Books

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested:
that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly,
and with diligence and attention. ~ Francis Bacon
A good book is a good friend. - The Outlook
Fear the man of one book. ~ Justin McCarthy
Long books, when read, are usually overpraised, because the reader wants to convince others and himself that he has not wasted his time. ~ E. M. Forster, Commonplace Book (1985), p. 11
What a sense of security in an old book which Time has criticised for us! – James Russell Lowell
The birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the author. ~ Roland Barthes

Quotations about books:

QuotesEdit

  • A good book is a good friend. It will talk to you when you want it to talk, and it will keep still when you want it to keep still – and there are not many friends who know enough for that.
    • Ernest Hamlin Abbott; Lyman Abbott; Francis Rufus Bellamy (1901). The Outlook. p. 588. Retrieved on 14 July 2013. 
  • A love of books, of holding a book, turning its pages, looking at its pictures, and living its fascinating stories goes hand-in-hand with a love of learning.
    • Laura Welch Bush, The Gift of Books" in Biography Today : Profiles of People of Interest to Young Readers, Vol. 12, Issue 2 : Laura Bush by Joanne Mattern (2003), p. 17
  • The power of a book lies in its power to turn a solitary act into a shared vision. As long as we have books, we are not alone
    • Laura Welch Bush, Bringing Out the Best in Everyone You Coach : Use the Enneagram System for Exceptional Results (2009) by Ginger Lapid-Bogda, p. 123
  • One reader is better than another in proportion as he is able of a greater range of activity in reading and exerts more effort.
  • Why is marking a book indespensible to reading it? First, it keeps you awake — not merely conscious, but wide awake. Second, reading, if it is active, is thinking, and thinking tends to express itself in wordes, spoken or written...Third, writing your reactions down helps you to remember the thoughts of the author...Marking a book is literally an expression of your differences or your agreements with the author, It is the highest respect you can pay him.
  • Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man.
  • Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
  • Worthy books
    Are not companions—they are solitudes:
    We lose ourselves in them and all our cares.
  • Why can't people just sit and read books and be nice to each other?
  • The birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the author.
  • The covers of this book are too far apart.
  • Reading well is one of the great pleasures that solitude can afford you.
  • We get no good
    By being ungenerous, even to a book,
    And calculating profits—so much help
    By so much reading. It is rather when
    We gloriously forget ourselves, and plunge
    Soul-forward, headlong, into a book's profound,
    Impassioned for its beauty, and salt of truth—
    'Tis then we get the right good from a book.
  • Books, books, books!
    I had found the secret of a garret room
    Piled high with cases in my father's name;
    Piled high, packed large,—where, creeping in and out
    Among the giant fossils of my past,
    Like some small nimble mouse between the ribs
    Of a mastodon, I nibbled here and there
    At this or that box, pulling through the gap,
    In heats of terror, haste, victorious joy,
    The first book first. And how I felt it beat
    Under my pillow, in the morning's dark,
    An hour before the sun would let me read!
    My books!
    At last, because the time was ripe,
    I chanced upon the poets.
  • Some books are lies frae end to end.
  • 'Tis pleasant, sure, to see one's name in print;
    A book's a book, although there's nothing in't.
    • Lord Byron, English Bards and Scotch Reviewers (1809), line 51.
  • Reading is going toward something that is about to be, and no one yet knows what it will be.
    • Italo Calvino, If on a Winter's Night a Traveler (1979), translated by William Weaver (1981), p. 72.
  • If a book come from the heart, it will contrive to reach other hearts; all art and authorcraft are of small amount to that.
  • All that Mankind has done, thought, gained or been it is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of Books. They are the chosen possession of men.
  • In books lies the soul of the whole Past Time; the articulate audible voice of the Past, when the body and material substance of it has altogether vanished like a dream.
    • Thomas Carlyle, Heroes and Hero Worship (1840), The Hero as a Man of Letters.
  • The true University of these days is a collection of Books.
    • Thomas Carlyle, Heroes and Hero Worship (1840), The Hero as a Man of Letters.
