Global Language and World Culture
Reading quotes and aphorisms

Reading quotes and aphorisms

The art of reading
The art of reading

Reading quotes and aphorisms chosen from various very wise and famous writers in order to emphasize the importance of books, of reading and of readers.

The reading of all good books is like a conversation with all the finest men of past centuries.
Rene Descartes

Hypocrite reader – my fellow – my brother!
Charles Baudelaire

The first thing that reading teaches us is how to be alone.
Jonathan Franzen

Read in order to live.
Gustave Flaubert

Don’t just say that you have read books. Show that through them you have learned to think better.

Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted… but to weigh and consider.
Francis Bacon

There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life.
Walt Disney

There is an art of reading, as well as an art of thinking, and an art of writing.
Isaac Disraeli

When we are alone and feeling low, a good book can listen to us and we can gather comfort, consolation and strength!
Carl William Brown

You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.
Ray Bradbury

How well he’s read, to reason against reading!
William Shakespeare

Read nothing that you do not care to remember, and remember nothing you do not mean to use.
Professor Blackie

You will, I am sure, agree with me that… if page 534 only finds us in the second chapter, the length of the first one must have been really intolerable.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The good of a book lies in its being read. A book is made up of signs that speak of other signs, which in their turn speak of things. Without an eye to read them, a book contains signs that produce no concepts; therefore it is dumb.
Umberto Eco

We should be as careful of the books we read, as of the company we keep. The dead very often have more power than the living.
Tryon Edwards

Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.
W. Fusselman

To live as a vegetable you don’t need to read!
Carl William Brown

No story is the same to us after a lapse of time; or rather we who read it are no longer the same interpreters.
George Eliot

If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Never read any book that is not a year old.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

To be a good writer and why not also a passionate reader you must be able to listen to the dead and talk to them.
Carl William Brown

Reading and readers
Reading and readers

Our high respect for a well read person is praise enough for literature.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is creative reading as well as creative writing.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

‘Tis the good reader that makes the good book; in every book he finds passages which seem to be confidences or sides hidden from all else and unmistakably meant for his ear; the profit of books is according to the sensibility of the reader; the profound thought or passion sleeps as in a mine, until it is discovered by an equal mind and heart.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

When you reread a classic, you do not see more in the book than you did before; you see more in you than there was before.
Cliff Fadiman

Read, read, read. Read everything – trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out the window.
William Faulkner

In science, read by preference the newest works. In literature, read the oldest. The classics are always modern.
Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

Reading without purpose is sauntering not exercise.
Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

One may as well be asleep as to read for anything but to improve his mind and morals, and regulate his conduct.
Laurence Sterne

Digressions, incontestably, are the sunshine; they are the life, the soul of reading!
Laurence Sterne

Read much, but not many books.
Benjamin Franklin

Reading makes a full man, meditation a profound man, discourse a clear man.
Benjamin Franklin

After all manner of professors have done their best for us, the place we are to get knowledge is in books. The true university of these days is a collection of books.
Thomas Carlyle

No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.
Robert Frost

My early and invincible love of reading I would not exchange for all the riches of India.
Edward Gibbon

As writers become more numerous, it is natural for readers to become more indolent; whence must necessarily arise a desire of attaining knowledge with the greatest possible ease.
Oliver Goldsmith

The first time I read an excellent work, it is to me just as if I gained a new friend; and when I read over a book I have perused before, it resembles the meeting of an old one.
Sir James Goldsmith

I read part of it all the way through.
Samuel Goldwyn

In the dead I always read something new while and in the living I heard telling a thousand times thousands of old things.
A.F. Doni

Reading is sometimes an ingenious device for avoiding thought.
Sir Arthur Helps

Be as careful of the books you read, as of the company you keep; for your habits and character will be as much influenced by the former as by the latter.
Paxton Hood

Reading aphorisms and quotes
Reading aphorisms and quotes

The books we read should be chosen with great care, that they may be, as an Egyptian king wrote over his library, “The medicines of the soul.”
Paxton Hood

It is from books that wise people derive consolation in the troubles of life.
Victor Hugo

To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.
Victor Hugo

Read as you taste fruit or savor wine, or enjoy friendship, love or life.
Holbrook Jackson

Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.
Mortimer J. Adler

I am not a speed reader. I am a speed understander.
Isaac Asimov

To feel most beautifully alive means to be reading something beautiful, ready always to apprehend in the flow of language the sudden flash of poetry.
Gaston Bachelard

Readers are fictional characters created by the writers’ imagination.
Achille Campanile

A man ought to read just as his inclination leads him; for what he reads as a task will do him little good.
Samuel Johnson

What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.
Samuel Johnson

You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.
Charles “Tremendous” Jones

The Bible remained for me a book of books, still divine – but divine in the sense that all great books are divine which teach men how to live righteously.
Sir Arthur Keith

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

I am a part of everything that I have read.
John Kieran

You can either read something many times in order to be assured that you got it all, or else you can define your purpose and use techniques which will assure that you have met it and gotten what you need.
Peter Kump

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

What is reading, but silent conversation.
Walter Savage Landor

Reading means borrowing.
Georg C. Lichtenberg

There are very many people who read simply to prevent themselves from thinking.
Georg C. Lichtenberg

