Updated July 31, 2022

“A book does not make bad jokes, drink too much, or eat more than you can afford to pay for.” – Kenneth Turan [“On Reading a Book While Dining Out,” New York Times, April 13, 1983)

“A book is a garden; a book is an orchard; a book is a storehouse; a book is a party. It is company by the way; it is a counselor; it is a multitude of counselors.” – Henry Ward Beecher (Proverbs from the Plymouth Pulpit: The Press, 1887)

“A book is a gift you can open again and again.” — Garrison Keillor

“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

“A novel is a garden carried in the pocket.” – Arab proverb

“A wonderful thing about a book, in contrast to a computer screen, is that you can take it to bed with you.” – Daniel J. Boorstein

“All books aren’t worth reading; all books aren’t worth your reading; and some books aren’t worth your reading now.” – J. Bernard Haviland

“All that Mankind has done, thought, gained or been: it is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of Books.” – Thomas Carlyle (“The Hero as a Man of Letters,” 1840; cited in Books: An Anthology compiled by James Thompson, 1968)

“All the glory of the world would be buried in oblivion, unless God had provided mortals with the remedy of books.” – Richard de Bury (Philobiblon, 1345; cited in Books: An Anthology compiled by James Thompson, 1968)

“Books add to our joy in prosperity, they provide refuge and comfort in adversity; they give pleasure at home and advancement abroad; they pass the night hours with us, accompany us on the road, share on holidays in the country.” – Cicero

“Books are carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculations at a standstill. Books are the engines of change, windows on the world, ‘lighthouses’ (as the poet said) ‘erected in the sea of time.’ They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind. Books are humanity in print.” – Barbara Tuchman

“Books are…a delight at home, and no hindrance abroad; companions at night, in traveling, in the country.” – Cicero

“Books are lighthouses erected in the great sea of time.” – E.P. Whipple

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

“…Books have a different place in our society than other media. Books are different from television or film because they ask you to finish the project. You have to be actively engaged to read a book. It’s more like a blueprint. What it really is, is an opportunity… A book is a place where you’re forced to use your imagination.” – Joe Meno (quoted by Edan Lepucki)

“Books have meant to my life what the sun has meant to the Planet Earth.” – Earl Nightingale

“Books may be the only true magic.” – Alice Hoffman

“Books should to one of these four ends conduce / For wisdom, piety, delight, or use.” – Sir John Denham (“Of Prudence,” 1668)

“Books were my pass to personal freedom. I learned to read at age three, and soon discovered there was a whole world to conquer that went beyond our farm in Mississippi.” – Oprah Winfrey

“A book can be an escape from the house.” – Dove Ashton

“Death steals everything except our stories.” – Jim Harrison (“Larson’s Holstein Bull” from In Search of Small Gods, 2009)

“Except a living man there is nothing more wonderful than a book! A message to us from the dead – from human souls we never saw, who lived, perhaps, thousands of miles away. And yet these, in those little sheets of paper, speak to us, terrify us, teach us, comfort us, open their hearts to us as brothers.” – Charles Kingsley

“Finishing a good book is like leaving a good friend.” – William Feather (The Business of Life)

“Free men find in books the strength to keep themselves free.” – John B. Nicholson, Jr.

“I cannot live without books.” – Thomas Jefferson (in a letter to John Adams, 1815)

“I don’t believe that there is any involvement with the world I could find that would turn me from the immersions of fiction.” – Sven Birkerts (An Artificial Wilderness, 1987)

“In literature, as in love, we are astonished at what is chosen by others.” – Andre Maurois (1885-1967)

“In the highest civilization the book is still the highest delight. He who has once known its satisfactions is provided with a resource against calamity.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Just the knowledge that a good book is waiting at the end of a long day makes that day happier.” – Kathleen Norris (Hands Full of Living, 1931)

“Knowledge and entertainment in the portable form of books came to America with its first colonist, and reading for profit or pleasure has ever since been an integral part of the life of this land.” – James D. Hart (The Popular Book, 1950)

“Life is too short for reading inferior books.” – James Bryce (address at Rutgers College, 1911; cited in Books: An Anthology compiled by James Thompson, 1968)