  • Putting the right book in the right kid’s hands is kind of like giving that kid superpowers. Because one book leads to the next book and the next book and the next book and that is how a world-view grows. That is how you nourish thought.
  • "There is no book so bad," said the bachelor, "but something good may be found in it."
  • There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person.
  • There is a great deal of difference between the eager man who wants to read a book, and the tired man who wants a book to read.
  • 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.
  • Observe reader your old books, for they are the fountains out of which these resolutions issue.
    • Lord Edward Coke, Spencer's Case (1583), 3 Co. 33; reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 20.
  • The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man. Nothing else that he builds ever lasts. Monuments fall; nations perish; civilizations grow old and die out; and, after an era of darkness, new races build others. But in the world of books are volumes that have seen this happen again and again, and yet live on, still young, still as fresh as the day they were written, still telling men’s hearts of the hearts of men centuries dead.

    And even the books that do not last long, penetrate their own times at least, sailing farther than Ulysses even dreamed of, like ships on the seas. It is the author’s part to call into being their cargoes and passengers,—living thoughts and rich bales of study and jeweled ideas. And as for the publishers, it is they who build the fleet, plan the voyage, and sail on, facing wreck, till they find every possible harbor that will value their burden.
    • Clarence Day, The Story of the Yale University Press Told by a Friend (1920), pp. 7–8.
  • Whatever we read from intense curiosity gives us a model of how we should always read.
  • And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
  • Books are not made to be believed, but to be subjected to inquiry.
    • Umberto Eco, Il nome della rosa [The Name of the Rose] (1980), said by character William of Baskerville, originally in Italian.
  • There are magic moments, involving great physical fatigue and intense motor excitement, that produce visions of people known in the past. As I learned later from the delightful little book of the Abbé de Bucquoy, there are also visions of books as yet unwritten.
    • Umberto Eco, Il nome della rosa [The Name of the Rose] (1980).
  • Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers.
    • Charles William Eliot, "The Happy Life", The Durable Satisfactions of Life (1910, reprinted 1969), p. 37. Eliot first read this before Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, New Hampshire, but it was later rewritten.
  • 'Tis the good reader that makes the good book; in every book he finds passages which seem confidences or asides hidden from all else and unmistakenly meant for his ear.
  • 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.
  • Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers.
  • That place that does contain
    My books, the best companions, is to me
    A glorious court, where hourly I converse
    With the old sages and philosophers;
    And sometimes, for variety, I confer
    With kings and emperors, and weigh their counsels.
    • John Fletcher, The Elder Brother (c. 1625; published 1637), Act I, scene 2.
  • Long books, when read, are usually overpraised, because the reader wants to convince others and himself that he has not wasted his time.
  • Learning hath gained most by those books by which the Printers have lost.
    • Thomas Fuller, The Holy State and the Profane State (1642), Of Books.
  • Some Books are onely cursorily to be tasted of.
    • Thomas Fuller, The Holy State and the Profane State (1642), Of Books.
  • Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas.
  • Books are published with an expectation, if not a desire, that they will be criticised in reviews, and if deemed valuable that parts of them will be used as affording illustrations by way of quotation, or the like, and if the quantity taken be neither substantial nor material, if, as it has been expressed by some Judges, "a fair use" only be made of the publication, no wrong is done and no action can be brought.
    • Lord Hatherley, Chatterton v. Cave (1877), L. R. 3 App. Cas. 492; reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 20.
  • Truly, associating with bad books is often more dangerous than associating with bad people.
    • Original German: "Wahrhaftig, der Umgang mit schlechten Büchern ist oft gefährlicher als mit schlechten Menschen."
    • Wilhelm Hauff, Das Buch und die Leserwelt.
  • Where one begins by burning books, one will end up burning people.
    • Original German: "Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen."
    • Heinrich Heine in Almansor.
  • The hardest thing to do is to write straight honest prose on human beings. First you have to know the subject; then you have to know how to write.

All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse, and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.

    • Ernest Hemingway, "Old Newsman Writes : A Letter from Cuba" in Esquire (December 1934).
  • Life-transforming ideas have always come to me through books.
    • Bell Hooks, quoted in O Magazine (December 2003).
