One of my favorite pastimes is to read and to read books about books. Connected to that is reading quotes about books, writers, publishing, and reading. I came across Book Love: A Celebration of Writers, Readers, and The Printed & Bound Book, edited by James Charlton and Bill Henderson, and it dishes out over 600 quotes on all things books.
Henderson notes in his prelude: “Books are our history and our future. If they survive, we will too. Books, readers, writers – on this trinity we keep the faith.” He also noted: “Most books – about 80% of them – lose money. A few best-sellers might make up for these losses but book publishing is not where one turns for a gigantic payday – the kind demanded by our ‘greed is good’ hustlers.”
Below are 25 quotes that touched me. Perhaps they will stimulate something within you. But first, I leave you with one more observation by Henderson, who in talking about the late 1970’s said: “Back in those days, a good writer was held in respect. He or she was not denigrated as a content provider. The reader too was respected, was not a mere consumer (hideous word). And books were designated solely by title, not by ISBN and publishing did not call them ‘units’ but books. Imagine!”
“A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man’s mind can get both provocation and privacy.”
--Edward P. Morgan
“The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man. Nothing else that he builds ever lasts, monuments fall, nations perish, civilizations grow old and die out, and after an era of darkness 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.”
“The multitude of books is making us ignorant.”
“You can never be too thin, too rich, or have too many books.”
“Good books do not waste our time as most people do; books are friends which enrich us as much as we desire.”
--Cardinal Augustin Valier
“A premium is placed on one’s ability to communicate in short bursts. Celebrities rise to prominence and then disappear very quickly. The disposable syndrome has moved from paper plates, diapers, and clothes to information.”
--Kenneth Dowlin, The Electronic Library
“Think what a book is. It is a portion of the eternal mind caught in its process through the world, stamped in an instant, and preserved for eternity.”
“Of all the inanimate objects, of all of a man’s creations, books are the nearest to us, for they contain our very thought, our ambitions, our indignations, our illusions, our fidelity to truth, and our persistent leaning towards error. But most of all they resemble us in their precarious hold on life."
“I thank God I am a bookseller, trafficking in the dreams and beauties to curiosities of humanity rather some mere huckster of merchandise.”
“To put good books in the hands of customers – matchmaking – that’s the bookseller’s role. If we do it well, we’ll stay relevant. If we don’t do it well, we won’t."
--Sarah McNally, McNally Jackson Books
“There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.”
“It is no accident that books are sacred to civilization. They open the past to us. A book is magical; it transcends time and space.”
“Tell me what you read and I’ll tell you who you are” is true enough, but I’d know you better if you told me what you reread.”
“The more that you read,
The more things you will know.
The more that you learn,
The more places you’ll go.”
“The oldest books are still only just out to those who have not read them.”
“I divide all readers into two classes; those who read to remember and those who read to forget.”
--William Lyon Phelps
“When you reread a classic you do not see more in the book than you did before; you see more in you than was there before.”
“In a very real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish."
“People can lose their lives in libraries. They ought to be warned.”
“The uniqueness of the library is the joy of discovery. You find material that you were never looking for.”
“Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money.”
“If writers were good businessmen, they’d have too much sense to be writers.”
--Irvin S. Cobb
“I am convinced that all writers are optimists whether they concede the point or not. How otherwise could any human being sit down to a pile of blank sheets and decide to write, say two hundred thousand words on a given theme?”
“The writer has taken unto himself the former function of the priest or prophet. He presumes to order and legislate the people’s life. There is no person more arrogant than the writer.”
“Literary success of any enduring kind is made by refusing to do what publishers want, by refusing to write what the public wants, by refusing to accept any popular standard, by refusing to write anything to order."
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs
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