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

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

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

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

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