25 quotations on libraries and reading

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A man’s library is a sort of harem — Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library — Jorge Luis Borgés

Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. ~~ Groucho Marx

New York Public Library

New York Public Library, Main Branch–with one of the famous lions

In the past, libraries were concrete boxes, and you had to be brave enough to walk inside. When you have buildings that are transparent with lots of light and windows, it gives people the opportunity to get a glimpse of what’s going on inside. It makes the whole experience of going to the library a little more friendly. We’re no longer just about books. We’re a lot about social spaces, for people to congregate as a community. — Leslie Burger

There are seventy million books in American libraries, but the one you want is always out. — Thomas Masson

A library is but the soul’s burying ground. It is a land of shadows — Henry Ward Beecher

Libraries are reservoirs of strength, grace and wit, reminders of order, calm and continuity, lakes of mental energy, neither warm nor cold, light nor dark. The pleasure they give is steady, unorgastic, reliable, deep and long-lasting. In any library in the world, I am at home, unselfconscious, still and absorbed. — Germaine Greer

The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers. — Thomas Jefferson

It is almost everywhere the case that soon after it is begotten the greater part of human wisdom is laid to rest in repositories. — Georg C. Lichtenberg

In the case of good books, the point is not how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you. — Mortimer Adler

RESTITUTIONS, n. The founding or endowing of universities and public libraries by gift or bequest. — Ambrose Bierce<

Sterling Public Library, Colorado

Sterling Public Library, Colorado

Schools and libraries are the twin cornerstones of a civilized society. Libraries are only good if people use them, like books only exist when someone reads them. — Nicholas Meyer

Here Greek and Roman find themselves alive along these crowded shelves; and Shakespeare treads again his stage, and Chaucer paints anew his age. — John Greenleaf Whittier

One thing libraries have learned from bookstores in the last decade is marketing. We’re trying to entice people to read. — Gene Nelson

Be a little careful about your library. Do you foresee what you will do with it? Very little to be sure. But the real question is, What it will do with you? You will come here and get books that will open your eyes, and your ears, and your curiosity, and turn you inside out or outside in. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Bodleian library

Bodleian Library, Oxford University

The great British Library –an immense collection of volumes of all ages and languages, many of which are now forgotten, and most of which are seldom read: one of these sequestered pools of obsolete literature to which modern authors repair, and draw buckets full of classic lore, or ”pure English, undefiled” wherewith to swell their own scanty rills of thought. — Washington Irving

The best of a book is not the thought which it contains, but the thought which it suggests; just as the charm of music dwells not in the tones but in the echoes of our hearts. — John Greenleaf Whittier

Books are whispers of the past heard well into the future. — Keri Douglas

No place affords a more striking conviction of the vanity of human hopes than a public library. — Samuel Johnson

My alma mater was books, a good library. I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity. — Malcolm X

People can lose their lives in libraries. They ought to be warned. — Saul Bellow

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. — Cicero

I would rather be a poor man in a garret with plenty of books than a king who did not love reading — Thomas Babington Macaulay

A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life. — Henry Ward Beecher

To a historian libraries are food, shelter, and even muse. — Barbara Tuchman

Photo credits:

New York Public Library Some rights reserved by Stephen Douglas
Sterling Public Library Some rights reserved by Jeffrey Beall To
Bodleian Library Some rights reserved by Jim Linwood


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