  • Gutenberg, your printing press has been violated by this evil book, Mein Kampf!
  • Any of us might live a long life or pass away tomorrow. I have come to believe that living your well-read life is measured not by the number of books read at the end of your life but by whether you are in book love today, tomorrow, and next week.
    • Steve Leveen, The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life (2005), p. 7.
  • A single book at the right time can change our views dramatically, give a quantum boost to our knowledge, help us construct a whole new outlook on the world and our life. Isn't it odd that we don't seek those experiences more systematically?
    • Steve Leveen, The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life (2005), p. 11.
  • The first step to retention is to briefly review your book almost immediately after finishing it. It's easier if you've marked passages and taken notes in the margins and on the endpapers. You can then go back through your book, reminding yourself why you marked the particular passages and wrote the commentary you did. This may encourage you to add to your marginalia or write longer notes elsewhere.
    • Steve Leveen, The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life (2005), p. 39.
  • You will be surprised what psychological motivation there is in your having physical possession of the books you plan to read.
  • When a book and a head collide and there is a hollow sound, is that always in the book?
    • Original German: "Wenn ein Buch und ein Kopf zusammenstoßen und es klingt hohl, ist das allemal im Buche?"
    • Georg Christoph Lichtenberg Vermischte Schriften, E (1775 - 1776), 103.
  • A sure sign of a good book is that you like it more the older you get.
    • Georg Christoph Lichtenberg Vermischte Schriften, K (1789-1793), 351
    • Original German: "Ein sicheres Zeichen von einem guten Buche ist, wenn es einem immer besser gefällt, je älter man wird".
  • The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,
    And all the sweet serenity of books.
  • What a sense of security in an old book which Time has criticised for us!
  • When I read a book I seem to read it with my eyes only, but now and then I come across a passage, perhaps only a phrase, which has a meaning for me, and it becomes part of me.
  • As good almost kill a man as kill a good book; who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God's image; but he who destroys a good book kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were, in the eye.
  • Books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a progeny of life in them to be as active as that soul was whose progeny they are; nay, they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them.
  • 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.
  • Just the knowledge that a good book is awaiting one at the end of a long day makes that day happier.
  • Affect not as some do that bookish ambition to be stored with books and have well-furnished libraries, yet keep their heads empty of knowledge; to desire to have many books, and never to use them, is like a child that will have a candle burning by him all the while he is sleeping.
  • You will get little or nothing from the printed page if you bring it nothing but your eye.
  • Literature is news that stays news.
  • Even big collections of ordinary books distort space and time, as can readily be proved by anyone who has been around a really old-fashioned second-hand bookshop, one of those that has more staircases than storeys and those rows of shelves that end in little doors that are surely too small for a full sized human to enter.
    The relevant equation is Knowledge = Power = Energy = Matter = Mass; a good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read. Mass distorts space into polyfractal L-space, in which Everywhere is also Everywhere Else.
    All libraries are connected in L-space by the bookwormholes created by the strong space-time distortions found in any large collection of books. Only a very few librarians learn the secret, and there are inflexible rules about making use of the fact — because it amounts to time travel.
    The three rules of the Librarians of Time and Space are: (1) Silence; (2) Books must be returned no later than the last date shown, and (3) the nature of causality must not be interfered with.
  • Give me a man or woman who has read a thousand books and you give me an interesting companion. Give me a man or woman who has read perhaps three and you give me a dangerous enemy indeed.
    • Anne Rice, The Witching Hour (1990), p. 261.
  • No one ever reads a book. He reads himself through books, either to discover or to control himself. And the most objective books are the most deceptive. The greatest book is not the one whose message engraves itself on the brain, as a telegraphic message engraves itself on the ticker-tape, but the one whose vital impact opens up other viewpoints, and from writer to reader spreads the fire that is fed by the various essences, until it becomes a vast conflagration leaping from forest to forest.
  • Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew each other. Books break the shackles of time, proof that humans can work magic.