“Literature can shake our lives to the core. Our life can turn around corners by simply reading words on a page….Literature remains the only medium that gets directly inside our interior life.” – John Barth (quoted in the Baltimore Sun, October 7, 1975)

“Man builds no structure which outlives a book.” – Eugene Fitch Ware (1841-1911)

“Of all the needs a book has, the chief need is that it be readable.” – Anthony Trollope (An Autobiography, 1883)

“Pandora’s Box had nothing on a book.” – Lawrence Clark Powell (quoted in Books are Basic: The Essential Lawrence Clark Howell edited by John David Marshall, 1985)

“People disappear when they die. Their voice, their laughter, the warmth of their breath. Their flesh. Eventually their bones. All living memory of them ceases. This is both dreadful and natural. Yet for some there is an exception to this annihilation. For in the books they write they continue to exist. We can rediscover them. Their humor, their tone of voice, their moods. Through the written word they can anger you or make you happy. They can comfort you. They can perplex you. They can alter you. All this, even though they are dead. Like flies in amber, like corpses frozen in the ice, that which according to the laws of nature should pass away is, by the miracle of ink on paper, preserved. It is a kind of magic. – Margaret Lea (quoted by Diane Setterfield in The Thirteenth Tale)

“Some books are undeservedly forgotten; none are undeservedly remembered.” – W.H. Auden (“Reading,” The Dyer’s Hand, 1963)

“The one invincible thing is a good book; neither malice nor stupidity can crush it.” – George Moore

“The real purpose of books is to trap the mind into doing its own thinking.” – Christopher Morley

“There are books…which take rank in our life with parents and lovers and passionate experiences.” – Emerson

“There is no such thing as an interesting book: there can only be interested readers.” – A.B. Herr (“A Teacher Looks at Reading”)

“There is nothing like books – of all things sold incomparably the cheapest, of all pleasure the least palling, they take up little room, keep quiet when they are not wanted, and, when taken up, bring us face to face with the choicest men who ever lived, at their choicest moments.” – Samuel Palmer (letter to Charles West Cape, January 31, 1880)

“There is scarce a single joy I know / That can persuade me from my books to go.” – Geoffrey Chaucer (The Legend of Good Women, c. 1385)

“This will never be a civilized country until we expend more money for books than we do for chewing gum.” – Elbert Hubbard (1859-1915)

“You are never the same person when you finish a book—even one that is read purely for escape or entertainment. A conviction may take root or deepen, the imagination may be sparked, a new perspective may dawn.” –Philip Yancey (quoted in Indelible Ink (2003) edited by Scott Larsen (Waterbrook Press, 2003)

“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 (television narration about his life, WNEW-TV, June 1, 1964; cited in the Home Book of American Quotations)

“We possess the books we read, animating the waiting stillness of their language, but they possess us also, filling us with thoughts and observations, asking us to make them part of ourselves….Books enlarge us by giving direct access to experiences not our own.” – David L. Ulin (“The Lost Art of Reading,” Los Angeles Times, August 9, 2009)

“Few pleasures, for the true reader, rival the pleasure of browsing unhurriedly among books: old books, new books, library books, other people’s books, one’s own books – it does not matter whose or where. Simply to be among books, glancing at one here, reading a page from one over there, enjoying them all as objects to be touched, looked at, even smelt, is a deep satisfaction. And often, very often, while browsing haphazardly, looking for nothing in particular, you pick up a volume that suddenly excites you, and you know that this one of all the others you must read. Those are great moments – and the books we come across like that are often the most memorable.” – Aidan Chambers

“Literature is the immortal part of history; it is the best and most enduring part of personality. But book-friends have this advantage over living friends; you can enjoy the most truly aristocratic society in the world whenever you want it. The great dead are beyond our physical reach, and the great living are usually almost as inaccessible; as for our personal friends and acquaintances, we cannot always see them. Perchance they are asleep, or away on a journey. But in a private library, you can at any moment converse with Socrates or Shakespeare or Carlyle or Dumas or Dickens or Shaw or Barrie or Galsworthy. And there is no doubt that in these books you see these men at their best. They wrote for you. They “laid themselves out,” they did their ultimate best to entertain you, to make a favorable impression. You are necessary to them as an audience is to an actor; only instead of seeing them masked, you look into their innermost heart of heart.” – William Lyon Phelps

