Top Ten Quotes About Reading

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From the works of Cicero (“A room without books is like a body without a soul”) to George W. Bush’s pearls of wisdom (“One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures”), there are thousands of quotes about the wonders of reading. Here are a few of my favourites:

10) “When you are growing up there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully: the church, which belongs to God, and the public library, which belongs to you.” (Keith Richards)

9) “It would be a good thing to buy books if one could also buy the time to read them.” (Schopenhauer)

8) “In a good book, the best is between the lines.” (Swedish proverb)

7) “Most of what makes a book ‘good’ is that we are reading it at the right moment for us.” (Alain de Botton)

6) “If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.” (J. K. Rowling)

5) “A half-read book is a half-finished love affair.” (from ‘Cloud Atlas‘ by David Mitchell – ironically, I failed to finish it…)

4) “Without libraries, what have we? We have no past and no future.” (Ray Bradbury)

3) “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” (from ‘Norwegian Wood’ by Haruki Murakami)

2) “Picking five favourite books is like picking the five favourite body parts you’d most like not to lose.” (Neil Gaiman)

And my all-time favourite quote about reading which surely every commuter bookworm can identify with:

1) “I often carry things to read so that I will not have to look at the people.” (Charles Bukowski)

Do you have a favourite quote about reading?


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17 responses to “Top Ten Quotes About Reading

  1. Lovely quotes – apart from GBush one which I hadn’t heard before – good grief!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit.

    John Milton



    Bukowski always said out loud what everyone else would only think. And, Bush is an idiot! There, I said it out loud!


  4. True Americana!–Charles Bukowski


  5. Ah, I do miss George W. Bush..! I regret not leaving my ‘love affair’ with Cloud Atlas half-finished. I carried on reading in the misguided hope that something profound and enlightening would justify the hours of forced reading I inflicted on myself. Suffice to say, it never came.


  6. “Maybe this is why we read, and why in moments of darkness we return to books: to find words for what we already know.” (Alberto Manguel)

    Manguel is probably the only famous writer I have had the pleasure to meet. A number of years ago he gave a series of lectures for the CBC radio Massey Lectures called “The City of Words” – he is definitely a passionate advocate of reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So many lovely quotes. One of my favourite quotes about books and reading is from Anthony J. D’Angelo:

    The rules have changed. True power is hold by the person who posses the largest bookshelf, not gun cabinet or wallet.

    I don’t know the context of this quote – but i like the idea behind it… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. hollycooksthebooks

    Love the Neil Gaiman one! That’s definitely the question that any book lover dreads… Also interesting about Cloud Atlas, I’ve had it on my Kindle for about 2 years but still not got around to reading it so perhaps I’ll give it a miss!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hmm, I’ve been told to read Cloud Atlas so many times. Perhaps I’ll take it off my impossibly long ‘long list’ now.


  10. My favourite is ‘there is no friend as loyal as a book’ by Hemingway. (its actually the title quote on my blog!)

    I’ve just started my book blog and would really appreciate it if you checked it out, ( )
    I could really do with some feedback (negative or positive!) I just reviewed The Circle by Dave Eggers, and the Odyssey by Homer.
    Thanks so much, and I love your blog its impressive!!! Good luck with everything
    Phoebe 🙂


  11. I like the quote from Charles Bukowski :))


  12. Mitriel Faywood

    I don’t have a favourite one, but may I share my own? Hope this won’t sound too self-absorbed, but a number of my friends quite liked it – so hoping you might like it, too:

    “Every book you read weaves a spell around you. Some stronger, some weaker, some changing your life for hours, some changing you for life.”


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