I’m slightly modifying today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic from The Broke and the Bookish. The official prompt is to share quotes from books I’ve read in the past year or so. I do keep track of what I’ve read (connect with me on Goodreads!) but I sometimes barely remember the titles of what I’ve read, much less quotes. And while I could dig out the books and find moving passages, I mainly get books from the library, so they’re all back on their shelves (or hopefully in someone else’s hands).
Instead I’m sharing some of my favorite quotes about reading & books. This combines both my professional life as a writer and my librarian gig. I’m embarking on several projects to help create a culture of leisure reading on campus. And what better to foster a culture of reading than inspirational quotes?!? Look for them coming to a bookmark near you soon. (Provided you live near me, of course.)
Lack of time is one of the biggest barriers students face when it comes to leisure reading. Because of this, I’m especially drawn to quotes that discuss why we read – what’s the point? Why make the effort? These quotes capture some of the magic and necessity of reading.
- “‘A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies,'” said Jojen. ‘The man who never reads lives only one.'” – George R. R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons
- “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” – Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice
- “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” – Stephen King, On Writing
- “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
- “Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you.” – Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Shadow of the Wind
- “I read a book one day and my whole life was changed.” – Orhan Pamuk
- “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
- “My alma mater was books, a good library…. I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity.” – Malcolm X
- “We read books to find out who we are. What other people, real or imaginary, do and think and feel… is an essential guide to our understanding of what we ourselves are and may become.” – Ursula K. Le Guin
- “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
(A quick note on sources – I found most of these on the Goodreads Quotes About Reading page and tried to verify them as best as possible via additional Google searches. Any errors are mine.)
What are some of your favorite quotes about reading?