Got Books? If Not, Get Some. Here’s Why.

25 Quotes About Books and Reading

Wren Wright
5 min readMay 19, 2022


Photo by Mark Williams on Unsplash

The top 3 questions people ask when they see my overflowing bookshelves:

Question #1: Who dusts all these?

Answer: I love touching my books, either with a dust cloth or when pulling one off the shelf to read.

Question #2: Why do you have so many?

Answer: I read a lot. Some are reference books that I refer to often, some I re-read, and…

Question #3 (interrupting): Have you read them all?

Answer: Have you drunk all the bottles of wine in your wine rack? (I speak that sentence silently to myself so as not to seem rude.)

(I think it odd that not one questioner has ever commented on my e-reader, which alone holds a few hundred books. It stands out in its black leather case in the center of the TBR shelf. Somehow they’ve missed it.)

Back to the questions. Perhaps you’ve undergone a similar interrogation from non-readers and have given similar answers? If you have, you may be a bookworm. Maybe you’re a collector of rare books or a literary connoisseur. Perhaps even a book snob. Maybe all of the above. We’re friends already.

To honor the raw book-ed-ness of like-minded book folk like us, I’ve put together a list of some favorite quotes on books and reading. They eloquently explain what books mean to us devotees, how they can accompany and guide us in our lives, how they can open up the world to us, and change our lives. Not to mention how we can slay demons and dragons…or at least make them our friends.

Here are 25 of my favorite quotes, in no particular order

1. Many people, myself among them, feel better at the mere sight of a book. — — Jane Smiley, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Novel

2. I love the smell of book ink in the morning. –Umberto Eco

3. 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, The Boilerplate Rhino: Nature In the Eye of the Beholder

4. A good book is an event in my life. –Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle)

5. You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive. –James Baldwin

6. Books give a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything. –Plato

7. 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

8. 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

9. Reading is an act of civilization; it’s one of the greatest acts of civilization because it takes the free raw material of the mind and builds castles of possibilities. –Ben Okri

10. For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die. –Anne Lamott

11. To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark. –Victor Hugo

12. I read a book one day and my whole life was changed. –Orhan Pamuk

13. I am reading six books at once, the only way of reading; since, as you will agree, one book is only a single unaccompanied note, and to get the full sound, one needs ten others at the same time. –Virginia Woolf

14. She read books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live. –Annie Dillard

15. Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten. –Neil Gaiman

16. No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. — — — Mary Wortley Montagu

17. The library is inhabited by spirits that come out of the pages at night. – — — Isabel Allende

18. It wasn’t until I started reading and found books they wouldn’t let us read in school that I discovered you could be insane and happy and have a good life without being like everybody else. –John Waters

19. No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally–and often far more–worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond. –C.S. Lewis

20. 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

21. Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading. –Rainer Maria Rilke

22. Think of this — that the writer wrote alone, and the reader read alone, and they were alone with each other. –A.S. Byatt, Possession

23. We read in bed because reading is halfway between life and dreaming, our own consciousness in someone else’s mind. –Anna Quindlen

24. Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. –C.S. Lewis

25. Reading makes immigrants of us all. It takes us away from home, but more important, it finds homes for us everywhere. –Jean Rhys

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And if you really, really liked it, you might want to check out my ebook, The Grapes of Dementia: My Journey of Love, Loss, Surrender, and Gratitude, available worldwide through Amazon.

Book cover design by Wren Wright, photo by Donna Clement, graphics design support by Luis H. Ruiz.

If you’re interested in tarot card readings focusing on personal development, check out my other Medium page — Wren Reads Tarot.



Wren Wright

Writing mostly to heal myself from life; sharing in hopes you’ll find some of it helpful. Also books, personal development, and anything else I’m drawn to.