An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





Show me the books he loves and I shall know the man far better than through mortal friends.


Dawn Adams (American online adoption support expert)


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.


Joseph Addison (1672-1719, British essayist, poet, statesman)


Of all the diversions of life, there is none so proper to fill up its empty spaces as the reading of useful and entertaining authors.


Joseph Addison (1672-1719, British essayist, poet, statesman)


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


Mortimer J. Adler (1902-2001, American educator, philosopher)


That is a good book which is opened with expectation, and closed with delight and profit.


Amos Bronson Alcott (1799-1888, American educator, social reformer)


At least half the mystery novels published violate the law that the solution, once revealed, must seem to be inevitable.


Raymond Chandler (1888-1959, American author)


Beware of the person of one book.


St. Thomas Aquinas


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


Isaac Asimov (1920-1992, Russian-born American author)


A real book is not one that we read, but one that reads us.


W. H. Auden (1907-1973, Anglo-American poet)


Some books are undeservedly forgotten; none are undeservedly remembered.


W. H. Auden (1907-1973, Anglo-American poet)


Everything in this book may be wrong.


Richard Bach (1936-, American author)

Source: The Savior's Manual


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 (1884-1962, French scientist, philosopher, literary theorist)


Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider.


Francis Bacon (1561-1626, British philosopher, essayist, statesman)


Some books are to be tasted; others to be swallowed; and some few to be chewed and digested.


Francis Bacon (1561-1626, British philosopher, essayist, statesman)


When I am dead, I hope it may be said: "His sins were scarlet, but his books were read."


Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953, British author)


A conventional good read is usually a bad read, a relaxing bath in what we know already. A true good read is surely an act of innovative creation in which we, the readers, become conspirators.


Malcolm Bradbury (1932-, British author)


A conventional good read is usually a bad read, a relaxing bath in what we know already. A true good read is surely an act of innovative creation in which we, the readers, become conspirators.


Malcolm Bradbury (1932-, British author)


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


Ray Bradbury (1920-, American science fiction writer)


Footnotes are the finer-suckered surfaces that allow testicular paragraphs to hold fast to the wider reality of the library.


Nicholson Baker (1957-, American author)


When the book comes out it may hurt you -- but in order for me to do it, it had to hurt me first. I can only tell you about yourself as much as I can face about myself.


James Baldwin (1924-1987, American author)


He has only half learned the art of reading who has not added to it the more refined art of skipping and skimming.


Arthur James Balfour (1848-1930, British Prime Minister)


Books are men of higher stature; the only men that speak aloud for future times to hear.


E.S. Barrett


The printing press is either the greatest blessing or the greatest curse of modern times, sometimes one forgets which it is.


James M. Barrie (1860-1937, British playwright)


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


Stan Barstow (1928-, British novelist, playwright)


Hypocrite reader -- my fellow -- my brother!


Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867, French poet)


A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a party, a company by the way, a counselor, a multitude of counselors.


Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887, American preacher, orator, writer)


Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house.


Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887, American preacher, orator, writer)


Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?


Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887, American preacher, orator, writer)


Books are not men and yet they stay alive.


Stephen Vincent Benet (1989-1943, American novelist, poet)


Of all the ways of acquiring books, writing them oneself is regarded as the most praiseworthy method. Writers are really people who write books not because they are poor, but because they are dissatisfied with the books which they could buy but do not like.


Walter Benjamin (1982-1940, German critic, philosopher)


The power of a text is different when it is read from when it is copied out. Only the copied text thus commands the soul of him who is occupied with it, whereas the mere reader never discovers the new aspects of his inner self that are opened by the text, that road cut through the interior jungle forever closing behind it: because the reader follows the movement of his mind in the free flight of day-dreaming, whereas the copier submits it to command.


Walter Benjamin (1982-1940, German critic, philosopher)


Does there, I wonder, exist a being who has read all, or approximately all, that the person of average culture is supposed to have read, and that not to have read is a social sin? If such a being does exist, surely he is an old, a very old man.


Arnold Bennett (1867-1931, British novelist)


All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality -- the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape.


Arthur Christopher Benson (1862-1925, British author, poet)


When we read a story, we inhabit it. The covers of the book are like a roof and four walls. What is to happen next will take place within the four walls of the story. And this is possible because the story's voice makes everything its own.


John Berger (1926-, British actor, critic)


I read the newspaper avidly. It is my one form of continuous fiction.


Aneurin Bevan (1897-1960, British politician)


Reading is not a duty, and has consequently no business to be made disagreeable.


