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Samuel JohnsonA man ought to read just as inclination leads him; for what he reads as a task will do him little good.

—  Samuel Johnson, 1709-1784, English writer

René DescartesThe reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries.

—  René Descartes, 1596-1650, French philosopher

Arthur SchopenhauerReading is thinking with some one else's head instead of one's own.

—  Arthur Schopenhauer, 1788-1860, German philosopher

Francis BaconSome books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.

—  Francis Bacon, 1561-1626, English philosopher

Walt DisneyThere is more treasure in books than in all the pirates' loot on Treasure Island.

—  Walt Disney, 1901-1966, American businessman & cartoonist

Georg Christoph LichtenbergA book is a mirror: if an ape looks into it an apostle is hardly likely to look out.

—  Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, 1742-1799, German author of maxims

George Bernard ShawOnly in books has mankind known perfect truth, love and beauty.

—  George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950, Irish writer, Nobel 1925

George Bernard ShawReading made Don Quixote a gentleman. Believing what he read made him mad.

—  George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950, Irish writer, Nobel 1925

Benjamin FranklinRead much, but not many books.

—  Benjamin Franklin, 1706-1790, American politician & writer

Arthur SchopenhauerBuying books would be a good thing if we also could buy the time to read them.

—  Arthur Schopenhauer, 1788-1860, German philosopher

Mark TwainThe man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.

—  Mark Twain, 1835-1910, American writer

Mark TwainDefinition of a classic — something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.

—  Mark Twain, 1835-1910, American writer

Ambrose BierceIf you want to read a perfect book there is only one way: write it.

—  Ambrose Bierce, 1842–1914, American writer

Jean-Paul SartreI had found my religion: nothing seemed more important to me than a book. I saw the library as a temple.

—  Jean-Paul Sartre, 1905-1980, French philosopher

Jean-Paul SartreAll that I know about my life, it seems, I have learned in books.

—  Jean-Paul Sartre, 1905-1980, French philosopher

Oscar WildeI never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train.

—  Oscar Wilde, 1854-1900, Irish writer

Oscar WildeThere is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.

—  Oscar Wilde, 1854-1900, Irish writer

Ralph Waldo EmersonIf we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.

—  Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1884, American philosopher

CiceroIf you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.

—  Cicero, 106-43 BC, Roman orator & statesman

Samuel JohnsonA writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.

—  Samuel Johnson, 1709-1784, English writer

Samuel JohnsonYou can never be wise unless you love reading.

—  Samuel Johnson, 1709-1784, English writer

Lord ChesterfieldLet blockheads read what blockheads wrote.

—  Lord Chesterfield, 1694-1773, English statesman & writer

VoltaireLet us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.

—  Voltaire, 1694-1778, French philosopher & writer

Edmund BurkeReading without reflecting is like eating without digesting.

—  Edmund Burke, 1729-1797, British statesman & philosopher

G. K. ChestertonA good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.

—  G. K. Chesterton, 1874-1936, English writer & critic

G. K. ChestertonThere is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and a tired man who wants a book to read.

—  G. K. Chesterton, 1874-1936, English writer & critic

Thomas PaineAs to the book called the bible, it is blasphemy to call it the Word of God. It is a book of lies and contradictions and a history of bad times and bad men.

—  Thomas Paine, 1737-1809, English-American writer

Ernest HemingwayAll modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn.

—  Ernest Hemingway, 1899-1961, American writer, Nobel 1954

Jules RenardWhen I think of all the books still left for me to read, I am certain of further happiness.

—  Jules Renard, 1864-1910, French writer

Paul ValeryBooks have the same enemies as people: fire, humidity, animals, weather, and their own content.

—  Paul Valery, 1871-1945, French poet

Jim RohnSuccessful people have libraries. The rest have big screen TVs.

—  Jim Rohn, 1930-2009, American self-help speker

Jim RohnMiss a meal if you have to, but don't miss a book.

