Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

Biblio File

13 Great Quotes About the Joy of Reading


At NYPL, we love to read. Why? you ask. Let us count the ways. Here are 13 quotes about the joy of reading that sum up how we feel about our favorite activity. So get ready to begin your next bookish conversation with, "A wise person once said..."

U.S. Steel - Happy Harmonettes - Reading book

“Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly—they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.” ―Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though.” ―J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” ―Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

“A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.” ―Italo Calvino, The Uses of Literature

“Think before you speak. Read before you think.” ―Fran Lebowitz, The Fran Lebowitz Reader

“To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.” ―W. Somerset Maugham, Books and You

“A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.” ―William Styron, Conversations with William Styron

“I am eternally grateful for my knack of finding in great books, some of them very funny books, reason enough to feel honored to be alive, no matter what else might be going on.” ―Kurt Vonnegut, Timequake

“Literature is my Utopia. Here I am not disenfranchised. No barrier of the senses shuts me out from the sweet, gracious discourses of my book friends. They talk to me without embarrassment or awkwardness.” ―Helen Keller, The Story of My Life

“A good book is an event in my life.” ―Stendhal, The Red and the Black

“You must write, and read, as if your life depended on it.” ―Adrienne Rich, What is Found There: Notebooks on Poetry and Politics

“If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” ―Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

“I guess there are never enough books.” ―John Steinbeck, A John Steinbeck Encyclopedia


Patron-generated content represents the views and interpretations of the patron, not necessarily those of The New York Public Library. For more information see NYPL's Website Terms and Conditions.

One of my favorite quotes...

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” ~ Jojen, fictional character, A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin



When a person learns how to

When a person learns how to read they will learn how to create their destiny and accomplish what they would like to do.


just read

Man's best friends

'Outside of a dog, books are man's best friend. Inside a dog it's too dark to read.' --Groucho
"If books are not good company, where will I find it?" Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)

"A room without books is like

"A room without books is like a body without a soul." - Cicero



Post new comment