The 100 Best Quotes About Reading

You know we love books around here. We also love discovering the inspiring things that have been said about books. We thought you might, too, which is why we’ve compiled a list of the 100 best quotes about reading. Read on to see the many insightful, witty, and motivating things that have been said about reading by authors, poets, scientists, artists, visionaries and even comedians.

Let us know in the comments below which is your favorite, and what quotes you would add to the list!

  1. “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R.R. Martin
  2. “Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” – Harper Lee
  3. “Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” – Lemony Snicket
  4. “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” – C.S. Lewis
  5. “Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.” – Jim Rohn
  6. “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss
  7. “I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” – Groucho Marx
  8. “‘Classic’ – a book which people praise and don’t read.” – Mark Twain
  9. “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” – Ray Bradbury
  10. “If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.” – J.K. Rowling
  11. “Think before you speak. Read before you think.” – Fran Lebowitz
  12. “Let’s be reasonable and add an eighth day to the week that is devoted exclusively to reading.” – Lena Dunham
  13. “The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest (people) of the past centuries.” – Descartes
  14. “In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.” – Mortimer J. Adler
  15. “Reading one book is like eating one potato chip.” – Diane Duane
  16. “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” – Stephen King
  17. “I read a book one day and my whole life was changed.” – Orhan Pamuk
  18. “People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.” – Logan Pearsall Smith
  19. “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” – Margaret Fuller
  20. “People can lose their lives in libraries. They ought to be warned.” – Saul Bellow
  21. “A good book is an event in my life.” – Stendhal
  22. “Reading brings us unknown friends” – Honoré de Balzac
  23. “The world was hers for the reading.” – Betty Smith
  24. “I kept always two books in my pocket, one to read, one to write in.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
  25. “The person who deserves most pity is a lonesome one on a rainy day who doesn’t know how to read.” – Benjamin Franklin
  26. “Once you have read a book you care about, some part of it is always with you.” – Louis L’Amour
  27. “Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.” – Fernando Pessoa
  28. “No. I can survive well enough on my own—if given the proper reading material.” – Sarah J. Maas
  29. “We are of opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read.” – Jules Verne
  30. “My alma mater was books, a good library…. I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity.” – Malcolm X
  31. “It’s not that I don’t like people. It’s just that when I’m in the company of others – even my nearest and dearest – there always comes a moment when I’d rather be reading a book.” – Maureen Corrigan
  32. “Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them! How I need them! I’ll have a long beard by the time I read them.” – Arnold Lobel
  33. “There is nothing more luxurious than eating while you read—unless it be reading while you eat.” – E. Nesbit
  34. “One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time.” – Carl Sagan
  35. “I have a passion for teaching kids to become readers, to become comfortable with a book, not daunted. Books shouldn’t be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful; and learning to be a reader gives a terrific advantage.” – Roald Dahl
  36. “Man reading should be man intensely alive. The book should be a ball of light in one’s hand.” – Ezra Pound
  37. “If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  38. “Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.” – P.J. O’Rourke
  39. “Many people, myself among them, feel better at the mere sight of a book.” – Jane Smiley
  40. “Beware of the person of one book.” – Thomas Aquinas
  41. “Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.” – Henry David Thoreau
  42. “Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would not read yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw
  43. “Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all.” – Abraham Lincoln
  44. “I can’t imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once.” – C.S. Lewis
  45. “You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.” – Paul Sweeney
  46. “Some books leave us free and some books make us free.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  47. “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” – Frederick Douglas
  48. “There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
  49. “Wear the old coat and buy the new book.” – Austin Phelps
  50. “You may have tangible wealth untold. Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be — I had a mother who read to me.” – Strickland Gillilan
  51. “The man who does not read good books is no better than the man who can’t.” – Mark Twain
  52. “To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.” – Victor Hugo
  53. “Oh, magic hour, when a child first knows she can read printed words!” – Betty Smith
  54. “A book is a gift you can open again and again.” – Garrison Keillor
  55. “Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks.” – Dr. Seuss
  56. “Show me a family of readers, and I will show you the people who move the world.” – Napoléon Bonaparte
  57. “A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.” – Italo Calvino
  58. “I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.” – Jorge Luis Borges
  59. “Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere.” – Mary Schmich
  60. “No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting.” – Mary Wortley Montagu
  61. “If you are going to get anywhere in life you have to read a lot of books.” – Roald Dahl
  62. “That perfect tranquility of life, which is nowhere to be found but in retreat, a faithful friend and a good library.” – Aphra Behn
  63. “To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.” – W. Somerset Maugham
  64. “Rainy days should be spent at home with a cup of tea and a good book.” – Bill Watterson
  65. “These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.” – Roald Dahl
  66. “I guess there are never enough books.” – John Steinbeck
  67. “Despite the enormous quantity of books, how few people read! And if one reads profitably, one would realize how much stupid stuff the vulgar herd is content to swallow every day.” – Voltaire
  68. “Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.” – Anne Herbert
  69. “Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.” – Rainer Maria Rilke
  70. “Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” – Emilie Buchwald
  71. “I couldn’t live a week without a private library – indeed, I’d part with all my furniture and squat and sleep on the floor before I’d let go of the 1500 or so books I possess.” – H.P. Lovecraft
  72. Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people – people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.” – E.B. White
  73. “Luckily, I always travel with a book, just in case I have to wait on line for Santa, or some such inconvenience.” – David Levithan
  74. “Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” – Groucho Marx
  75. “Somebody who only reads newspapers and at best books of contemporary authors looks to me like an extremely near-sighted person who scorns eyeglasses. He is completely dependent on the prejudices and fashions of his times, since he never gets to see or hear anything else.” – Albert Einstein
  76. “I always read. You know how sharks have to keep swimming or they die? I’m like that. If I stop reading, I die.” – Patrick Rothfuss

  78. “I intend to put up with nothing that I can put down.” – Edgar Allan Poe
  79. “Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house.” – Henry Ward Beecher
  80. “I took a speed-reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It involves Russia.” – Woody Allen
  81. “There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.” – Joseph Brodsky
  82. “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” – Jane Austen
  83. “Books break the shackles of time – proof that humans can work magic.” – Carl Sagan
  84. “Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for.” – Socrates
  85. “For my whole life, my favorite activity was reading. It’s not the most social pastime.” – Audrey Hepburn
  86. “Reading for me, is spending time with a friend.” – Gary Paulsen
  87. “[F]rom the reading of ‘good books’ there comes a richness of life that can be obtained in no other way.” – Gordon B. Hinckley
  88. “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.” – Voltaire
  89. “How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.” – Henry David Thoreau
  90. “Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.” – Mortimer J. Adler
  91. “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” – C.S. Lewis
  92. “It is a great thing to start life with a small number of really good books which are your very own.” – Arthur Conan Doyle
  93. “What better occupation, really, than to spend the evening at the fireside with a book, with the wind beating on the windows and the lamp burning bright.” – Gustave Flaubert
  94. “I’m old-fashioned and think that reading books is the most glorious pastime that humankind has yet devised.” – Wisława Szymborska
  95. “Never put off till tomorrow the book you can read today.” – Holbrook Jackson
  96. “What kind of life can you have in a house without books?” – Sherman Alexie
  97. “Of course anyone who truly loves books buys more of them than he or she can hope to read in one fleeting lifetime. A good book, resting unopened in its slot on a shelf, full of majestic potentiality, is the most comforting sort of intellectual wallpaper.” – David Quammen

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