“It is chiefly through books that we enjoy intercourse with superior minds. . . . In the best books, great men talk to us, give us their most precious thoughts, and pour their souls into ours.” – William Ellery Channing

“Live for a while in the books you love. Learn from them what is worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be returned to you a thousand times over. Whatever your life may become, these books -of this I am certain- will weave through the web of your unfolding. They will be among the strongest of all threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys.” – R. M. Rilke,  Letters to a Young Poet

“I guess that’s the beauty of books. When they finish, they don’t really finish.” – Markus Zusak

“The book itself is a curious artifact, not showy in its technology but complex and extremely efficient: a really neat little device, compact, often very pleasant to look at and handle, that can last decades, even centuries. It doesn’t have to be plugged in, activated, or performed by a machine; all it needs is light, a human eye, and a human mind. It is not one of a kind, and it is not ephemeral. It lasts. It is reliable. If a book told you something when you were fifteen, it will tell you again when you’re fifty, though you may understand it so differently that it seems you’re reading a whole new book.” – Ursula K. Le Guin (Staying Awake: Notes on the Alleged Decline of Reading)

“If I am open to it, reading allows a sort of magical transference to occur: the characters and their story–their joys and sorrows and longings and loves–settle in my heart and become part of me, and I never have to say goodbye to any of it. For someone who hates goodbyes–whether to loved ones or experiences or places I love–this is gold, the real thing. It’s like taking home a spice-bottleful of ocean, and still hearing it roar in my ear, miles and miles away.” – Bo Caldwell

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

“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

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

“Books lift us out of the smallness of the present and into history, out of the smallness of ourselves and into humanity.” – Brian Jay Stanley (“The Communion of Strangers,” The Sun, April 2012)

“Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens.” —  Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Shadow of the Wind

“Books. They are lined up on shelves or stacked on a table. There they are wrapped up in their jackets, lines of neat print on nicely bound pages. They look like such orderly, static things. Then you, the reader come along. You open the book jacket, and it can be like opening the gates to an unknown city, or opening the lid of a treasure chest. You read the first word and you’re off on a journey of exploration and discovery.” – David Almond

“Books have the same enemies as people: fire, humidity, animals, weather, and their own content.” – Paul Valery

“Books are like people. Some look deceptively attractive from a distance, some deceptively unappealing; some are easy company, some demand hard work that isn’t guaranteed to pay off. Some become friends and say friends for life. Some change in our absence — or perhaps it is we who change in theirs — and we meet up again only to find that we don’t get along any more.” –  Mark Haddon (The Right Words in the Right Order)

“Books let us into their souls and lay open to us the secrets of our own.”  – William Hazlitt

“…for some of us, books are as important as anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid pieces of paper unfolds world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet you 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. They are full of the things that you don’t get in life…wonderful, lyrical language, for instance. And quality of attention: we may notice amazing details during the course of a day but we rarely let ourselves stop and really pay attention. An author makes you notice, makes you pay attention and this is a great gift. My gratitude for good writing is unbounded; I’m grateful for it the way I’m grateful for the ocean.” – Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird)

“I admit it. I am an addict. Addicted to reading by those pavement magicians shouting at us like circus barkers: those booksellers endlessly rearranging their displays and corrupting us with their seductive litany of titles-as they lured us away from the little world of the self and into whole galaxies of the imagination.” – Gita Mehta (Snakes and Ladders)

“Books and life are bonded at the molecular level. To remove one is to fatally wound the other. We learn about life from books, especially novels and Shakespeare, and life teaches us how to read them with growing discernment. Try to imagine your capacity for moral understanding and your at-homeness in the world if you had never read George Eliot, Tolstoy, James or Bellow.” – Patrick Kurp (Kurp’s blog, Anecdotal Evidence)

“I talk about my books as if they were people, and I choose them the way I choose my friends: because somebody nice introduced us, because I liked their looks, because the best of them turn out to be smart and funny and both surprising and inevitable at the same time.” – Sara Nelson (So Many Books, So Little Time: A Year of Passionate Reading, 2003)