  • Books, purchasable at low cost, permit us to interrogate the past with high accuracy; to tap the wisdom of our species; to understand the point of view of others, and not just those in power; to contemplate — with the best teachers — the insights, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, drawn from the entire planet and from all of our history. They allow people long dead to talk inside our heads. Books can accompany us everywhere. Books are patient where we are slow to understand, allow us to go over the hard parts as many times as we wish, and are never critical of our lapses. Books are key to understanding the world and participating in a democratic society.
    • Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (1995), Ch. 21: The Path to Freedom.
  • Books ... are like lobster shells, we surround ourselves with 'em, then we grow out of 'em and leave 'em behind, as evidence of our earlier stages of development.
  • O, let my books be then the eloquence
    And dumb presagers of my speaking breast;
    Who plead for love and look for recompense
    More than that tongue that more hath more express'd.
  • Knowing I lov'd my books, he furnished me
    From mine own library with volumes that
    I prize above my dukedom.
  • And in such indexes (although small pricks
    To their subsequent volumes) there is seen
    The baby figure of the giant mass
    Of things to come at large.
  • Books... are like movies in your mind, only with better special effects.
    • J. Millard Simpson, "Thoughts On The Collapse" (2009).
  • If you want to improve the world, first improve yourself. If you want to improve yourself, read a book.
    • J. Millard Simpson, "Thoughts On The Collapse" (2009).
  • People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.
  • When I step into this library, I cannot understand why I ever step out of it.
  • Books are good enough in their own way, but they are a mighty bloodless substitute for life.
  • How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.
  • A truly good book is something as natural, and as unexpectedly and unaccountably fair and perfect, as a wild-flower discovered on the prairies of the West or in the jungles of the East.
  • No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading now, or surrender yourself to self-ignorance.
    • "On Reading", Good Reading: A Helpful Guide for Serious Readers, created by a group chaired by Atwood H. Townsend, NYU professor
  • A good book is the best of friends, the same today and forever.
  • There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written.
    • Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), Preface
  • Nothing is more commonplace than the reading experience, and yet nothing is more unknown. Reading is such a matter of course that at first glance it seems there is nothing to say about it.
    • Tzvetan Todorov in Reading as Construction, as translated from French by Marilyn A. August
  • Unlearned men of books assume the care,
    As eunuchs are the guardians of the fair.
    • Edward Young, Love of Fame (1725-1728), Satire II, line 83.
  • A dedication is a wooden leg.
    • Edward Young, Love of Fame (1725-1728), Satire IV, line 192.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 75-80.
  • Books are the legacies that a great genius leaves to mankind, which are delivered down from generation to generation, as presents to the posterity of those who are yet unborn.
  • That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed with profit.
  • Books are delightful when prosperity happily smiles; when adversity threatens, they are inseparable comforters. They give strength to human compacts, nor are grave opinions brought forward without books. Arts and sciences, the benefits of which no mind can calculate, depend upon books.
    • Richard de Bury, Philobiblon, Chapter I.
  • You, O Books, are the golden vessels of the temple, the arms of the clerical militia with which the missiles of the most wicked are destroyed; fruitful olives, vines of Engaddi, fig-trees knowing no sterility; burning lamps to be ever held in the hand.
    • Richard de Bury, Philobiblon, Chapter XV.
  • But the images of men's wits and knowledges remain in books, exempted from the wrong of time, and capable of perpetual renovation.
    • Francis Bacon, Advancement of Learning, Book I. Advantages of Learning.
  • Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.
  • Books must follow sciences, and not sciences books.
  • The Wise
    (Minstrel or Sage,) out of their books are clay;
    But in their books, as from their graves they rise.
    Angels—that, side by side, upon our way,
    Walk with and warn us!
  • Hark, the world so loud,
    And they, the movers of the world, so still!
  • We call some books immortal! Do they live?
    If so, believe me, TIME hath made them pure.
    In Books, the veriest wicked rest in peace.
  • All books grow homilies by time; they are
    Temples, at once, and Landmarks.
  • There is no Past, so long as Books shall live!
  • In you are sent
    The types of Truths whose life is THE TO COME;
    In you soars up the Adam from the fall;
    In you the FUTURE as the PAST is given—
    Ev'n in our death ye bid us hail our birth;—
    Unfold these pages, and behold the Heaven,
    Without one grave-stone left upon the Earth.
