We shouldn’t teach great books; we should teach a love of reading.
—B. F. Skinner (1904–90) American Psychologist, Social Philosopher, Inventor, Author
Books and friends should be few but good.
A book must be an ice-axe to break the seas frozen inside our soul.
—Franz Kafka (1883–1924) Austrian Novelist, Short Story Writer
A book is a gift you can open again and again.
—Garrison Keillor (b.1942) American Author, Humorist, Radio Personality
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, Sr. (1809–94) American Physician, Essayist
If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.
—Toni Morrison (1931–2019) American Novelist, Editor, Academic
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.
—Charles William Eliot (1834–1926) American Educationalist
Every book must be chewed to get out its juice.
Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.
—Mark Twain (1835–1910) American Humorist
Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. They are engines of change, windows on the world, lighthouses erected in the sea of time.
—Edwin Percy Whipple (1819–86) American Literary Critic
If a book is really good, it deserves to be read again, and if it’s great, it should be read at least three times.
—Anatole Broyard (1920–90) American Literary Critic
Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.
—Henry David Thoreau (1817–62) American Philosopher
A single conversation across the table with a wise man is worth a month’s study of books.