As World Book Day is celebrated around the world and World Book Night in the UK we look at great quotes from authors on why they like reading, as well as some from our own readers
When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.
There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favorite book.
If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.
The books I loved in childhood – the first loves – Ive read so often that Ive internalized them in some really essential way: they are more inside me now than out.
I believe that reading and writing are the most nourishing forms of meditation anyone has so far found. By reading the writings of the most interesting minds in history, we meditate with our own minds and theirs as well. This to me is a miracle.
And if our book consumption remains as low as it has been, at least let us admit that it is because reading is a less exciting pastime than going to the dogs, the pictures or the pub, and not because books, whether bought or borrowed, are too expensive.
We should read to give our souls a chance to luxuriate.
Books have to be read (worse luck it takes so long a time). It is the only way of discovering what they contain. A few savage tribes eat them, but reading is the only method of assimilation revealed to the West.
Knowing you have something good to read before bed is among the most pleasurable of sensations.
Reading and writing, like everything else, improve with practice. And, of course, if there are no young readers and writers, there will shortly be no older ones. Literacy will be dead, and democracy which many believe goes hand in hand with it will be dead as well.
The one way of tolerating existence is to lose oneself in literature as in a perpetual orgy.
Book collecting is an obsession, an occupation, a disease, an addiction, a fascination, an absurdity, a fate. It is not a hobby. Those who do it must do it.
When the Day of Judgment dawns and people, great and small, come marching in to receive their heavenly rewards, the Almighty will gaze upon the mere bookworms and say to Peter, Look, these need no reward. We have nothing to give them. They have loved reading.
Perhaps the greatest reading pleasure has an element of self-annihilation. To be so engrossed that you barely know you exist.
I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us. If the book were reading doesnt wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for?
When you practice reading, and you work at a text, it can only give you what you put into it. Its an old moral, but its completely true.
Albums still matter. Like books and Black lives, albums still matter
Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.
I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book.
Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into anothers skin, anothers voice, anothers soul.
Joyce Carol Oates
A book is really like a lover. It arranges itself in your life in a way that is beautiful.
That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that youre not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.
F Scott Fitzgerald
I used books as alternate worlds for a long time. I still do. I have dozens of reasons for why I love reading: one of them is that finding yourself wanting to hang out in the world created by a writer is one of the coolest feelings ever, although it can be damn uncomfortable.
I remember as a teen reading Stephen King novels. While I cant understand why I was so enamored of his books when I was sixteen and seventeen, I can still remember the sensation of being so frightened that I had no choice but to finish the book I was reading at 3am because, otherwise, I would not be able to get to sleep. I needed to get to the end of the book in order to feel resolution. I remember when reading Salems Lot that my dad stuck his head in my bedroom door at around midnight to find out if I intended to go to sleep on a school night. I explained to him that I was too frightened to sleep, and book lover that he was, my father seemed to understand perfectly.
Ive always read in order to experience another reality. I remember reading Stalingrad by Anthony Beevor and feeling frozen through and through. Same with some of the sequences in Captain Corellis Mandolin by Louis de Berniere.
Someone once accused me of living more in my head than in the real world. Not so. I do love to disappear into a novel though.
I read to lose myself and find myself at the same time.
Why do you read? And are there other quotes you love about literature? Let us know in the comments. <