I need your help with a quote and I’m sure one of you will remember the quote I’m looking for.
Rolf is busy sorting our bookshelves. We have hundreds of books, and every once in a while, he wants to cull.
Just because I haven’t reread a book in a few years does not mean I want to get rid of it. Even if I never read that book again, there is something about seeing it there, lined up with all my other books.
For one thing, I like being my own personal library. For another, I like it when my kids (adults) come home and find a book they used to read. They pull it off the shelves and flip through the pages, as if they are saying hello to an old friend.
Of course, there are books we outgrow. Usually, they are how-to books. How to cook without fat. How to cook without sugar. How to cook without cooking. Fad books. And, sometimes, even those books are worth keeping, as a way of measuring how we are no longer influenced by the current hype.
From Webster’s —
But the other books? Why do we keep them?
To remember the pleasure we had when we were inside that story? To remember where we were in our lives at the time we read that book? To have those books available for others to find and perhaps borrow, so that we can both know that story and talk about it?
I remember reading a quote somewhere that answered this for me. Do you know the quote I’m talking about?
Even if you don’t remember that specific quote, tell me your favourite quote that has to do with books and reading. I want to collect a whole bunch of book quotes and keep them here.
Some of my favourite quotes about books
“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”
— Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
“Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else.”
— Mark Twain
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
— Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!
Now tell me your favourites.
And I really hope one of you remembers the quote about keeping books.
library from bigstockphoto.com #101638283
I like this one!
“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” by Groucho Marx
Yes! Very educational. Thank you, Hanna.
Outside of a dog, a book is a mans best friend. Inside a dog, it’s too dark to read.
Thanks, Sara. I’m liking this Groucho Marx. 🙂
“You can never make a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me” C.S. Lewis
There is nothing quite like a nice hot cup of tea and a good book.
Why keep books?… I must admit, Suzanne, that I have trouble understanding the question. There have to be a thousand (or more) good reasons why you’d keep your books. The ones you mention plus a lot more. Here’s a parallel question to ponder… Why would you ever get rid of your books? I mean it’s important to have your kids to leave home, but your books? That’s just unthinkable!
You make me laugh. 🙂
Yes, the kids must leave home, but the books??
I don’t recognize your quote but here is Carl Sagan:
“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. “
Books as time travel machines. I like this.
I can’t imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once.
And after a few years and a few more life experiences, we read the book again — and it’s an entirely different book.
Are you thinking of this one, Suzanne:
To build up a library is to create a life. It’s never just a random collection of books.
–Carlos María Domínguez
Tell Rolf to keep his hands to himself!
Never random. Our libraries have personalities!
This is one of my favourites. “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
That one is powerful. Talk about connecting!
I think that when we write, that’s what we are trying to do, touch some chord in the reader that they recognize as their own truth.
I finally remembered the quote I was looking for. It’s from Anatole Paul Broyard.
“Reading a book is only the first step in the relationship. After you’ve finished it, the book enters on its real career. It stands there as a badge, a blackmailer, a monument, a scar. It’s both a flaw in the room, like a crack in the plaster, and a decoration. The contents of someone’s bookcase are part of his history, like an ancestral portrait.”