“Part of the appeal of books…is that they’re the cheapest and easiest way to transport you from the world you know into one you don’t….Part-time machine, part Concorde, part ejector seat, books are our salvation.” – Sara Nelson (So Many Books, So Little Time: A Year of Passionate Reading, 2003)

“Books, by their very nature and variety, help us to grow in empathy for others, intolerance and awareness. But they should increase our skepticism as well as our humanity.” – Michael Dirda (A Reading Life, p. 26)

“Literature is my Utopia. Here I am not disenfranchised. No barrier of the senses shuts me out from the sweet, gracious discourse of my book friends. They talk to me without embarrassment or awkwardness.” – Helen Keller

Comerado, this is no book,
Who touches this, touches a man,
(Is it night? Are we here alone?)
It is I you hold, and who holds you,
I spring from the pages into your arms–decease calls me forth.
– Walt Whitman, “Leaves of Grass”

“Our true birthplace is that in which we cast for the first time an intelligent eye on ourselves. My first homelands were my books.” – Marguerite Yourcenar

“The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.” – Muriel Rukeyser, “The Speed of Darkness”

“Books are the compass and telescope and sextants and charts which other men have prepared to help us navigate the dangerous seas of human life.” ~ Jesse Lee Bennett

“Certain things are perfect the way they are and need no improvement. The sky, the Pacific Ocean, procreation, and the Goldberg Variations all fit this bill, and so do books. Books are sublime, but books are also visceral. They are physically appealing, emotionally evocative objects that constitute a perfect delivery system. ” – Joe Queenan (One for the Books, p. 27)

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends, they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” – Charles W. Eliot

“Books support us in our solitude and keep us from being a burden to ourselves.” – Jeremy Collier

“Books are islands in the ocean of time. They are also oases in the deserts of time.” – Lawrence Clark Powell

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

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

Thou shalt not is soon forgotten, but Once upon a time lasts forever,” – Philip Pullman

“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

“A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.” – Franz Kafka

“Books hold most of the secrets of the world, most of the thoughts that men and women have had. And when you are reading a book, you and the author are alone together – just the two of you.” – E.B. White

“As with men, it has always seemed to me that books have their own peculiar destinies. They go towards the people who are waiting for them and reach them at the right moment. They are made of living material and continue to cast light through the darkness long after the death of their authors.” – Miguel Serrano (1917-2009), C.G. Jung and Hermann Hesse: A Record of Two Friendships, tr. Frank MacShane (1966; rpt. Einsiedeln: Daimon Verlag, 1997), p. 14.

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.” ― John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)

“Books don’t make people good. Lots of terrible and mediocre people read (and write). Books aren’t medicine. They fix nothing. Good books ask little and repay us with enjoyment and endurance.” – Patrick Krup, from a blogpost at his blog Anecdotal Evidence

“The virtues of the book are independent of any bells, whistles or animation it might be made to contain… [and] in trying to make the case for books to our kids, exactly the case we want to make is not that they can compete with the virtues of computers or screens, but that they do something else: that they allow for a soulfulness the screens, with their jumpy impersonality, cannot duplicate – any more than the movies can duplicate the intimate intensity of theater, or than the computer can reproduce the shared-hearth-in-living-room experience of television that we now, ironically, recall nostalgically. …What books do depends on the totality of what they are – their turning pages, their sturdy self-sufficiency, above all the way they invite a child to withdraw from this world into a world alongside ours in an activity at once mentally strenuous and physically still.” – ~Adam Gopnik

“The unadmitted reason why traditional readers are hostile to e-books is that we still hold the superstitious idea that a book is like a soul, and that every soul should have its own body. The condensation of millions of books on a single device, or their evaporation in a data cloud, seems to presage what is destined to happen to our souls, to the coming end of selfhood, even of embodiment. If this sounds fanciful, imagine what a lover of hand-written codices might have thought in 1450 about the rise of print. Manuscripts, he would protest, were once rare, hard to create, dedicated to holy or venerable subjects; print would make them cheap, derivative, profane, and easily disposable. And didn’t exactly this happen to human beings in the age of print, which is the modern age?”~ Adam Kirsch, Rocket and Lightship

