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BOOKS
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The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame.
      - Oscar Wilde (Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde)

There is no such thing as a moral book or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. That is all.
      - Oscar Wilde (Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde)

In comparing men and books, one must always remember this important distinction,--that one can put the books down at anytime. As Macaulay says, "Plato is never sullen, Cervantes is never petulant, Demosthenes never comes unseasonably, Dante never stays too long."
      - Nathaniel Parker Willis

A book becomes a mirror, with the author's face shining over it. Talent only gives an imperfect image,--the broken glimmer of a countenance. But the features of genius remain unruffled. Time guards the shadow. Beauty, the spiritual, Venus,--whose children are the Tassos, the Spensers, the Bacons,--breathes, the magic of her love, and fixes the face forever.
      - Robert Aris Willmott

A first book has some of the sweetness of a first love.
      - Robert Aris Willmott

Books, of which the principles are diseased or deformed, must be kept on the shelf of the scholar, as the man of science preserves monsters in glasses. They belong to the study of the mind's morbid anatomy, and ought to be accurately labelled. Voltaire will still be a wit, notwithstanding he is a scoffer; and we may admire the brilliant spots and eyes of the viper, if we acknowledge its venom and call it a reptile.
      - Robert Aris Willmott

Many books belong to sunshine, and should be read out of doors. Clover, violets, and hedge roses breathe from their leaves; they are most lovable in cool lanes, along field paths, or upon stiles overhung by hawthorn, while the blackbird pipes, and the nightingale bathes its brown feathers in the twilight copse.
      - Robert Aris Willmott

Of many large volumes the index is the best portion and the usefullest. A glance through the casement gives whatever knowledge of the interior is needful. An epitome is only a book shortened; and as a general rule, the worth increases as the size lessens.
      - Robert Aris Willmott

Books bear him up awhile, and make him try to swim with bladders of philosophy.
      - John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester

O for a Booke and a shadie nooke, eyther in-a-doore or out;
  With the grene leaves whisp'ring overhede, or the Streete cries all about.
    Where I maie Reade all at my ease, both of the Newe and Olde;
      For a jollie goode Booke whereon to looke, is better to me than Golde.
      - John Wilson (3),
        motto is his second-hand book catalogues

I would never read a book if it were possible for me to talk half an hour with the man who wrote it.
      - Thomas Woodrow Wilson

These hoards of wealth you can unlock at will.
      - William Wordsworth

Books, we know,
  Are a substantial world, both pure and good:
    Round these, with tendrils strong as flesh and blood,
      Our pastime and our happiness will grow.
      - William Wordsworth, The Tables Turned

Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books,
  Or surely you'll grow double;
    Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
      Why all this toil and trouble?
      - William Wordsworth, The Tables Turned

How science dwindles, and how volumes swell!
      - Edward Young

Unlearned men of books assume the care,
  As eunuchs are the guardians of the fair.
      - Edward Young, Love of Fame
         (satire II, l. 83)

A dedication is a wooden leg.
      - Edward Young, Love of Fame
         (satire IV, l. 192)


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