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





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)


There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.


Charles Dickens (1812-1870, British novelist)


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.


Emily Dickinson (1830-1886, American poet)


There is no frigate like a book to take us lands away nor any coursers like a page of prancing poetry.


Emily Dickinson (1830-1886, American poet)


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 (1901-1966, American artist, film producer)


Nine-tenths of the existing books are nonsense and the clever books are the refutation of that nonsense.


Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881, British statesman, Prime Minister)


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


Isaac Disraeli (1766-1848, British critic, historian)


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 (1859-1930, British author, "Sherlock Holmes")


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 (1929-, Italian novelist and critic)


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 (1809-1894, American theologian)


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 (1819-1880, British novelist)


Books are the best of things if well used; if abused, among the worst. They are good for nothing but to inspire. I had better never see a book than be warped by its attraction clean out of my own orbit, and made a satellite instead of a system.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


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


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


Never read any book that is not a year old.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


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


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


Some books leave us free and some books make us free.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


There is creative reading as well as creative writing.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


'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 (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


We are too civil to books. For a few golden sentences we will turn over and actually read a volume of four or five hundred pages.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.


Desiderius Erasmus (c.1466-1536, Dutch humanist)


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 (American writer)


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 (1897-1962, American novelist)


The tools I need for my work are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whiskey.


William Faulkner (1897-1962, American novelist)


If the riches of the Indies, or the crowns of all the kingdom of Europe, were laid at my feet in exchange for my love of reading, I would spurn them all.


Francois de Salignac Fenelon (1651-1715, French writer)


There is a set of religious, or rather moral, writings which teach that virtue is the certain road to happiness, and vice to misery in this world. A very wholesome and comfortable doctrine, and to which we have but one objection, namely, that it is not true.


Henry Fielding (1707-1754, British novelist, dramatist)


We are as liable to be corrupted by books, as by companions.


Henry Fielding (1707-1754, British novelist, dramatist)


I wish I could write a beautiful book to break those hearts that are soon to cease to exist: a book of faith and small neat worlds and of people who live by the philosophies of popular songs.


Zelda Fitzgerald (1900-1948, American writer)


Read in order to live.


Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880, French novelist)


One always tends to over-praise a long book, because one has got through it.


Edward M. Forster (1879-1970, British novelist, essayist)


The only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little farther down our particular path than we have yet got ourselves.


Edward M. Forster (1879-1970, British novelist, essayist)


Few are sufficiently sensible of the importance of that economy in reading which selects, almost exclusively, the very first order of books. Why, except for some special reason, read an inferior book, at the very time you might be reading one of the highest order?


John W. Foster (1770-1843, British clergyman, essayist)


The books that everybody admires are those that nobody reads.


Anatole France (1844-1924, French writer)


Read much, but not many books.


Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American scientist, publisher, diplomat)


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


Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American scientist, publisher, diplomat)


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


Robert Frost (1875-1963, American poet)


I don't think any good book is based on factual experience. Bad books are about things the writer already knew before he wrote them.


Carlos Fuentes (1928-, Mexican novelist, short-story writer)


I don't think any good book is based on factual experience. Bad books are about things the writer already knew before he wrote them.


Carlos Fuentes (1928-, Mexican novelist, short-story writer)


A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.


Margaret Witter Fuller (1810-1850, American writer, lecturer)


It does not follow because many books are written by persons born in America that there exists an American literature. Books which imitate or represent the thoughts and life of Europe do not constitute an American literature. Before such can exist, an original idea must animate this nation and fresh currents of life must call into life fresh thoughts along the shore.


Margaret Witter Fuller (1810-1850, American writer, lecturer)


A book that is shut is but a block.


Thomas Fuller (1608-1661, British clergyman, author)


Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.


W. Fusselman


Books are those faithful mirrors that reflect to our mind the minds of sages and heroes.


Edward Gibbon (1737-1794, British historian)


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


Edward Gibbon (1737-1794, British historian)


Some books seem to have been written, not to teach us anything, but to let us know that the author has known something.


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)


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 (1728-1774, Anglo-Irish author, poet, playwright)


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 (1882-1974, American film producer, founder of MGM)


Learning to read has been reduced to a process of mastering a series of narrow, specific, hierarchical skills. Where armed-forces recruits learn the components of a rifle or the intricacies of close order drill "by the numbers," recruits to reading learn its mechanics sound by sound and word by word.


Jacquelyn Gross


I have read your book and much like it.


