For the love of reading books
Here at Pause: Read: Engage, we just love quotes, but we also love books and hanging out on the Porch (with a pretty mug of flavoured Rooibos tea, frothed coffee or a glass of lemon ice tea) chatting about such things.
We’ve also discovered what Edith Nesbit - author of the ‘Railway Children’ and ‘Five Children and It’ - discovered: “That there is no bond like having read and liked the same books.”
So, celebrating Read A Book Day this year (6 September) and National Book Week (6-12 September) offer the perfect opportunity to combine our love for books and quotes into one blogpost.
If you love books and reading - and quotes about reading books - as much as we do, then the next few minutes are just for you; a few indulgent moments of ‘me time.’
Get comfortable and enjoy this curated collection of quotes that celebrates the love of reading, because if you are like us, then these words from Pulitzer prize winner, Jane Smiley, will resonate with you: “Many people, myself among them, feel better at the mere sight of a book.”
Oh, by the way, you will be pleased to know that we also follow Veronica Henry's approach to reading: “You have to have cake while you’re reading. It’s the law.”
The pastime of reading may be broad, varied and individual and yet, at some core level, it connects us all. “Reading brings us unknown friends” -Honoré de Balzac.
You can walk up to a stranger in a coffee shop and start up a conversation just based on the title of the book they are reading. And don’t even get us started on conversations that take place in bookshops and the authors you end up reading and adding to your TBR (To Be Read) list.
“It [fiction] allows us to see the world from the point of view of someone else and there has been quite a lot of neurological research that shows reading novels is actually good for you. It embeds you in society and makes you think about other people. People are certainly better at all sorts of things if they can hold a novel in their heads. It is quite a skill, but if you can't do it then you're missing out on something in life. I think you can tell, when you meet someone, whether they read novels or not. There is some little hollowness if they don't.” -Philip Hensher.
“I have no money," I said severely, "and I have no time. I am busy!" "Busy with what?" she asked innocently. "Why my dear child, do you see all these books?” -Guy Endore (‘The Werewolf of Paris’)
“Books don't change people; paragraphs do; sometimes even sentences.” -John Piper.
“A sentence is a symphony. The words should dance with each other, off the page, and within your mind as you read.” -Natalie Nascenz (‘Out Of Chaos’).
“It may be tempting to binge-watch our way through these next months. But TV washes over you. Reading draws you in. Books that absorb us, books that calm us down, books that comfort us, books that remind us we are not alone but part of the grand sweep of history, books that surprise and enchant us — this is what we’re looking for.” - Sarah Lyall (From The New York Times article, ‘Let Books Create Your Summer’).
“From inside the thick of her grief, Lydia read. She read without lifting her eyes...only pausing when the ache in her shoulder or the pins and needles in her foot forced her to lift her eyes from the page, shift the pillows and turn the other way. Then her gaze would fall on the wallpaper with its pattern of roses and she would blink and wonder where in the world she was. Then, as she started to remember, thank God, there was the book, and she would slip under again, a sigh in her throat.” -Fiona Shaw (Tell it to the Bees).
We are also of the opinion that, even as adults, there should always be a children's book among your bedside collection of books you are currently reading. (Our personal favourites include Michael Morpurgo, C.S.Lewis, Lemony Snicket and Roald Dahl).
It follows that we should heed some of their reading advice...
A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” -C.S. Lewis
“I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book.” -J.K. Rowling
“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” -Lemony Snicket
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install a lovely bookshelf on the wall.” -Roald Dahl
“These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.” -Roald Dahl
“Luckily, I always travel with a book, just in case I have to wait in line for Santa, or some such inconvenience.” -David Levithan
Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks.” -Dr. Seuss
We take this advice from Dr. Seuss very seriously!
“Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house.” -Henry Ward Beecher.
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.
We actually cannot say it better!
And then, any lover of reading will generally always find a book to read, because, "If you don't like to read, you haven't found the right book." -JK Rowling
“‘What’s your favourite book?’ Doubt colours my voice.
If you have a favourite, I don’t trust you. Any book lover has at least five they can name off the top of their head.”
“She read all sorts of things: travels and sermons and old magazines. Nothing was so dull that she couldn't get through with it. Anything really interesting absorbed her so that she never knew what was going on about her. The little girls to whose houses she went visiting had found this out, and always hid away their story-books when she was expected to tea. If they didn't do this, she was sure to pick one up and plunge in, and then it was no use to call her, or tug at her dress, for she neither saw nor heard anything more, till it was time to go home.” -Susan Coolidge ('What Katy Did').
“When I read a book, I put in all the imagination I can, so that it is almost like writing the book as well as reading it - or rather, it is like living it. It makes reading so much more exciting, but I don't suppose many people try to do it.” -Dodie Smith ('I Capture the Castle').
“What if there was a disease in Alexandria, she thought, and everybody died but me? I’d go live at the library, she told herself. The notion was cheering. She saw herself reading by candlelight, shadows flickering on the ceiling above the labyrinth of shelves. She could take a suitcase from home–peanut butter and crackers, a blanket, a change of clothes–and pull together two of the big armchairs in the Reading Room to sleep on…” -Donna Tartt ('The Little Friend)'
There is no better way to end off this blog than with this beautifully reflective description from J.A Braaten: (We are sure any reader will relate...)
“She was quiet beside him, lost inside another world. One of those things that people called books. She sipped her tea with one hand and held her book in the other that was propped on top of her lap. Every now and again, he’d watch her, like he was doing now. He didn’t mean to intrude on her universe but he liked seeing her in her element. He wondered what sort of effect this book in particular would have on her when she finished it. Because every book rendered a different response. Would she cry? Smile? Let out a gasp for fresh air? Assume the foetal position? Throw the book? Have a look of indifference? Before he had met Eleana, he’d always thought that books had been harmless. Because what could words on a piece of paper really do to someone? But he knew better now, especially on those rare occasions where he himself would pick up a book and read it. Books were dangerous little things and while they seemed harmless, they were anything but. They were so much more than ink and paper. Reading a book was like meeting someone new for the first time. Sometimes you hit it off and became the best of friends. Sometimes they wrecked you in all the wrong ways. Sometimes in all the right ways. Sometimes they left you hollow. Sometimes they left you floating on a cloud. It was difficult to find that one book that completed you just as finding that one person was.”
Anything more we say will spoil the moment.