10 Great Quotes from Writers about Books

Here are ten of our favourite quotes about books, from those who should know them pretty well – writers themselves.

The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame. – Oscar Wilde

Why can’t people just sit and read books and be nice to each other? – David Baldacci

Books are a uniquely portable magic. – Stephen King

Books are the mirrors of the soul. – Virginia Woolf

When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes. – Erasmus

Books old

A person who publishes a book wilfully appears before the populace with his pants down. – Edna St. Vincent Millay

A book must be an ice axe to break the frozen sea within us. – Franz Kafka

You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them. – Ray Bradbury

Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home. – Anna Quindlen

In the case of good books the point is not how many of them you can get through but rather how many can get through to you. – Mortimer Adler

Image: Pile of old books (author: Lin Kristensen), Creative Commons.


  1. Reblogged this on Covey View and commented:
    Great quotes from authors about books.

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  3. Reblogged this on The labyrinth of mind and soul. The home of magic and commented:
    True story!

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  8. Great post, loved Baldacci’s quote!

  9. Reblogged on Lightning Strikes!

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  12. Reblogged this on Confessions of a fanfiction writer whose dreams are to reach the sky and commented:
    Perfect, perfect quotes- especially the one by Franz Kafta!
    Phoenixflames12 x

  13. PS. How do you put the TWEET icon on a blog? Help appreciated ;-)

  14. Oscar Wilde has so many beautiful and pertinent words!

  15. Thanks for posting these great quotes! I just reblogged one of them :)

  16. Oh that Kafka quote hits a powerful place. I have long felt that want I want a book to do is make me wake into being more human. And that absolutely is the breaking of any protective ice around the heart, and being frozen into the immobility of complacency about what reality is. Books, powerful ones, crash open the locked Doors of Perception just as ( if not MORE tellingly) than anything cooked up in a psychedelic lab!

  17. Nice quotes. Make us think. Thanks!

  18. A person who publishes a book wilfully appears before the populace with his pants down. – Edna St. Vincent Millay

    Wonderful quote – I immediately went off to share it! Another winning post from you – thanks :)

  19. I do love a good quote :)

  20. Reblogged this on 1WriteWay and commented:
    Interesting Literature is at it again with great quotations. Baldacci’s quote resonates the most with me. But I urge my published friends to consider Edna St. Vincent Millay’s quote ;)

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  22. Reblogged this on Owls and Orchids and commented:
    Books, the transportation to another reality.

  23. Wonderful Quotes to remember and to reiterate! Thanks for your post – Most enjoyable!

  24. There are moments I find the lines could have been my thoughts lifted by some otherworldly means; yet in many striking passages elsewhere I know I have yet to learn. Books are my soul companion.

  25. Reblogged this on Just a Little Life and commented:

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  27. Another fan of this post — especially the Baldacci quote. Thanks for sharing.

  28. These are fun quotes. I’ve never read anything by David Baldacci but I like his quote the best!

  29. Reblogged this on emmasrandomthoughts and commented:
    Another great list of quotes, this time about books. The Edna St. Vincent Millay quote is a little frightening!

  30. Well-chosen…immensely memorable. Just wonderful!

  31. Reblogged this on Sleepy Book Dragon and commented:
    Love these quotes!

  32. I like the Erasmus quote. My books far outnumber my clothes :-)

    • Same here – I buy a new book every few days. Can’t remember the last time I voluntarily went clothes shopping :)

      • I wonder what is that makes us go hunt for books regularly. I am now hooked on checking daily deals on Kindle, and enter bookstores every time I’m walking about. I tend to buy far more books than I have time to read. So I should cut back. But I really don’t know how. I’m so excited to find intriguing books, and love to immerse myself in a story or to discover great writing styles.

  33. I agree with Baldacci :) Nice post!


    • Thanks, Lily – it’s my favourite quotation of the moment, for all sorts of reasons. I ask myself the question that Baldacci’s character does on a more or less daily basis! Glad you enjoyed the post :)

  34. 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?

    Books! ’tis a dull and endless strife:
    Come, hear the woodland linnet,
    How sweet his music! on my life,
    There’s more music in it.

    Guess the poet?

    • Wordsworth? I’ll come clean and admit I Googled it. (Honest fellow, aren’t I?) ;) Good lines though – as Morrissey said, ‘There’s more to life than books, you know … but not much more’

      • Yes, you are right. There are a few more stanzas! Have you seen my Top Twenty List of Non-Naturalistic Novels? If you want, you could feature it on your site!

  35. Awesome quotes! I’m always blown away by how wise quotes like this are … until I remember who said them, lol :D

    • There’s a lot of great wisdom in there – Bradbury in particular often had a fine line in wise quotations about books and reading. Thanks – glad you enjoyed these!

  36. Reblogged this on kentmcdanielwrites and commented:
    These are some great quotes. I loved them all.

  37. Wonderful quotes. Thanks.

  38. Love all these quotes — especially the Baldacci one.

    I wonder if anybody’s come up with a quote yet that applies to e-books?

    • The only quotation about e-books I know is from Ray Bradbury, but wasn’t complimentary: ‘they are not books. E-books smell like burned fuel.’ I’m sure there are more – and less damning – lines out there ;)

  39. I love this one: “In the case of good books the point is not how many of them you can get through but rather how many can get through to you.”
    Also “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” describes the new generations.

  40. Reblogged this on Tina Bausinger: Southern Mom and commented:
    What’s your favorite book?

  41. Great quotes! I especially love the Baldacci one. My favorite quote about books is probably by Anne Tyler in Celestial Navigation – forgive me if I misquote, but it goes something like “All I ever consciously wanted out of life is to sit in a room by myself reading a book.”

  42. Love this collection of quotes! I’m a quote-a-holic, for sure. I have a tote bag that has the quote from Erasmus on one side, and a quote from Abraham Lincoln on the other that says, “My best friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read.” Great post!