I have been a collector of quotes almost as long as I’ve been a reader. In elementary and high school, I filled unorganized notebooks with quotes I liked, spending hours online and in books finding new ones. Not all of them meant something to me, but many of them did. Today, I wanted to do something a little bit different (read: I couldn’t figure out what to write), so I decided to share a few of my favorite quotes about reading itself, something that is best described by those who are practiced at making magic with their words. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. (And, if you have a favorite quote on reading, I would love if you shared it in the comments!)
A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.
– George R. R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons
It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines who you’ll be when you can’t help it.
– Oscar Wilde
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. 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
Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.
– Joyce Carol Oates
We read books to find out who we are. What other people, real or imaginary, do and think and feel… is an essential guide to out understanding of what we ourselves are and may become.
– Ursula K. Le Guin
The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She traveled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.
– Roald Dahl, Matilda
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 a way of making contact with someone else’s imagination after a day that’s all too read. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.
– Nora Ephron, I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman
That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.
– F. Scott Fitzgerald
If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.
– Haruki Murakami