Saturday, October 31, 2015

Quotes On Reading, Books, Writers & Publishers

I recently enjoyed taking in a copy of The Delights of Reading: Quotes, Notes, & Anecdotes, by Otto L. Bettmann. I found this book, published a few decades ago, on the wooden shelves of Strand Book Store in New York City. It is a treasure!

Behold a sampling of the hundreds of quotes filling the pages of this well-researched tome:

“A bibliomaniac is one to whom books are like bottles of whiskey to the inebriate, to whom anything that is between covers has an intoxicating savor.”   –Sir Hugh Walpole

“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’ (as a poet said) ‘erected in the sea of time.” –Barbara W. Tuchman

“Books are a refuge, a sort of cloistral refuge, from the vulgarities of the actual world.” – Walter Pater

“A truly good book teaches me better than to read it.  I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint… What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.” –Henry David Thoreau

“No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting.” –Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

“Every man who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiple the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant, and interesting.” --Aldous Huxley

“Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writing so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for.” –Socrates

“A room without books is a body without a soul.” –Marcus Tullius Cicero

“A library is the delivery room for the birth of ideas, a place where history comes to life.” –Norman Cousins

“A library is that venerable [place where men preserve the history of their experience, their tentative experiments, their discoveries, and their plans… in books may be found the recipes for daily living – the prescriptions for the mind and the heart.” –Georges Duhamel

“The multitude of books is making us ignorant.” –Voltaire

“To buy books would be a good thing if we also could buy the time to read them.  As it is, the act of purchasing them is often mistaken for the assimilation and mastering of their content.” –Arthur Schopenhauer

“The enormous multiplication of books in every branch of knowledge is one of the greatest evils of this age, since it presents one of the most serious obstacles to the acquisition of correct information by throwing in the reader’s way piles of lumber in which he must painfully grope for the scraps of useful matter, peradventure interspersed.” –Edgar Allen Poe

“What refuge is there for the victim who is possessed with the feeling that there are a thousand new books he ought to read, while life is only long enough for him to attempt to read a hundred.” –Oliver Wendell Holmes

“Writing is both mask and unveiling” –E. B. White

“I have never found, in anything outside of the four walls of my study, an enjoyment equal to sitting at my writing desk with a clean page, a new theme, and a mind awake.” –Washington Irving

“Henry James joyously engaged in the act of writing.  A good day’s writing gave him a sense of strength, of control over chaos, a victory of order and clarity over the confused battle of existence.” –Leon Edel

“To write well, express yourself like the common people, but think like a wise man.” –Aristotle

“A good novel cannot be too long nor a bad novel too short.” –Ellen Glasgow

“The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar and familiar things new.” –Samuel Johnson

“The profession of book writing makes horse racing seem like a solid, stable business.” –John Steinbeck

“Some day I hope to write a book, where the royalties will pay for the copies I give away.” –Clarence Darrow

“Books won’t stay banned – Ideas won’t go to jail.” –Alfred Whitney Griswold

“Every burned book enlightens the world.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We all know that books burn, yet we have the greater knowledge that books cannot be killed by fire.  People die, but books never die… Books are weapons… make them weapons for man’s freedom.” –Franklin D. Roosevelt

“I conceive that a knowledge of books is the basis on which all other knowledge rests.” –George Washington

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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