It is what you read when dont

It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.  ~Oscar WildeFD

Some books are to be tasted others

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.  ~Francis Bacon, "Of Studying," Essays or Counsels, Civil and Moral, 1625; CTO

Let your bookcases and shelves be gardens

Let your bookcases and your shelves be your gardens and your pleasure-grounds.  Pluck the fruit that grows therein, gather the roses, the spices, and the myrrh.  ~Judah Ibn TibbonCOE

The walls of books around him dense

The walls of books around him, dense with the past, formed a kind of insulation against the present world and its disasters.  ~Ross MacDonaldLCE

The stories of childhood leave an indelible

The stories of childhood leave an indelible impression, and their author always has a niche in the temple of memory from which the image is never cast out to be thrown on the rubbish heap of things that are outgrown and outlived.  ~Howard PyleLCE

The scholar only knows how dear these

The scholar only knows how dear these silent, yet eloquent, companions of pure thoughts and innocent hours become in the season of adversity.  When all that is worldly turns to dross around us, these only retain their steady value.  ~Washington IrvingCOE

I know every book of mine by

I know every book of mine by its smell, and I have but to put my nose between the pages to be reminded of all sorts of things.  ~George Robert Gissing

A book reads the better which is

A book reads the better which is our own, and has been so long known to us, that we know the topography of its blots, and dog’s ears, and can trace the dirt in it to having read it at tea with buttered muffins.  ~Charles Lamb, Last Essays of Elia, 1833

A man may as well expect to

A man may as well expect to grow stronger by always eating as wiser by always reading.  ~Jeremy CollierLCE

Most books like their authors are born

Most books, like their authors, are born to die; of only a few books can it be said that death hath no dominion over them; they live, and their influence lives forever.  ~J. SwartzCOE

The time to read is any time

The time to read is any time: no apparatus, no appointment of time and place, is necessary.  It is the only art which can be practised at any hour of the day or night, whenever the time and inclination comes, that is your time for reading; in joy or sorrow, health or illness.  ~Holbrook JacksonPL

There is a great deal of difference

There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and a tired man who wants a book to read.  ~G.K. Chesterton

To mind the inside of a book

“To mind the inside of a book is to entertain one’s self with the forced product of another man’s brain. Now I think a man of quality and breeding may be much amused with the natural sprouts of his own.” ?Lord Foppington in the Relapse  An ingenious acquaintance of my own was so much struck with this bright sally of his Lordship, that he has left off reading altogether, to the great improvement of his originality. At the hazard of losing some credit on this head, I must confess that I dedicate no inconsiderable portion of my time to other people’s thoughts. I dream away my life in others’ speculations. 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, Last Essays of Elia, 1820TPVgb reprinted 1822

O for a booke and shdie nooke

O for a Booke and a shdie nooke, eyther in-a-doore or out;
With the grene leaves whisp’ring overhede, or the Streete cryes 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 WilsonCOE

A large still book is a piece

A large, still book is a piece of quietness, succulent and nourishing in a noisy world, which I approach and imbibe with "a sort of greedy enjoyment," as Marcel Proust said of those rooms of his old home whose air was "saturated with the bouquet of silence."  ~Holbrook JacksonPL

To sit alone in the lamplight with

To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you, and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations – such is a pleasure beyond compare.  ~Kenko Yoshida

I have friends whose society is delightful

I have friends whose society is delightful to me; they are persons of all countries and of all ages; distinguished in war, in council, and in letters; easy to live with, always at my command.  ~Francesco PetrarchCOE

A truly good book teaches me better

A truly good book teaches me better than to read it.  I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint…. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.  ~Henry David ThoreauPL

An ordinary man can surround himself with

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.  ~Augustine BirrellLCE

Lord when you sell a man book

Lord! when you sell a man a book you don’t sell just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue – you sell him a whole new life.  Love and friendship and humour and ships at sea by night – there’s all heaven and earth in a book, a real book.  ~Christopher MorleyDR; When you sell a man a book you don’t sell him just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue – you sell him a whole new life.  ~Christopher Morley, Parnassus on Wheels, ch.4; BMC