—  Jim Rohn, 1930-2009, American self-help speker

Adolf HitlerReading is not an end to itself, but a means to an end.

—  Adolf Hitler, 1889-1945, German dictator

Adolf HitlerThe art of reading consists in remembering the essentials and forgetting non essentials.

—  Adolf Hitler, 1889-1945, German dictator

Jean Jacques RousseauI hate books, for they only teach people to talk about what they don't understand.

—  Jean Jacques Rousseau, 1712-1778, Swiss-French philosopher

Lyndon JohnsonBooks and ideas are the most effective weapons against intolerance and ignorance.

—  Lyndon Johnson, 1908-1973, American President [1963-1969]

Harry TrumanNot all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.

—  Harry Truman, 1884-1972, American President [1945-1953]

Georg Christoph LichtenbergThere are very many people who read simply to prevent themselves from thinking.

—  Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, 1742-1799, German author of maxims

Georg Christoph LichtenbergA sure sign of a good book is that you like it more the older you get.

—  Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, 1742-1799, German author of maxims

Arthur ClarkePoliticians should read science fiction, not westerns and detective stories.

—  Arthur Clarke, 1917-2008, British Sci-Fi writer

John WoodenFive years from now, you’re the same person except for the people you’ve met and the books you’ve read.

—  John Wooden, 1910-2010, American basketball coach

John WoodenThe worst thing about new books is that they keep us from reading the old ones.

—  John Wooden, 1910-2010, American basketball coach

Marcel ProustThere are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we believe we left without having lived them, those we spent with a favorite book.

—  Marcel Proust, 1871-1922, French writer

Zig ZiglarRich people have small TVs and big libraries, and poor people have small libraries and big TVs.

—  Zig Ziglar, 1926-2012, American self-help writer

Albert EinsteinReading after a certain age diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.

—  Albert Einstein, 1879-1955, German-Jewish physicist

Charles Caleb ColtonWith books, as with companions, it is of more consequence to know which to avoid, than which to choose; for good books are as scarce as good companions.

—  Charles Caleb Colton, 1780-1832, English cleric & writer

Georg Christoph LichtenbergA book which, above all others in the world, should be forbidden, is a catalogue of forbidden books.

—  Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, 1742-1799, German author of maxims

NapoleonA book in which there were no lies would be a curiosity.

—  Napoleon, 1769-1821, French Emperor

George Bernard ShawMake it a rule never to give a child a book you would not read yourself.

—  George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950, Irish writer, Nobel 1925

Personal Stories

Abraham LincolnSo you're the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war!

—  Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1865, American President

     (on meeting Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin)

Funny Quotes

Groucho MarxFrom the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend on reading it.

—  Groucho Marx, 1890-1977, American comedian

Arthur ClarkeNo trilogy should have more than four books.

—  Arthur Clarke, 1917-2008, British Sci-Fi writer

Woody AllenI took a course in speed reading, learning to read straight down the middle of the page, and I was able to go through War and Peace in 20 minutes. It’s about Russia

—  Woody Allen, 1935-, American actor & film director

Fred AllenI can't understand why a person will take a year to write a novel when he can easily buy one for a few dollars.

—  Fred Allen, 1894-1956, American comedian

George W. BushI have written a book. This will come as quite a shock to some. They didn't think I could read, much less write.

—  George W. Bush, 1946-, American President

Stupid Quotes

George W. BushOne of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures.

—  George W. Bush, 1946-, American President


English proverbNever judge a book by its cover.

—  English proverb

Japanese proverbIf you believe everything you read, better not read.

—  Japanese proverb

Special Quotes

To read them all, reckon 150,000 years.

—  Slogan of the Bibliothèque nationale de France (2014)

Let your fingers do the walking.

—  Slogan of Yellow Pages

Movie Quotes

Pierrot le Fou (1965)That's what makes me sad: life is so different from books. I wish it were the same: clear, logical, organized.

—  from the film Pierrot le Fou (1965)


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2017: Manolis Papathanassiou