“A book is like a door. It opens and closes. Its spine resembles a hinge. And it leads into a room – one that only a single reader can enter. Even two people sitting together reading the same page of Moby-Dick are not sharing the same ‘room’.” – Sparrow, “My Book Life,” The Sun, May 2019

[With a certain kind of book] you have not finished with it because you have read it, any more than friendship is ended because it is time to part. Life wells up and alters and adds. Even things in a book-case change if they are alive; we find ourselves wanting to meet them again; we find them altered.” – Virginia Woolf, “The Essay,” in The Common Reader (1925)

“. . . Books are the bees which carry the quickening pollen from one to another mind.” – James Russel Lowell [1819-1891], The Round Table

“Books, like landscapes, leave their marks on us. Sometimes these traces are so faint as to be imperceptible – tiny shifts in the weather of the spirit that do not register on the usual instruments. Mostly, these marks are temporary: we close a book, and for the next hour or two the world seems oddly brighter at its edges; or we are moved to a kindness or a meanness that would otherwise have gone unexpressed. Certain books, though, like certain landscapes, stay with us even when we have left them, changing not just our weathers but our climates. . . . Strong books and strong words can be landmarks . . . reading can change minds, revise behavior and shape perception. . . leaving our attention refocused, our sight freshly scintillated.” – Robert Macfarlane, Landmarks (2015)

“For some of us, books are as important as almost anything on earth. 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 or quiet or excite you.” – Anne Lamott; found at the Facebook page of The Goodwill Librarian (December 13, 2017)

“Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations. Books, the oldest and the best, stand naturally and rightfully on the shelves of every cottage. They have no cause of their own to plead, but while they enlighten and sustain the reader his common sense will not refuse them. Their authors are a natural and irresistible aristocracy in every society, and, more than kings or emperors, exert an influence on mankind.” – Henry David Thoreau (from Walden; or, Life in the Woods, 1854; quoted by Alexander Atkins at his blog Bookshelf, January 16, 2020)

“The pen is mightier than the sword.” – Edward Bulwer-Lytton (Richelieu, 1839)

“A well-composed book is a magic carpet on which we are wafted to a world that we cannot enter in any other way.” – Caroline Gordon

“Books do not make life easier or more simple, but harder and more interesting.” – Harry Golden (So What Else Is New? 1964)

“Books are the most mannerly of companions, accessible at all times, in all moods, frankly declaring the author’s mind, without offense.” – A. Bronson Alcott (Concord Days, 1872)

“[Books] nourish youth, delight old age, adorn prosperity, afford a refuge and solace in adversity; forming our delights at home; anything but hindrances abroad; they are our nightly associates; our indoor and out-of-door companions.” – Cicero (Pro Archia)

“In the highest civilization the book is still the highest delight. He who has once known its satisfactions is provided with a resource against calamity. Angels they are to us of entertainment, sympathy, and provocation – silent guides, tractable prophets, historians, and singers, whose embalmed life is the highest feat of art; who now cast their moonlight illumination over solitude, weariness, and fallen fortunes.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson (“Quotations and Originality,” Letters and Social Aims, 1876)

“A book is a thing among things, a volume lost among the volumes that populate the indifferent universe, until it meets its reader, the person destined for its symbols. What then occurs is that singular emotion called beauty, that lovely mystery which neither psychology nor criticism can describe.” Jorge Luis Borges (Selected Nonfictions)

“It is a queer thing, the inexpensiveness of books. You have to pay ridiculous prices to hear good music, and painting and statues cost fortunes. But you can get just as good a copy of ‘The Mill on the Floss’ as you need for the price of a dish of ice cream. Think of the labor it cost George Eliot to write that book, of the lifelong study it cost her to be able to write any such book, and you can get the results of all her genius and pains for a sum too insignificant to mention. That is why literature is most truly the art of the people. Books are the only masterpieces that the poor man can have as well as the rich.” —Willa Cather

“Books are symbols of knowledge and are meant to be read, yet they are also physically experienced; they are tactile and engage our senses. We open a book, hold it in our hands, and are aware of its scent, and when we read we hold it close to our bodies, near our hearts, in fact. We cradle books at our cores as we would an infant child. We curl up with a good book. When partaking of a bound book we are required to interact with it by the tender, nearly silent turning of pages, like tucking a lock of hair behind an ear. It is an intimacy that is grounding and a counterpoint to the swipe of a screen.

