The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.
Alan Bennett, The History Boys
Think before you speak. Read before you think.
Fran Lebowitz, The Fran Lebowitz Reader
Once, in my father’s bookshop, I heard a regular customer say that few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds its way into his heart. Those first images, the echo of words we think we have left behind, accompany us throughout our lives and sculpt a palace in our memory to which, sooner or later—no matter how many books we read, how many worlds we discover, or how much we learn or forget—we will return.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind
Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.
Mary Ann Shaffer, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society
One day I would have all the books in the world, shelves and shelves of them. I would live my life in a tower of books. I would read all day long and eat peaches. And if any young knights in armor dared to come calling on their white charges and plead with me to let down my hair, I would pelt them with peach pits until they went home.
Jacqueline Kelly, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate
Yes! the books - the generous friends who met me without suspicion - the merciful masters who never used me ill! The only years of my life that I can look back on with something like pride… Early and late, through the long winter nights and the quiet summer days, I drank at the fountain of knowledge, and never wearied of the draught.
Wilkie Collins, Armadale
There is no shortage of good days. It is good lives that are hard to come by. A life of good days lived in the senses is not enough. The life of sensation is the life of greed; it requires more and more. The life of the spirit requires less and less; time is ample and its passage sweet. Who would call a day spent reading a good day? But a life spent reading — that is a good life.
Annie Dillard, The Writing Life
Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it’s a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it’s a way of making contact with someone else’s imagination after a day that’s all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.
Nora Ephron, I Feel Bad About My Neck
A book you finish reading is not the same book it was before you read it.
David Mitchell, number9dream
Fools have a habit of believing that everything written by a famous author is admirable. For my part I read only to please myself and like only what suits my taste.
The books of our childhood offer a vivid door to our own pasts, and not necessarily for the stories we read there, but for the memories of where we were and who we were when we were reading them; to remember a book is to remember the child who read that book.
Lewis Buzbee, The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop
Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind
No matter who you are, no matter where you live, and no matter how many people are chasing you, what you don’t read is often as important as what you do read.
Lemony Snicket, The Vile Village
Indeed, learning to write may be part of learning to read. For all I know, writing comes out of a superior devotion to reading.
Eudora Welty, On Writing
The ability to read awoke inside of me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive.
Malcolm X, Autobiography Of Malcolm X