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READING
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My early and invincible love of reading, . . . I would not exchange for the treasures of India.
      - Edward Gibbon, Memoirs

He that loves reading has everything within his reach.
      - William Godwin

Every reader reads himself out of the book that he reads; nay, has he a strong mind, reads himself into the book, and amalgamates his thoughts with the author's.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

There are three classes of readers; some enjoy without judgment; others judge without enjoyment; and some there are who judge while they enjoy, and enjoy while they judge. The latter class reproduces the work of art on which it is engaged. Its numbers are very small.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The sagacious reader who is capable of reading between these lines what does not stand written in them, but is nevertheless implied, will be able to form some conception.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Autobiography
         (bk. XVIII, Truth and Beauty)

What they're accustomed to is no great matter,
  But then, alas! they've read an awful deal.
    [Ger., Zwar sind sie an das Beste nicht gewohnt,
      Allein sie haben schrecklich viel gelesen.]
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,
        Faust--Vorspiel auf dem Theater (l. 13),
        (Bayard Taylor's translation)

In a polite age almost every person becomes a reader, and receives more instruction from the Press than the Pulpit.
      - Oliver Goldsmith, The Citizen of the World
         (letter LXXV)

The first time I read an excellent book, it is to me just as if I had gained a new friend. When I read a book over I have perused before, it resembles the meeting with an old one.
      - Oliver Goldsmith, The Citizen of the World
         (letter LXXXIII)

I read part of it all the way through.
      - Samuel Goldwyn

The art of reading is to skip judiciously. Whole libraries may be skipped in these days, when we have the results of them in our modern culture without going over the ground again.
      - Philip Gilbert Hamerton

Read much, but not many works.
      - Sir William Hamilton (3)

By conversing with the mighty dead, we imbibe sentiment with knowledge. We become strongly attached to those who can no longer either hurt or serve us, except through the influence which they exert over the mind. We feel the presence of that power which gives immortality to human thoughts and actions, and catch the flame of enthusiasm from all nations and ages.
      - William Hazlitt (1)

When I take up a book I have read before, I know what to expect; the satisfaction is not lessened by being anticipated. I shake hands with, and look our old tried and valued friend in the face,--compare notes and chat the hour away.
      - William Hazlitt (1)

Reading is sometimes an ingenious device for avoiding thought.
      - Sir Arthur Helps

There is a gentle, but perfectly irresistible coercion in a habit of reading well directed, over the whole tenor of a man's character and conduct, which is not the less effectual because it works insensibly, and because it is really the last thing he dreams of.
      - Sir John Frederick William Herschel, 1st Baronet Herschel

The ideas of the classics, so far as living, are our commonplaces. It is the modern books that give us the latest and most profound conceptions. It seems to me rather a lazy makeshift to mumble over the familiar.
      - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.,
        in a letter to Wu, March 26, 1925, see Shriver's "Book Notices, Uncollected Papers, etc."

When the last reader reads no more.
      - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Reading is like permitting a man to talk a long time, and refusing you the right to answer.
      - Edgar Watson Howe

He that reads and grows no wiser seldom suspects his own deficiency, but complains of hard words and obscure sentences, and asks why books are written which cannot be understood.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

If a man begins to read in the middle of a book, and feels an inclination to go on, let him not quit it to go to the beginning. He may perhaps not feel again the inclination.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

No man reads a book of science from pure inclination. The books that we do read with pleasure are light compositions, which contain a quick succession of events.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

People seldom read a book which is given to them; and few are given. The way to spread a work is to sell it at a low price. No man will send to buy a thing that costs even sixpence without an intention to read it.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

A man ought to read just as inclination leads him; for what he reads as a task will do him little good.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature"),
        Boswell's Life of Johnson

Books have always a secret influence on the understanding; we cannot at pleasure obliterate ideas: he that reads books of science, though without any desire fixed of improvement, will grow more knowing; he that entertains himself with moral or religious treatises, will imperceptibly advance in goodness; the ideas which are often offered to the mind, will at last find a lucky moment when it is disposed to receive them.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature"),
        The Adventurer (no. 137)


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