All books . . . allow us to learn about things we may never experience first-hand or go to places we may not otherwise reach. We can span time, going back in history or propelling ahead into the future. They provide platforms from which to experience nearly anything and therefore broaden our perspective of the world. We gain a greater understanding of humanity and therefore a deepened sense of compassion. . . .

Books transport us not just through their stories, but through recalling where we were when we read them. . . . The emotional connection to books is undeniable.

. . . The style of [book’s] covers, the choice of font, the surface of the paper contribute to the experience of reading. . . . [Books] are aesthetically [as well as] intellectually compelling. And the notion that these rectangles of paper, comprised of ungirded potential, can fit in the palm of my hand and withstand decades, even centuries, never ceases to amaze me. . . .

. . . Though acquiring and reading books is a solitary practice, we connect to others through books. Liking the same genres is akin to liking the same music. . . .

. . . There is no denying the role books have as aesthetic objects; even when their covers are closed, they visually engage us. The books on our shelves – our libraries – are geometries that frame our personal histories. . . . To live with them reminds us of who we are and where we came from. . . .

. . . When we engage with a book we practice creativity because we interpret what is being presented and visualize images in response. We imagine what a character might look like, we speculate on a setting. As we absorb the pages, which are outside ourselves, they act as a portal inward. We respond to what is being presented and identify with it (or not). As much as we get lost in books, ironically, we can find ourselves in them as well and having them situated in a library invites discourse and conversation; it is a space for community. . . .

. . . Books are something we can return to again and again to nourish an idea or recapture a notion. Their sequence remains; the order of pages and chapters is reliable. Physical books are part of a meaningful life. . . . Plus we never have to recharge their batteries.”

– Lisa Occhipinti (Novel Living: Collecting, Decorating, and Crafting with Books, pages 7-11)

“There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.” – Irving Stone

“Books are not about passing the time. They’re about other lives. Other worlds.” ― Alan Bennett

“Books and doors are the same thing. You open them, and you go through into another world.” — Jeanette Winterson

“Take a good book with you to bed – books do not snore.” – Thea Dorn

′′ Books are in themselves, reasons to stay alive.” – Matt Haig

“Books are the compasses and telescopes and sextants and charts which other men have prepared to help us navigate the dangerous seas of human life.” ― Jesse Lee Bennett

“One nice feature of books is that they are never asleep and never otherwise engaged.” – James Henry Potts (“The Companionship of Books,” in Every Life a Delight, 1914)

“All books are either dreams or swords.” – Amy Lowell

“The book may be inferior in many ways to the new, seemingly incorporeal media that lay claim to its legacy and overwhelm us with information, and may be a conservative medium in the original sense of the word, but it is the only one which, by the very self-sufficiency of its body, in which text, image and design dovetail perfectly with one another, promises to lend order to the world or sometimes even to take its place.” – Judith Schalansky (An Inventory of Losses, 2018)

“The book, like the bicycle, is a perfect form.” — Jacques Barzun

“Among the many worlds that man did not receive as a gift from nature but created out of his own mind, the world of books is the greatest… Without the word, without the writing of books, there is no history, there is no concept of humanity. And if anyone wants to try to enclose in a small space, in a single house or a single room, the history of the human spirit and to make it his own, he can only do this in the form of a collection of books.” – Hermann Hesse (“The Magic of the Book,” in My Belief: Essays on Life and Art)

“The object we call a book is not the real book, but its potential, like a musical score or seed. It exists fully only in the act of being read; and its real home is inside the head of the reader, where the symphony resounds, the seed germinates. A book is a heart that only beats in the chest of another.” – Rebecca Solnit (“Flight,” in The Faraway Nearby)

“We need not fear a future elimination of the book. On the contrary, the more that certain needs for entertainment and education are satisfied through other inventions, the more the book will win back in dignity and authority.” – Hermann Hesse (“The Magic of the Book,” in My Belief: Essays on Life and Art)


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