  • Some said, John, print it, others said, Not so;
    Some said, It might do good, others said, No.
  • Go now, my little book, to every place
    Where my first pilgrim has but shown his face.
    Call at their door: if any say "Who's there?"
    Then answer thou "Christiana is here."
  • Some books are lies frae end to end.
  • In the poorest cottage are Books: is one Book, wherein for several thousands of years the spirit of man has found light, and nourishment, and an interpreting response to whatever is Deepest in him.
  • It is chiefly through books that we enjoy intercourse with superior minds, and these invaluable means of communication are in the reach of all. In the best books, great men talk to us, give us their most precious thoughts, and pour their souls into ours.
  • Go, litel boke! go litel myn tregedie!
  • O little booke, thou art so unconning,
    How darst thou put thyself in prees for dred?
  • And as for me, though than I konne but lyte,
    On bokes for to rede I me delyte,
    And to hem yeve I feyth and ful credence,
    And in myn herte have hem in reverence
    So hertely, that ther is game noon.
    That fro my bokes maketh me to goon,
    But yt be seldome on the holy day.
    Save, certeynly, when that the monthe of May
    Is comen, and that I here the foules synge,
    And that the floures gynnen for to sprynge,
    Farwel my boke, and my devocion.
  • It is saying less than the truth to affirm that an excellent book (and the remark holds almost equally good of a Raphael as of a Milton) is like a well-chosen and well-tended fruit tree. Its fruits are not of one season only. With the due and natural intervals, we may recur to it year after year, and it will supply the same nourishment and the same gratification, if only we ourselves return to it with the same healthful appetite.
  • Books should, not Business, entertain the Light;
    And Sleep, as undisturb'd as Death, the Night.
  • Books cannot always please, however good;
    Minds are not ever craving for their food.
    • George Crabbe, The Borough (1810), Letter XXIV. Schools, line 402.
  • The monument of vanished mindes.
  • Give me a book that does my soul embrace
    And makes simplicity a grace—
    Language freely flowing, thoughts as free—
    Such pleasing books more taketh me
    Than all the modern works of art
    That please mine eyes and not my heart.
    • Margaret Denbo. Suggested by "Give me a look, give me a face, / That makes simplicity a grace." Ben Jonson, Silent Woman, Act I, scene 1.
  • Books should to one of these four ends conduce,
    For wisdom, piety, delight, or use.
  • He ate and drank the precious words,
    His spirit grew robust;
    He knew no more that he was poor,
    Nor that his frame was dust.
    He danced along the dingy days,
    And this bequest of wings
    Was but a book. What liberty
    A loosened spirit brings!
  • There is no frigate like a book
    To take us lands away,
    Nor any coursers like a page
    Of prancing poetry.
    This traverse may the poorest take
    Without oppress of toll;
    How frugal is the chariot
    That bears a human soul.
  • Golden volumes! richest treasures,
    Objects of delicious pleasures!
    You my eyes rejoicing please,
    You my hands in rapture seize!
    Brilliant wits and musing sages,
    Lights who beam'd through many ages!
    Left to your conscious leaves their story,
    And dared to trust you with their glory;
    And now their hope of fame achiev'd,
    Dear volumes! you have not deceived!
  • Homo unius libri, or, cave ab homine unius libri.
    • Beware of the man of one book.
    • Isaac D'Israeli, quoted in Curiosities of Literature.
  • Not as ours the books of old—
    Things that steam can stamp and fold;
    Not as ours the books of yore—
    Rows of type, and nothing more.
  • The spectacles of books.
  • Of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
    • Ecclesiastes, XII, 12.
  • Books are the best things, well used: abused, among the worst.
  • In every man's memory, with the hours when life culminated are usually associated certain books which met his views.
  • There are many virtues in books, but the essential value is the adding of knowledge to our stock by the record of new facts, and, better, by the record of intuitions which distribute facts, and are the formulas which supersede all histories.
  • We prize books, and they prize them most who are themselves wise.
  • The princeps copy, clad in blue and gold.
  • Now cheaply bought, for thrice their weight in gold.
