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READING
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[ Also see Authorship Books Criticism Education History Learning Libraries Literature Newspapers Novels Poetry Quotations Readers Recreation Romance Students Study Writing ]

What is twice read is commonly better remembered that what is transcribed.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature"),
        The Idler (no. 74)

If thou wilt receive profit, read with humility, simplicity, and faith; and seek not at any time the fame of being learned.
      - Thomas a Kempis

It may be well to wait a century for a reader, as God has waited six thousand years for an observer.
      - Johannes Kepler,
        in "Martyrs of Science", p. 197

When what you read elevates your mind and fills you with noble aspirations, look for no other rule by which to judge a book; it is good, and is the work of a master-hand.
      - Jean de la Bruyere

He found shelter among books, which insult not, and studies that ask no questions of a youth's finances.
      - Charles Lamb (used pseudonym Elia)

I cannot sit and think; books think for me.
      - Charles Lamb (used pseudonym Elia)

Milton almost requires a solemn service of music to be played before you enter upon him. But he brings his music, to which who listen had need bring docile thoughts and purged ears.
      - Charles Lamb (used pseudonym Elia)

Much depends upon when and where you read a book. In the five or six impatient minutes before the dinner is quite ready, who would think of taking up the Faerie Queen for a stopgap, or a volume of Bishop Andrews's Sermons?
      - Charles Lamb (used pseudonym Elia)

I love to lose myself in other men's minds.
  When I am not walking, I am reading;
    I cannot sit and think. Books think for me.
      - Charles Lamb (used pseudonym Elia),
        Last Essays of Elia--Detached Thoughts on Books and Reading

Some read books only with a view to find fault, while others read only to be taught; the former are like venomous spiders, extracting a poisonous quality, where the latter, like the bees, sip out a sweet and profitable juice.
      - Sir Roger L'Estrange

Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.
      - John Locke (1)

Those who have read of everything are though to understand everything too; but it is not always so--reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what is read ours. We are of the ruminating kind, and it is not enough to cram ourselves with a great load of collections; unless we chew them over again, they will not give us strength and nourishment.
      - John Locke (1)

Authors have a greater right than any copyright, though it is generally unacknowledged or disregarded. They have a right to the reader's civility. There are favorable hours for reading a book, as for writing it, and to these the author has a claim. Yet many people think that when they buy a book they buy with it the right to abuse the author.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Night after night,
  He sat and bleared his eyes with books.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
        Christus--The Golden Legend (pt. I)

Many readers judge of the power of a book by the shock it gives their feelings.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Kavanagh
         (ch. XIII)

Have you ever rightly considered what the mere ability to read means? That it is the key which admits us to the whole world of thought and fancy and imagination? to the company of saint and sage, of the wisest and the wittiest at their wisest and wittiest moment? That it enables us to see with the keenest eyes, hear with the finest ears, and listen to the sweetest voices of all time? More than that, it annihilates time and space for us.
      - James Russell Lowell

Reading Chaucer is like brushing through the dewy grass at sunrise.
      - James Russell Lowell

His classical reading is great: he can quote
  Horace, Juvenal, Ovid and Martial by rote.
    He has read Metaphysics . . . Spinoza and Kant
      And Theology too: I have heard him descant
        Upon Basil and Jerome. Antiquities, art,
          He is fond of. He knows the old masters by heart,
            And is taste is refined.
      - Lord Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton ("Owen Meredith"),
        Lucile (canto II, pt. IV)

There was, it is said, a criminal in Italy who was suffered to make his choice between Guicciardini and the galleys. He chose the history. But the war of Pisa was too much for him; he changed his mind, and went to the oars.
      - Thomas Babington Macaulay

Resolve to edge in a little reading every day, if it is but a single sentence. If you gain fifteen minutes a day, it will make itself felt at the end of the year.
      - Horace Mann

Thou art the cause, O reader, of my dwelling on lighter topics, when I would rather handle serious ones.
  [Lat., Seria cum possim, quod delectantia malim
    Scribere, tu causa es lector.]
      - Martial (Marcus Valerius Martialis),
        Epigrams (V, 16, 1)

Many books,
  Wise men have said, are wearisome; who reads
    Incessantly, and to his reading brings not
      A spirit and judgment equal or superior,
        Uncertain and unsettled still remains--
          Deep versed in books, and shallow in himself.
      - John Milton

Who reads
  Incessantly, and to his reading brings not
    A spirit and judgment equal or superior,
      (And what he brings what need he elsewhere seek?)
        Uncertain and unsettled still remains,
          Deep versed in books and shallow in himself,
            Crude or intoxicate, collecting toys
              And trifles for choice matters, worth a sponge,
                As children gathering pebbles on the shore.
      - John Milton, Paradise Regained
         (bk. IV, l. 322)

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

I seek in the reading of my books only to please myself by an irreproachable diversion; or if I study it is for no other science than that which treats of the knowledge of myself, and instructs me how to die and live well.
      - Michel Eyquem de Montaigne


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