Reading furnishes the mind only with material for knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.
John Locke

An author can write a book, but only the readers can make it speak and by voicing it, make people to listen to it.
Carl William Brown

Reading furnishes the mind only with material for knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.
John Locke

Many readers judge of the power of a book by the shock it gives their feelings — as some savage tribes determine the power of muskets by their recoil; that being considered best which fairly prostrates the purchaser.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Reading in a library
Reading in a library

Many readers judge of the power of a book by the shock it gives their feelings — as some savage tribes determine the power of muskets by their recoil; that being considered best which fairly prostrates the purchaser.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The multitude of books is a great evil. There is no limit to this fever for writing.
Martin Luther

Everything in the world exists to end up in a book.
Stephane Mallarme

Readers are plentiful: thinkers are rare.
Harriet Martineau

Once we have learned to read, meaning of words can somehow register without consciousness.
Anthony Marcel

From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it.
Groucho Marx

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.
Groucho Marx

The world may be full of fourth-rate writers but it’s also full of fourth-rate readers.
Stan Barstow

It is well to read everything of something, and something of everything.
Lord Henry P. Brougham

I would sooner read a timetable or a catalog than nothing at all.
W. Somerset Maugham

What is important is not to be able to read rapidly, but to be able to decide what not to read.
James T. Mccay

Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.
Richard McKenna

A successful book cannot afford to be more than ten percent new.
Marshall McLuhan

The chief knowledge that a man gets from reading books, is the knowledge that very few of them are worth reading.
H. L. Mencken

There are people who read too much: bibliobibuli. I know some who are constantly drunk on books, as other men are drunk on whiskey or religion. They wander through this most diverting and stimulating of worlds in a haze, seeing nothing and hearing nothing.
H. L. Mencken

There are two kinds of books. Those that no one reads and those that no one ought to read.
H. L. Mencken

All my good reading, you might say, was done in the toilet. There are passages in Ulysses which can be read only in the toilet – if one wants to extract the full flavor of their content.
Henry Miller

The worst readers are those who behave like plundering troops: they take away a few things they can use, dirty and confound the remainder, and revile the whole.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Read good, big important things.
Peggy Noonan

The books one reads in childhood, and perhaps most of all the bad and good bad books, create in one’s mind a sort of false map of the world, a series of fabulous countries into which one can retreat at odd moments throughout the rest of life, and which in some cases can survive a visit to the real countries which they are supposed to represent.
George Orwell

Much reading is an oppression of the mind, and extinguishes the natural candle, which is the reason of so many senseless scholars in the world.
William Penn

I divide all readers into two classes: those who read to remember and those who read to forget.
William Lyon Phelps

The art of readers
The art of readers

What gunpowder did for war the printing press has done for the mind.
Wendell Phillips

The book you don’t read won’t help.
Jim Rohn

Prerequisite for rereadability in books: that they be forgettable.
Jean Rostand

A book worth reading is worth buying.
John Ruskin

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

What I like best is a book that’s at least funny once in a while. What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.
J. D. Salinger

Reading is equivalent to thinking with someone else’s head instead of with one’s own.
Arthur Schopenhauer

Without books the development of civilization would have been impossible. They 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.
Arthur Schopenhauer

I’ve never known any trouble than an hour’s reading didn’t assuage.
Charles de Secondat

Don’t ask me who’s influenced me. A lion is made up of the lambs he’s digested, and I’ve been reading all my life.
Giorgos Seferis

Then I thought of reading – the nice and subtle happiness of reading … this joy not dulled by age, this polite and unpunishable vice, this selfish, serene, lifelong intoxication.
Logan Pearsall Smith

Live always in the best company when you read.
Sydney Smith

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.
Sir Richard Steele

Books must be read as deliberately and reservedly as they were written.
Henry David Thoreau

How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book! The book exists for us, perchance, that will explain our miracles and reveal new ones. At present unutterable things we may find somewhere uttered.
Henry David Thoreau

Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.
Henry David Thoreau

To read well, that is, to read true books in a true spirit, is a noble exercise, and one that will task the reader more than any other exercise which the customs of the day esteem. It requires a training such as the athletes underwent, the steady intention almost of the whole life to this object.
Henry David Thoreau

I always begin at the left with the opening word of the sentence and read toward the right and I recommend this method.
James Thurber

Education… has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading, an easy prey to sensations and cheap appeals.
G. M. Trevelyan

A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.
Mark Twain

Reading books
Reading books

The man who does not read books has no advantage over the man that can not read them.
Mark Twain

Reading the Scriptures is an uplifting experience.
Author Unknown

The book to read is not the one which thinks for you, but the one which makes you think. No book in the world equals the Bible for that.
Author Unknown

Those who do not read are no better off than those who cannot read.
Author Unknown

Quotes by authors

Quotes by arguments

To find out more about the importance of reading you can also read:

Reading strategies

On reading by Isaac Disraeli

Literature and life

Literary theory

Thoughts about literature

The nature and essence of literature

Best quotes on books

The Essence of grammar and other texts

Reading quotes and aphorisms

Autonomous learning

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