Famous Quotes on Books

Thomas Jefferson had once said that, “I live for books”. Well, in my case, that is partially true, as I also live for food and for experiencing the exchange of unconditional love with animals. But my first love is undeniably books, without an inkling of a doubt. There is no better smell than that of a new book, or no better texture than that of the yellowing pages of an old book. A library is my blissful haven. You gift me a piece of jewelry and I shall smile at you, but you gift me a book and I shall remember you forevermore. As Thomas Babington Macaulay’s says, “I would rather be poor in a cottage full of books than a king without the desire to read.”

But it is not only me who feels this way about pages full of knowledge bound in a hardcover. Believe me, there are others who feel more ardently about books. Some so mesmerized that they dedicated their entire lives in the creation of literary jewels. Find out how books could change the lives of these great men in history, through these famous book quotes.

Philosophical Quotes on Books

The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it. ―James Bayce
A book must be the ax for the frozen sea within us. ―Franz Kafka, in a missive to Oskar Pollak in 1904
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed with profit. ―Amos Bronson Alcott
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
What makes a book great, a so-called classic, is its quality of always being modern, of its author, though he be long dead, continuing to speak to each new generation. ―Lawrence Clark Powell
A book is one of the most patient of all man’s inventions. Centuries mean nothing to a well-made book. It awaits its destined reader, come when he may, with eager hand and seeing eye. Then occurs one of the great examples of union, that of a man with a book, pleasurable, sometimes fruitful, potentially world-changing, simple; and in a public library…without cost to the reader. ―Lawrence Clark Powell in ‘Know Your Library’
A room without books is like a body without a soul. ―Marcus Tullius Cicero
For books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency of life in them ; they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them. ―John Milton
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. ―Barbara W. Tuchman
Unless their use by readers bring them to life, books are indeed dead things. ―Lawrence Clark Powell
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
When you sell a man a book, you don’t sell him 12 ounces of paper and ink and glue – you sell him a whole new life. ―Christopher Morley
Wherever they burn books, in the end will also burn human beings.―Heinrich Heine
You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them. ―Ray Bradbury
What we become depends on what we read after all the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is the collection of books. ―Thomas Carlyle
Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures. ―Jessamyn West
The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them. ―Mark Twain
It is chiefly through books that we enjoy the communion with superior minds… In the best books, authors talk to us, give us their most precious thoughts, and pour their souls into ours. God be thanked for books. ―William Ellery Channing
Books are whispers of the past heard well into the future. ―Keri Douglas
All that mankind has done, thought or been: it is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of books. ―Thomas Carlyle in ‘On Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History’
Show me the books he loves and I shall know/ The man far better than through mortal friends. ―S. Weir Mitchell
Books are the compasses and telescopes and sextants and charts which other men have prepared to help us navigate the dangerous seas of human life. ―Jesse Lee Bennett
Books are the shoes with which we tread the footsteps of great minds.―Anonymous
A book may lie dormant for fifty years or for two thousand years in a forgotten corner of a library, only to reveal, upon being opened, the marvels or the abysses that it contains, or the line that seems to have been written for me alone. In this respect the writer is not different from any other human being: whatever we say or do can have far-reaching consequences. ―Marguerite Yourcenar in ‘With Open Eyes’

Funny Quotes on Books

It is not all books that are as dull as their readers. ―Henry David Thoreau
Books and marriage go ill together. ―Moliere
Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would not read yourself.―George Bernard Shaw
I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. ―Groucho Marx
Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. And inside of a dog, It’s too dark to read. ―Groucho Marx
Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.―Mark Twain
A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author. ―G. K. Chesterton
I love being a writer. What I can’t stand is the paperwork. ―Peter De Vries
Trusting children and books is a revolutionary act. Books are, after all, dangerous stuff. Leave a child alone with a book and you don’t know what might happen. ―Susan Ohanian
When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes. ―Erasmus

So, even if you are still uninitiated into the world of books, then please start today, as you have already wasted a hell lot of time shunning them out. If you do not have the money to buy the exorbitant ones, then simply get old used books from friends and relatives, or download free eBooks. Try avoiding pirated books. If you do not have the money, then you always have the option to join a local library. Books are truly the most precious possessions of a man, and these famous book quotes are witness to that fact. I second Carter Burden’s saying that, “You can never be too thin, too rich or have too many books.”

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