Many persons read and like fiction it

Many persons read and like fiction.  It does not tax the intelligence and the intelligence of most of us can so ill afford taxation that we rightly welcome any reading matter which avoids this.  ~Rose MacaulayLCE

Children dont read to find their identity

Children don’t read to find their identity, to free themselves from guilt, to quench the thirst for rebellion or to get rid of alienation.  They have no use for psychology…. They still believe in God, the family, angels, devils, witches, goblins, logic, clarity, punctuation, and other such obsolete stuff…. When a book is boring, they yawn openly.  They don’t expect their writer to redeem humanity, but leave to adults such childish illusions.  ~Isaac Bashevis Singer, 1978

I would be most content if my

I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.  ~Anna Quindlen, "Enough Bookshelves," New York Times, 7 August 1991

Books have to be read worse luck

Books have to be read (worse luck it takes so long a time).  It is the only way of discovering what they contain.  A few savage tribes eat them, but reading is the only method of assimilation revealed to the West.  ~E.M. ForsterPL

These are not books lumps of lifeless

These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves.  From each of them goes out its own voice… and just as the touch of a button on our set will fill the room with music, so by taking down one of these volumes and opening it, one can call into range the voice of a man far distant in time and space, and hear him speaking to us, mind to mind, heart to heart.  ~Gilbert HighetLCE

One to whom books are as strangers

One to whom books are as strangers has not yet learned to live. He is a solitary, though he dwell amid a vast population. On the other hand, he to whom books are as friends possesses a Key to the Garden of Delights, where the purest pleasures are open for his entertainment, and where he has for his companions the master minds of all the ages. ~Charles Noel Douglas, “Introduction,” Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical

In books lies the soul of whole

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 CarlyleCOE

God be thanked for books they are

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.  ~W.E. ChanningCOE

This nice and subtle happiness of reading

This nice and subtle happiness of reading, this joy not chilled by age, this polite and unpunished vice, this selfish, serene life-long intoxication.  ~Logan Pearsall SmithPL

I often derive a peculiar satisfaction in

I often derive a peculiar satisfaction in conversing with the ancient and modern dead, – who yet live and speak excellently in their works.  My neighbors think me often alone, – and yet at such times I am in company with more than five hundred mutes – each of whom, at my pleasure, communicates his ideas to me by dumb signs – quite as intelligently as any person living can do by uttering of words.  ~Laurence SterneCOE

Reading is to the mind what exercise

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.  ~Richard Steele, Tatler, 1710LCD; Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. It is wholesome and bracing for the mind to have its faculties kept on the stretch. ~Augustus Hare, PL

A book is to me like a

A book is to me like a hat or coat – a very uncomfortable thing until the newness has been worn off.  ~Charles B. FairbanksCOE

In reading a lonely quiet concert is

In reading, a lonely quiet concert is given to our minds; all our mental faculties will be present in this symphonic exaltation.  ~Stéphane MallarméPL

As a rule reading fiction is as

As a rule reading fiction is as hard to me as trying to hit a target by hurling feathers at it.  I need resistance to celebrate!  ~William JamesLCE

A blessed companion is a book

A blessed companion is a book, – a book that, fitly chosen, is a lifelong friend,… a book that, at a touch, pours its heart into our own.  ~Douglas JerroldCOE

How many a man has dated new

How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.  ~Henry David Thoreau, Walden, quoted in Elevating Ourselves: Henry David Thoreau on Mountains, ed. Wesley T. Mott, 1999

We are too civil to books for

We are too civil to books.  For a few golden sentences we will turn over and actually read a volume of four or five hundred pages.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I suggest that the only books influence

I suggest that the only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little farther down our particular path than we have yet got ourselves.  ~E.M. Forster, Two Cheers for Democracy, 1951

Books not which afford us a cowering

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

A book is the only place in

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.  ~Edward P. Morgan