Books help us travel and meet new people without leaving home, find ourselves, learn new skills or knowledge, and much, much more. The right book at the right time can be like a miracle in your life. Find here some inspiring and challenging quotations about books.

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People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like.

— Abraham Lincoln

A bad book is as much of a labor to write as a good one, it comes as sincerely from the author’s soul.

— Aldous Huxley

When you read about the lives of other people, people of different circumstances or similar circumstances, you are part of their lives for that moment. You inhabit their lives, and you feel what they’re feeling, and that is compassion. If we see that reading does allow us that, we see how absolutely essential reading is.

— Amy Tan

Seek diverse authors, not just diverse books. If you want to truly decolonize your library seek more than a Black/Brown face on the cover of the book.

— Angela Shanté, The Noisy Classroom

I have a real soft spot in my heart for librarians and people who care about books.

— Ann Richards

The experience of the race shows that we get our most important education not through books but through our work. We are developed by our daily task, or else demoralized by it, as by nothing else.

— Anna Garlin Spencer

Life-transforming ideas have always come to me through books.

— bell hooks

One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time.

— Carl Sagan

[When I was a child] I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and I was a street kid. … [T]here was one aspect of that environment that, for some reason, struck me as different, and that was the stars. … I could tell they were lights in the sky, but that wasn’t an explanation. I mean, what were they? Little electric bulbs on long black wires, so you couldn’t see what they were held up by? What were they? … My mother said to me, “Look, we’ve just got you a library card … get out a book and find the answer.” … It was in there. It was stunning. The answer was that the Sun was a star, except very far away. … The dazzling idea of a universe vast beyond imagining swept over me. … I sensed awe.

— Carl Sagan

One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time.

— Carl Sagan

Many books require no thought from those who read them, and for a very simple reason; they made no such demand upon those who wrote them.

— Charles Caleb Colson

In books, as in life, there are no second chances. On second thought: it’s the next work, still to be written, that offers the second chance.

— Cynthia Ozick

I don’t think one can accurately measure the historical effectiveness of a poem; but one does know, of course, that books influence individuals; and individuals, although they are part of large economic and social processes, influence history. Every mass is after all made up of millions of individuals.

— Denise Levertov

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.

— Dr. Seuss

No man can be called friendless who has God and the companionship of good books.

— Elizabeth Barrett Browning

The test of literature is, I suppose, whether we ourselves live more intensely for the reading of it.

— Elizabeth Drew

So many books, so little time.

— Frank Zappa

Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity.

— G. K. Chesterton

Libraries are reservoirs of strength, grace and wit, reminders of order, calm and continuity, lakes of mental energy, neither warm nor cold, light nor dark. The pleasure they give is steady, unorgastic, reliable, deep and long-lasting. In any library in the world, I am at home, unselfconscious, still and absorbed.

— Germaine Greer

Readers are plentiful, thinkers are rare.

— Harriet Martineau

If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.

— Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place. It is not to bring men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines. It is not to lead our neighbor into a corner where there are no alternatives left, but to open a wide spectrum of options for choice and commitment. It is not an educated intimidation with good books, good stories, and good works, but the liberation of fearful hearts so that words can find roots and bear ample fruit.

— Henri Nouwen

If you want a new idea, read an old book.

— Ivan Pavlov

One benefit of Summer was that each day we had more light to read by.

— Jeanette Walls

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

— John Ruskin

If a book is worth reading, it is worth buying.

— John Ruskin

You should read books like you take medicine, by advice, and not by advertisement.

— John Ruskin

Life being very short, and the quiet hours of it few, we ought to waste none of them in reading valueless books.

— John Ruskin

To use books rightly, is to go to them for help; to appeal to them when our own knowledge and power fail; to be led by them into wider sight and purer conception than our own, and to receive from them the united sentence of the judges and councils of all time, against our solitary and unstable opinions.

— John Ruskin

Great nations write their autobiographies in three manuscripts – the book of their deeds, the book of their words and the book of their art.

— John Ruskin

What do we, as a nation, care about books? How much do you think we spend altogether on our libraries, public or private, as compared to what we spend on our horses?

— John Ruskin

Man is what he reads.

— Joseph Brodsky

Let children read whatever they want and then talk about it with them. If parents and kids can talk together, we won’t have as much censorship because we won’t have as much fear.

— Judy Blume

Librarians save lives: by handing the right book, at the right time, to a kid in need.

— Judy Blume

Some say they get lost in books, but I find myself, again and again, in the pages of a good book. Humanly speaking, there is no greater teacher, no greater therapist, no greater healer of the soul, than a well-stocked library.

— L.R. Knost

Do give books — religious or otherwise — for Christmas. They’re never fattening, seldom sinful, and permanently personal.

— Lenore Hershey

Rest, nature, books, music, such is my idea of happiness.

— Leo Tolstoy

If you read a lot of books, you’re considered well-read. But if you watch a lot of TV, you’re not considered well-viewed.

— Lily Tomlin

‘Come with me,’ Mom says.
To the library.
Books and summertime
go together.

— Lisa Schroeder

I was gravely warned by some of my female acquaintances that no woman could expect to be regarded as a lady after she had written a book.

— Lydia Maria Child

A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.

— Madeleine L’Engle

To know oneself as a body is more important than to read the words of all wise men who have ever lived.

— Marco Vassi

A room without books is like a body without a soul.

— Marcus Tullius Cicero

Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.

— Mark Twain

There are some books that refuse to be written. They stand their ground year after year and will not be persuaded. It isn’t because the book is not there and worth being written — it is only because the right form of the story does not present itself. There is only one right form for a story and if you fail to find that form the story will not tell itself.

— Mark Twain

Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.

— Mark Twain

I lived in books more than I lived anywhere else.

— Neil Gaiman

Love is more pleasant than marriage for the same reason that novels are more amusing than history.

— Nicolas Chamfort

The difference between literature and journalism is that journalism is unreadable and literature is not read.

— Oscar Wilde

If it is true that there is always more than one way of construing a text, it is not true that all interpretations are equal.

— Paul Ricoeur
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