  • How pure the joy when first my hands unfold
    The small, rare volume, black with tarnished gold.
  • Books are necessary to correct the vices of the polite; but those vices are ever changing, and the antidote should be changed accordingly—should still be new.
  • In proportion as society refines, new books must ever become more necessary.
  • I armed her against the censures of the world; showed her that books were sweet unreproaching companions to the miserable, and that if they could not bring us to enjoy life, they would at least teach us to endure it.
  • I have ever gained the most profit, and the most pleasure also, from the books which have made me think the most: and, when the difficulties have once been overcome, these are the books which have struck the deepest root, not only in my memory and understanding, but likewise in my affections.
    • J. C. and A. W. Hare, Guesses at Truth, p. 458.
  • Thou art a plant sprung up to wither never,
    But, like a laurell, to grow green forever.
  • The foolishest book is a kind of leaky boat on a sea of wisdom; some of the wisdom will get in anyhow.
  • Dear little child, this little book
    Is less a primer than a key
    To sunder gates where wonder waits
    Your "Open Sesame!"
    • Rupert Hughes, With a First Reader.
  • Medicine for the soul.
    • Inscription over the door of the Library at Thebes. Diodorus Siculus. I. 49. 3.
  • Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book.
    • Isaiah, XXX. 8.
  • Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book!
    • Job. XLX. 23.
  • My desire is … that mine adversary had written a book.
    • Job, XXXI. 35.
  • Blest be the hour wherein I bought this book;
    His studies happy that composed the book,
    And the man fortunate that sold the book.
    • Ben Jonson, Every man out of his Humour, Act I, scene 1.
  • Pray thee, take care, that tak'st my book in hand,
    To read it well; that is to understand.
  • When I would know thee * * * my thought looks
    Upon thy well-made choice of friends and books;
    Then do I love thee, and behold thy ends
    In making thy friends books, and thy books friends.
  • Quicquid agunt homines, votum, timor, ira, voluptas, gaudia, discursus, nostri est farrago libelli.
    • The doings of men, their prayers, fear, wrath, pleasure, delights, and recreations, are the subject of this book.
    • Juvenal, Satires, I, I, 85.
  • In omnibus requiem quæsivi
    Et non inveni
    Nisi seorsim sedans
    In angulo cum libello.
    • Everywhere I have sought rest and found it not except sitting apart in a nook with a little book.
    • Written in an autograph copy of Thomas à Kempis's De Imitatione, according to Cornelius A. Lapide (Cornelius van den Steen), a Flemish Jesuit of the 17th century, who says he saw this inscription. At Zwoll is a picture of à Kempis with this inscription, the last clause being "in angello cum libello"—in a little nook with a little book. In angellis et libellis—in little nooks (cells) and little books. Given in King—Classical Quotations as being taken from the preface of De Imitatione.
  • Every age hath its book.
    • Koran, Chapter XIII.
  • Books which are no books.
    • Charles Lamb, Last Essay of Elia. Detached Thoughts on Books.
  • A book is a friend whose face is constantly changing. If you read it when you are recovering from an illness, and return to it years after, it is changed surely, with the chance in yourself.
  • A wise man will select his books, for he would not wish to class them all under the sacred name of friends. Some can be accepted only as acquaintances. The best books of all kinds are taken to the heart, and cherished as his most precious possessions. Others to be chatted with for a time, to spend a few pleasant hours with, and laid aside, but not forgotten.
    • John Alfred Langford, The Praise of Books, Preliminary Essay.
  • The love of books is a love which requires neither justification, apology, nor defence.
    • John Alfred Langford, The Praise of Books, Preliminary Essay.
  • The pleasant books, that silently among
    Our household treasures take familiar places,
    And are to us as if a living tongue
    Spake from the printed leaves or pictured faces!
  • Leaving us heirs to amplest heritages
    Of all the best thoughts of the greatest sages,
    And giving tongues unto the silent dead!
  • All books are either dreams or swords,
    You can cut, or you can drug, with words.
    * * * * * *
    My swords are tempered for every speech,
    For fencing wit, or to carve a breach
    Through old abuses the world condones.
