensations.” — Vladimir Nabokov

“In my view, nineteen pounds of old books are at least nineteen times as delicious as one pound of fresh caviar.” — Anne Fadiman

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” — Jorge Luis Borges

“Read! When your baby is finally down for the night, pick up a juicy book like Eat, Pray, Love or Pride and Prejudice or my personal favorite,Understanding Sleep Disorders: Narcolepsy and Apnea; A Clinical Study. Taking some time to read each night really taught me how to feign narcolepsy when my husband asked me what my “plan” was for taking down the Christmas tree.” — Tina Fey

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.” — James Baldwin

“When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.” — Maya Angelou

“I cannot live without books.” — Thomas Jefferson
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  1. This inspires me to never give up reading. Every day I realise reading is essential for having a balanced life.

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