17 Quotes That Will Make You Want To Read More

by Crystal Paul

You love books more than life sometimes, but sometimes, maybe when things get a little crazy in real life, you end up reading a whole lot less than you normally want to. Or maybe you just gave up halfway through a really, really terrible book that made you lose hope in literature. Don’t worry. It happens to the readerly-est of readers. And those are the times during which you could use a couple words of inspiration to dive back into that dangerously tall stack of books by your bed.

It should come as no surprise to you that some of the biggest fans of books are generally writers themselves. Some of the even bigger fans of books tend to be the heroes IN the books written by these bibliomaniacal authors. So, with all of this book love going around, it’s not hard to find a few good words about books and why we love them. But some say it better than others, and if you’re looking for a little inspiration to read, then these quotes from some of your favorite books will have you practically running to the unread section of your bookshelf.

“You must write, and read, as if your life depended on it…To read as if your life depended on it would mean to let into yourreading your beliefs, the swirl of your dreamlife, the physical sensations of your ordinary carnal life; and, simultaneously to allow what you’re reading to pierce the routines, safe and impermeable, in which ordinary carnal life is tracked, charted, channeled.”

— Adrienne Rich, What is Found There

“The ability to read awoke inside of me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive.”

― Malcolm X, The Autobiography of Malcolm X

“What better occupation, really, than to spend the evening at the fireside with a book, with the wind beating on the windows and the lamp burning bright...Haven't you ever happened to come across in a book some vague notion that you've had, some obscure idea that returns from afar and that seems to express completely your most subtle feelings?”

― Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

“With my eyes closed, I would touch a familiar book and draw its fragrance deep inside me. This was enough to make me happy. ”

― Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

“I like best to have one book in my hand, and a stack of others on the floor beside me, so as to know the supply of poppy and mandragora will not run out before the small hours.”

― Dorothy Parker, The Collected Dorothy Parker

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.”

― James Baldwin, The Price of the Ticket

(OK, so this one's from a film, but it's too good to pass up!)

“Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.”

― Henry David Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers

“It is only a novel... or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language”

― Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

“I am reading six books at once, the only way of reading; since, as you will agree, one book is only a single unaccompanied note, and to get the full sound, one needs ten others at the same time.”

― Virginia Woolf, The Letters of Virginia Woolf

“This is the most important thing about me--I'm a card-carrying reader. All I really want to do is sit and read or lie down and read or eat and read or shit and read. I'm a trained reader. I want a job where I get paid for reading books. And I don't have to make reports on what I read or to apply what I read.”

― Maxine Hong Kingston, Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book

“There are metaphors more real than the people who walk in the street. There are images tucked away in books that live more vividly than many men and women. There are phrases from literary works that have a positively human personality. There are passages from my own writing that chill me with fright, so distinctly do I feel them as people, so sharply outlined do they appear against the walls of my room, at night, in shadows... I've written sentences whose sound, read out loud or silently (impossible to hide their sound), can only be of something that acquired absolute exteriority and a full-fledged soul.”

― Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet

“I wanted to crawl in between those black lines of print, the way you crawl through a fence, and go to sleep under that beautiful big green fig-tree.”

― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”

― George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

“When at last I came upon the right book, the feeling was violent: it blew open a hole in me that made life more dangerous because I couldn't control what came through it.”

― Nicole Krauss, Great House

“The man who has not the habit of reading is imprisoned in his immediate world, in respect to time and space. His life falls into a set routine; he is limited to contact and conversation with a few friends and acquaintances, and he sees only what happens in his immediate neighbourhood. From this prison there is no escape. But the moment he takes up a book, he immediately enters a different world, and if it is a good book, he is immediately put in touch with one of the best talkers of the world.”

― Lin Yutang, The Importance Of Living

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”

― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

“Do you want to die old and craven in your bed?- How else? Though not till I'm done reading.”

― George R.R. Martin, A Feast for Crows

Images: Giphy (17); pinksherbert/Fickr