Moses Hadas (1900-1966, American classicist and translator)


Thank you for sending me a copy of your book -- I'll waste no time reading it.


Moses Hadas (1900-1966, American classicist and translator)


Books give not wisdom where none was before. But where some is, there reading makes it more.


John Harington


If I have not read a book before, it is, for all intents and purposes, new to me whether it was printed yesterday or three hundred years ago.


William Hazlitt (1778-1830, British essayist)


Reading is sometimes an ingenious device for avoiding thought.


Sir Arthur Helps (1813-1875, British historian, novelist, essayist)


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.


Ernest Hemingway (1898-1961, American writer)


Old books, you know well, are books of the world's youth, and new books are the fruits of its age.


Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894, American author, wit, poet)


The best of a book is not the thought which it contains, but the thought which it suggests; just as the charm of music dwells not in the tones but in the echoes of our hearts.


Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894, American author, wit, poet)


The most foolish kind of a book is a kind of leaky boat on the sea of wisdom; some of the wisdom will get in anyhow.


Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894, American author, wit, poet)


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


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


A book might be written on the injustice of the just.


Anthony Hope (1863-1933, British writer)


Books in a large university library system: 2, 000 Books in an average large city library: 1, 000 Average number of books in a chain bookstore: 30, 000. Books in an average neighborhood branch library: 20, 000.


Lois Horowitz


This will never be a civilized country until we expend more money for books than we do for chewing gum.


Elbert Hubbard (1859-1915, American author, publisher)


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


Victor Hugo (1802-1885, French poet, dramatist, novelist)


There was a time when the world acted on books; now books act on the world.


Joseph Joubert (1754-1824, French moralist)


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


Victor Hugo (1802-1885, French poet, dramatist, novelist)


A bad book is as much of a labor to write as a good one; it comes as sincerely from the author's soul.


Aldous Huxley (1894-1963, British author)


Books are the money of Literature, but only the counters of Science.


Thomas H. Huxley (1825-1895, British biologist, educator)


The newest books are those that never grow old.


George Holbrook Jackson (1874-1948, British essayist, literary historian,)


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


Holbrook Jackson


The only obligation to which in advance we may hold a novel, without incurring the accusation of being arbitrary, is that it be interesting.


Henry James (1843-1916, American author)


Books constitute capital. A library book lasts as long as a house, for hundreds of years. It is not, then, an article of mere consumption but fairly of capital, and often in the case of professional men, setting out in life, it is their only capital.


Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826, American President (3rd))


I cannot live without books.


Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826, American President (3rd))


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 (1709-1784, British author)


Books that you carry to the fire, and hold readily in your hand, are most useful after all.


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British author)


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


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British author)


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 (American motivational speaker, author)


There be some men are born only to suck out the poison of books.


Ben Jonson (1573-1637, British dramatist, poet)


One man is as good as another until he has written a book.


Benjamin Jowett (1817-1893, British scholar)


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


Everywhere I have sought rest and not found it, except sitting in a corner by myself with a little book.


Thomas a Kempis (1379-1471, German monk, mystic, religious writer)


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


Except a living man, there is nothing more wonderful than a book! A message to us from the dead -- from human souls we never saw, who lived, perhaps, thousands of miles away. And yet these, in those little sheets of paper, speak to us, arouse us, terrify us, teach us, comfort us, open their hearts to us as brothers.


Charles Kingsley (1819-1875, British author, clergyman)


We ought to reverence books; to look on them as useful and mighty things. If they are good and true, whether they are about religion, politics, farming, trade, law, or medicine, they are the message of Christ, the maker of all things -- the teacher of all truth.


Charles Kingsley (1819-1875, British author, clergyman)


A bad book is the worse that it cannot repent. It has not been the devil's policy to keep the masses of mankind in ignorance; but finding that they will read, he is doing all in his power to poison their books.


E.N. Kirk


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


When a book raises your spirit, and inspires you with noble and manly thoughts, seek for no other test of its excellence. It is good, and made by a good workman.


Jean De La Bruyere (1645-1696, French classical writer)


Books are the bees which carry the quickening pollen from one to another mind.


James Russell Lowell (1819-1891, American poet, critic, editor)


Borrowers of books -- those mutilators of collections, spoilers of the symmetry of shelves, and creators of odd volumes.


Charles Lamb (1775-1834, British essayist, critic)


He has left off reading altogether, to the great improvement of his originality.


Charles Lamb (1775-1834, British essayist, critic)


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