Magical Books: Quotes About Reading and Libraries

When I was a kid, I used to wish I could get snowed in at the library. I couldn’t think of a better place to be stuck, surrounded by more books than I could ever get through. I’ve always loved reading, books, and libraries, so it’s no surprise that I’ve collected quite a few quotes about them.

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First a simple idea:

A library is thought in cold storage.

Herbert Samuel

But being me, I also have found a contradictory idea that is just as accurate:

Reading is sometimes an ingenious device for avoiding thought.

Arthur Helps

While we can read to avoid thinking, as soon as we stop, our brains turn back on. And the best books get us thinking because this happens:

Every reader finds himself. The writer’s work is merely a kind of optical instrument that makes it possible for the reader to discern what, without this book, he would perhaps never have seen in himself.

Marcel Proust
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Those who love books, help perpetuate their existence:

A scholar is just a library’s way of making another library.

Daniel Dennett

But most of all, those who love books know for a fact that a book is not just a brick of paper. It is a magic portal.

Photo by Kit Dunsmore

A book, according to Littré, is a gathering together of several sheaves of manuscript of imprinted pages. This definition does not satisfy me. I should define a book as a work of sorcery from which escape all sorts of images to trouble the spirit and change the heart. I should say still further: a book is a little magic apparatus which transports us to the heart of images from the past among supernatural shades.

Anatole France

What’s your favorite quote about reading and books?

7 thoughts on “Magical Books: Quotes About Reading and Libraries

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      1. Perhaps not… After all, they don’t know what they’re missing. 😉

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