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If I were to pray for a taste which would stand by me under every variety of circumstances, and be a source of happiness and cheerfulness to me through life, and a shield against its ills, however things might go amiss, and the world frown upon me, it would be a taste for reading.
      - Sir William Herschel (f/k/a Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel)

These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves.
      - Gilbert Highet

Books are the negative pictures of thought, and the more sensitive the mind that receives their images, the more nicely the finest lines are reproduced.
      - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

I like books. I was born and bred among them, and have the easy feeling when I get in their presence, that a stable-boy has among horses.
      - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Old books as, you well know, are books of the world's youth, and new books are the fruits of its age.
      - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

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."

The foolishest book is a kind of leaky boat on a sea of wisdom; some of the wisdom will get in anyhow.
      - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.,
        Poet at the Breakfast-Table (XI)

Be as careful of the books you read as of the company you keep, for your habits and character will be as much influenced by the former as the latter.
      - Edwin Paxton Hood

Life-transforming ideas have always come to me through books.
      - Bell Hooks

Dear little child, this little book
  Is less a primer than a key
    To sunder gates where wonder waits
      Your "Open Sesame!"
      - Rupert Hughes, With a First Reader

Plays and romances sell as well as books of devotion, but with this difference,--more people read the former than buy them, and more buy the latter than read them.
      - Thomas Hughes

It is with books as with women, where a certain plainness of manner and of dress is more engaging than that glare of paint and airs and apparel which may dazzle the eye, but reaches not the affections.
      - David Hume

When we run over libraries, persuaded of these principles, what havoc must we make? If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysic, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.
      - David Hume,
        Concerning Human Understanding"
         (last paragraph)

I entrench myself in my books, equally against sorrow and the weather.
      - Leigh Hunt (James Henry Leigh Hunt)

It is books that teach us to refine our pleasures when young, and which, having so taught us, enable us to recall them with satisfaction when old.
      - Leigh Hunt (James Henry Leigh Hunt)

Mankind are creatures of books, as well as of other circumstances; and such they eternally remain,--proofs, that the race is a noble and believing race, and capable of whatever books can stimulate.
      - Leigh Hunt (James Henry Leigh Hunt)

Here, in the country, my books are my sole occupation; books my sure solace, and refuge from frivolous cares. Books the calmers, as well as the instruction of the mind.
      - Elizabeth Inchbald (nee Simpson)

The scholar only knows how dear these silent yet eloquent companions of pure thoughts and innocent hours become in the season of adversity.
      - Washington Irving

When friends grow cold, and the converse of intimates languishes into vapid civility and commonplace, books only continue the unaltered countenance of happier days, and cheer us with that true friendship which never deceived hope nor deserted sorrow.
      - Washington Irving

The newest books are those that never grow old.
      - Holbrook Jackson

I live for books.
      - Thomas Jefferson

Books are faithful repositories, which may be awhile neglected or forgotten, but when they are opened again, will again impart their instruction. Memory, once interrupted, is not to be recalled; written learning is a fixed luminary, which, after the cloud that had hidden it has passed away, is again bright in its proper station. Tradition is but a meteor, which, if it once falls, cannot be re-kindled.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

Books, says Lord Bacon, can never teach us the use of books; the student must learn by commerce with mankind to reduce his speculations to practice. No man should think so highly of himself as to think he can receive but little light from books; no one so meanly, as to believe he can discover nothing but what is to be learned from them.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

Books, to judicious compilers, are useful,--to particular arts and professions absolutely necessary,--to men of real science they are tools; but more are tools to them.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

No man should consider so highly of himself as to think he can receive but little light from books, nor so meanly as to believe he can discover nothing but what is to be learned from them.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

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