Augustine Birrell (1850-1933, British essayist, liberal politician)


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


Professor Blackie


The failure to read good books both enfeebles the vision and strengthens our most fatal tendency -- the belief that the here and now is all there is.


Allan Bloom (1930-1992, American educator, author)


Some books makes me want to go adventuring, others feel that they have saved me the trouble™.


Ashleigh Brilliant (1933-, British-American humorist)

Author's website:


A book may be compared to your neighbor: if it be good, it cannot last too long; if bad, you cannot get rid of it too early.


Rupert Brooke (1887-1915, British poet)


The lessons taught in great books are misleading. The commerce in life is rarely so simple and never so just.


Anita Brookner (1938-, British novelist, art historian)


It is well to read everything of something, and something of everything.


Lord Henry P. Brougham (1778-1868, Scottish Whig politician)


Begin to read a book that will help you move toward your dream.


Les Brown (1945-, American speaker, author, trainer, motivator,)


Books succeed, and lives fail.


Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861, British poet)


Books, books, books 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!


Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861, British poet)


The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it.


James Bryce


Read Homer once, and you can read no more. For all books else appear so mean, and so poor. Verse will seem prose; but still persist to read, and Homer will be all the books you need.


Duke of Buckingham (1628-1687, British poet, satirist, dramatist)


In science, read by preference the newest works. In literature, read the oldest. The classics are always modern.


Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873, British novelist, poet)


Reading without purpose is sauntering not exercise.


Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873, British novelist, poet)


Americans will listen, but they do not care to read. War and Peace must wait for the leisure of retirement, which never really comes: meanwhile it helps to furnish the living room. Blockbusting fiction is bought as furniture. Unread, it maintains its value. Read, it looks like money wasted. Cunningly, Americans know that books contain a person, and they want the person, not the book.


Anthony Burgess (1917-1993, British writer, critic)


Books are masters who instruct us without rods or ferules, without words or anger, without bread or money. If you approach them, they are not asleep; if you seek them, they do not hide; if you blunder, they do not scold; if you are ignorant, they do not laugh at you.


Richard De Bury (1287-1345, British chancellor)


The oldest books are still only just out to those who have not read them.


Samuel Butler (1612-1680, British poet, satirist)


The oldest books are still only just out to those who have not read them.


Samuel Butler (1612-1680, British poet, satirist)


The reading or non-reading a book will never keep down a single petticoat.


Lord Byron (1788-1824, British poet)


A good title is the title of a successful book.


Raymond Chandler (1888-1959, American author)


Books are but waste paper unless we spend in action the wisdom we get from thought -- asleep. When we are weary of the living, we may repair to the dead, who have nothing of peevishness, pride, or design in their conversation.


Jeremy Collier (1650-1726, British clergyman, conjuror)


Never judge a book by its movie.


J. W. Eagan


Readers are less and less seen as mere non-writers, the subhuman "other" or flawed derivative of the author; the lack of a pen is no longer a shameful mark of secondary status but a positively enabling space, just as within every writer can be seen to lurk, as a repressed but contaminating antithesis, a reader.


Terry Eagleton (1943-, British critic)


Surviving and thriving as a professional today demands two new approaches to the written word. First, it requires a new approach to orchestrating information, by skillfully choosing what to read and what to ignore. Second, it requires a new approach to integrating information, by reading faster and with greater comprehension.


Jimmy Calano


A novel is never anything, but a philosophy put into images.


Albert Camus (1913-1960, French existential writer)


A good novel tells us the truth about it's hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.


Gilbert K. Chesterton (1874-1936, British author)


A novel points out that the world consists entirely of exceptions.


Joyce Carey


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 (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)


If a book comes from the heart it will contrive to reach other hearts. All art and author craft are of small account to that.


Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)


The best effect of any book, is that it excites the reader to self-activity.


Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)


What we become depend on what we read after all the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is the collection of books.


Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)


Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.


Angela Carter (1940-1992, British author)


The novel can't compete with cars, the movies, television, and liquor. A guy who's had a good feed and tanked up on good wine gives his old lady a kiss after supper and his day is over. Finished.


Louis-Ferdinand Celine (1894-1961, French author)


A good book, in the language of the book-sellers, is a salable one; in that of the curious, a scarce one; in that of men of sense, a useful and instructive one.


Oswald Chambers (1874-1917, Scottish preacher, author)


Books are standing counselors and preachers, always at hand, and always disinterested; having this advantage over oral instructors, that they are ready to repeat their lesson as often as we please.


Oswald Chambers (1874-1917, Scottish preacher, author)


Books are the blessed chloroform of the mind.


Robert Chambers (1802-1871, Scottish publisher, writer)


Most books today seemed to have been written overnight from books read the day before.


Sebastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort (1741-1794, French writer, journalist, playwright)


Every man is a volume if you know how to read him.


William Ellery Channing (1780-1842, American Unitarian minister, author)


God be thanked for books; they are the voices of the distant and the dead, and make us heirs of the spiritual life of past ages.


William Ellery Channing (1780-1842, American Unitarian minister, author)


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.


William Ellery Channing (1780-1842, American Unitarian minister, author)


Books are the true levelers. They give to all, who faithfully use them, the society, the spiritual presence, and the best and greatest of our race.


William EllerY Charming


Buy good books, and read them; the best books are the commonest, and the last editions are always the best, if the editors are not blockheads.


Philip Dormer Stanhope Chesterfield (1694-1773, British statesman, author)


Let blockheads read what blockheads wrote.


Philip Dormer Stanhope Chesterfield (1694-1773, British statesman, author)


The mere brute pleasure of reading -- the sort of pleasure a cow must have in grazing.


Gilbert K. Chesterton (1874-1936, British author)


A book is the only immortality.


Rufus Choate (1799-1859, American lawyer, statesman)


Happy is he who has laid up in his youth, and held fast in all fortune, a genuine and passionate love for reading.


Rufus Choate (1799-1859, American lawyer, statesman)


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


Marcus T. Cicero (c. 106-43 BC, Roman orator, politician)


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. Those works, therefore, are the most valuable, that set our thinking faculties in the fullest operation. understand them.


Lord Clarendon


Perhaps there are none more lazy, or more truly ignorant, than your everlasting readers.


William Cobbett (1762-1835, British journalist, reformer)


Books, like friends, should be few and well chosen. Like friends, too, we should return to them again and again for, like true friends, they will never fail us -- never cease to instruct -- never cloy.


Charles Caleb Colton (1780-1832, British sportsman writer)


Next to acquiring good friends, the best acquisition is that of good books.


Charles Caleb Colton (1780-1832, British sportsman writer)


A person of mature years and ripe development, who is expecting nothing from literature but the corroboration and renewal of past ideas, may find satisfaction in a lucidity so complete as to occasion no imaginative excitement, but young and ambitious students are not content with it. They seek the excitement because they are capable of the growth that it accompanies.


Charles Horton Cooley (1864-1929, American sociologist)


I used to walk to school with my nose buried in a book.


Coolio (1963-, American musician, rapper, actor, singer, songwriter)


The book salesman should be honored because he brings to our attention, as a rule, the very books we need most and neglect most.


Frank Crane (American actor)


You are wise, witty and wonderful, but you spend too much time reading this sort of stuff.


Jim Critchfield


The successful Accelerated Reader is able to read larger than normal "blocks" or "bites" of the printed page with each eye stop. He has accepted, without reservation, the philosophy that the most important benefit of reading is the gaining of information, ideas, mental "picture" and entertainment-not the fretting over words. He has come to the realization that words in and of themselves are for the most part insignificant.


Wade E. Cutler


A good book is the very essence of a good man. His virtues survive in it, while the foibles and faults of his actual life are forgotten. All the goodly company of the excellent and great sit around my table, or look down on me from yonder shelves, waiting patiently to answer my questions and enrich me with their wisdom. A precious book is a foretaste of immortality.


Theodore L. Cuyler (1822-1909, American pastor, author)


The great American novel has not only already been written, it has already been rejected.


Frank Dane


Next, in importance to books are their titles.


Paul Davies (1946-, British physicist, popularizer of science)


If I had my way books would not be written in English, but in an exceedingly difficult secret language that only skilled professional readers and story-tellers could interpret. Then people like you would have to go to public halls and pay good prices to hear the professionals decode and read the books aloud for you. This plan would have the advantage of scaring off all amateur authors, retired politicians, country doctors and I-Married-a-Midget writers who would not have the patience to learn the secret language.


Robertson Davies (1913-1995, Canadian novelist, journalist)


I heard his library burned down and both books were destroyed -- and one of them hadn't even been colored in yet.


John Dawkins


The man who is fond of books is usually a man of lofty thought, and of elevated opinions.


Christopher Dawson (1898-1970, Welsh cultural historian, educational theorist)


The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man. Nothing else that he builds ever lasts monuments fall; nations perish; civilization grow old and die out; 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.


Clarence Day (1874-1935, American essayist)


Books should to one of these fours ends conduce, for wisdom, piety, delight, or use.


Sir John Denham (1615-1668, British poet, dramatist)


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


Rene Descartes (1596-1650, French philosopher, scientist)


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