  • If I were asked what book is better than a cheap book, I would answer that there is one book better than a cheap book, and that is a book honestly come by.
  • What a sense of security in an old book which
    Time has criticised for us!
  • Gentlemen use books as Gentlewomen handle their flowers, who in the morning stick them in their heads, and at night strawe them at their heeles.
    • John Lyly, Euphues, To the Gentlemen Readers.
  • As you grow ready for it, somewhere or other you will find what is needful for you in a book.
  • You importune me, Tucca, to present you with my books. I shall not do so; for you want to sell, not to read, them.
    • Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book VII, Epistle 77.
  • Un livre est un ami qui ne trompe jamais.
    • A book is a friend that never deceives.
    • Ascribed to Guilbert De Pixérécourt. Claimed for Desbarreaux Bernard.
  • Within that awful volume lies
    The mystery of mysteries!
  • Distrahit animum librorum multitudo.
    • A multitude of books distracts the mind.
    • Seneca, Epistolæ Ad Lucilium, II. 3.
  • Their books of stature small they take in hand,
    Which with pellucid horn secured are;
    To save from finger wet the letters fair.
  • You shall see them on a beautiful quarto page, where a neat rivulet of text shall meander through a meadow of margin.
  • Nor wyll suffer this boke
    By hooke ne by crooke
    Printed to be.
  • Some books are drenched sands,
    On which a great soul's wealth lies all in heaps,
    Like a wrecked argosy.
  • When St. Thomas Aquinas was asked in what manner a man might best become learned, he answered, "By reading one book." The homo unius libri is indeed proverbially formidable to all conversational figurantes.
  • Go, little Book! From this my solitude
    I cast thee on the Waters,—go thy ways:
    And if, as I believe, thy vein be good,
    The World will find thee after many days.
    Be it with thee according to thy worth:
    Go, little Book; in faith I send thee forth.
  • Books, the children of the brain.
  • Aquinas was once asked, with what compendium a man might become learned? He answered "By reading of one book."
    • Jeremy Taylor, Life of Christ, Part II. S, XII. 16. He also quotes Acclus, XI. 10, Stanza Gregory, St. Bernard, Seneca, Quintilian, Juvenal. See British Critic. No. 59, p. 202.
  • Books, like proverbs, receive their chief value from the stamp and esteem of ages through which they have passed.
  • But every page having an ample marge,
    And every marge enclosing in the midst
    A square of text that looks a little blot.
  • Thee will I sing in comely wainscot bound
    And golden verge enclosing thee around;
    The faithful horn before, from age to age
    Preserving thy invulnerable page.
    Behind thy patron saint in armor shines
    With sword and lance to guard the sacred lines;
    Th' instructive handle's at the bottom fixed
    Lest wrangling critics should pervert the text.
  • They are for company the best friends, in Doubt's Counsellors, in Damps Comforters, Time's Prospective the Home Traveller's Ship or Horse, the busie Man's best Recreation, the Opiate of idle Weariness, the Mindes best Ordinary, Nature's Garden and Seed-plot of Immortality.
    • Bulstrode Whitelock, Zootamia.
  • O for a Booke and a shadie nooke, eyther in-a-doore or out;
    With the grene leaves whisp'ring overhede, or the Streete cries all about.
    Where I maie Reade all at my ease, both of the Newe and Olde;
    For a jollie goode Booke whereon to looke, is better to me than Golde.
    • John Wilson. Motto in his second-hand book catalogues. Claimed for him by Austin Dobson. Found in Sir John Lubbock's Pleasures of Life and Ireland's Enchiridion, where it is given as an old song. (See Notes and Queries, Nov. 1919, P. 297, for discussion of authorship).
  • Books, we know,
    Are a substantial world, both pure and good:
    Round these, with tendrils strong as flesh and blood,
    Our pastime and our happiness will grow.
  • Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books,
    Or surely you'll grow double;
    Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
    Why all this toil and trouble?

ProverbsEdit

  • I fear the man of one book.
    • Reported as a "general known maxim" in Justin McCarthy (1903). Portraits of the sixties. p. 152. Retrieved on 14 July 2013. 

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

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Last modified on 15 April 2014, at 10:41