Library/Book Quotes

woman writingSiempre imaginé que el Paraíso sería algún tipo de biblioteca.
I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.- Jorge Luis Borges

Any fool can know. The point is to understand.
Albert Einstein

Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.
Dalai Lama XIV

For the best return on your money, pour your purse into your head.
Benjamin Franklin

The beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you.
B.B. King

Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.
E.M. Forster

The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.

We learn something every day, and lots of times it’s that what we learned the day before was wrong.
Bill Vaughan

“You have to learn from the mistakes of others. You won’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”
– Hyman G. Rickover

A library is infinity under a roof.
Gail Carson Levine

If we mandated that every school provided children with fully stocked, technology-rich libraries, there wouldn’t be as many inmates in need of prison libraries.
Jerry Jordan

Librarians have always been among the most thoughtful and helpful people. They are teachers without a classroom. No libraries, no progress.
Willard Scott

To ask why we need libraries at all, when there is so much information available elsewhere, is about as sensible as asking if roadmaps are necessary now that there are so very many roads.
Jon Bing

My life changed the day I moved beyond just wishing for things and I started earning them. That is the day I learned that we don’t get what we wish for, we get what we work for.
– Steve Maraboli

Librarians are tour-guides for all of knowledge.
Patrick Ness

Had I the power, I would scatter libraries over the whole land, as the sower sows his wheat-field.
– Horace Mann, 1883

My alma mater was books, a good library…. I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity.
Malcolm X

Libraries are our friends.
Neil Gaiman

A library, to modify the famous metaphor of Socrates, should be the delivery room for the birth of ideas – a place where history comes to life.
Norman Cousins

When I am king they shall not have bread and shelter only, but also teachings out of books, for a full belly is little worth where the mind is starved.
Mark Twain, The Prince and the Pauper

I think books are like people, in the sense that they’ll turn up in your life when you most need them.
Emma Thompson

The failure to read good books both enfeebles the vision and strengthens our most fatal tendency – the belief that the here and now is all there is.
Allan Bloom

I often feel sorry for people who don’t read good books; they are missing a chance to lead an extra life.
Scott Corbett

Books are finite, sexual encounters are finite, but the desire to read and to fuck is infinite; it surpasses our own deaths, our fears, our hopes for peace.
Roberto Bolaño

It wasn’t until I started reading and found books they wouldn’t let us read in school that I discovered you could be insane and happy and have a good life without being like everybody else.
John Waters

A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life.
Henry Ward Beecher

As I stood outside in Cow Lane, it occurred to me that Heaven must be a place where the library is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
No … eight days a week.
Alan Bradley

Never lend books, for no one ever returns them; the only books I have in my library are books that other folks have lent me.
Anatole France

Drop out of school before your mind rots from exposure to our mediocre educational system. Forget about the Senior Prom and go to the library and educate yourself if you’ve got any guts.
Frank Zappa

Let us read and let us dance – two amusements that will never do any harm to the world

It was good to walk into a library again; it smelled like home.
Elizabeth Kostova

A book must be the ax for the frozen sea within us.
-Frank Kafka

The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man. Nothing else that he builds ever lasts. Monuments fall; nations perish; civilizations grow old and die out; new races build others. But in the world of books are volumes that have seen this happen again and again and yet live on. Still young, still as fresh as the day they were written, still telling men’s hearts, of the hearts of men centuries dead.
Clarence Day

Keep reading books, but remember that a book’s only a book and you should learn to think for yourself.
Maxim Gorky

The illiterate of the 21 st. century will be not those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.
Alvin Toffler

I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.
Jane Austen

And on the subject of burning books: I want to congratulate librarians, not famous for their physical strength or their powerful political connections or their great wealth, who, all over this country, have staunchly resisted anti-democratic bullies who have tried to remove certain books from their shelves, and have refused to reveal to thought police the names of persons who have checked out those titles.

So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House or the Supreme Court or the Senate or the House of Representatives or the media. The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries.
– Kurt Vonnegut (A Man Without a Country)

Lock up your libraries if you like, but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.
Virginia Wolf

The library is the temple of learning, and learning has liberated more people than all the wars in history.
Carl Thomas Rowan

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers
– Charles W. Eliot

If information is the currency of democracy, then libraries are the banks.
Wendell Ford

There is no reason why the same man should like the same books at eighteen and at forty-eight.
– Ezra Pound

He who lends a book is an idiot. He who returns the book is more of an idiot.
– Arabic proverb

Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all.
– Abraham Lincoln

A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.
Chinese proverb

The highest result of education is tolerance.
Hellen Keller

Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction. No, read in order to live.
– Gustave Flaubert

Books are the bees which carry the quickening pollen from one to another mind.
– James Russell Lowell

There are two motives for reading a book; one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it.
– Bertrand Russell

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

There is no friend as loyal as a book.
– Ernest Hemingway

The most violent element in society is ignorance.
Emma Goldman

A library implies an act of faith.
Victor Hugo

Books may well be the only true magic.
Alice Hoffman

To add a library to a house is to give that house a soul.

Perhaps no place in any community is so totally democratic as the town library. The only entrance requirement is interest.
– Lady Bird Johnson

Libraries are not made; they grow.
– Augustine Birrell

Good as it is to inherit a library, it is better to collect one.
– Augustine Birrell

I find television very educational. Every time someone turns it on, I go in the other room and read a book.
Groucho Marx

Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.
Anne Herbert, The Whole Earth Catalog

The dissemination of knowledge is one of the cornerstones of civilization.
– John F. Budd

It is impossible to enter a large library… without feeling an inward sensation of reverence, and without catching some sparks of noble emulation, from the mass of mind which is scattered around you.
James Crossley

I have lost all sense of home, having moved about so much. It means to me now — only that place where the books are kept.
– John Steinbeck

The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.
– Mark Twain

The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men of past centuries.
– Descartes

I find that a great part of the information I have was acquired by looking something up and finding something else on the way.
– Franklin P. Adams

It is impossible to commit a crime while reading a book.
John Waters

I’ve been drunk for about a week now, and I thought it might sober me up to sit in a library.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

A man’s library is a sort of harem.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Conduct of Life, 1860

We may sit in our library and yet be in all quarters of the earth.
– John Lubbock

As a child, my number one best friend was the librarian in my grade school.  I actually believed all those books belonged to her.
– Erma Bombeck

Libraries are the one American institution you shouldn’t rip off.
– Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams

Libraries:  The medicine chest of the soul.
– Library at Thebes, inscription over the door

A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library.
– Shelby Foote

It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.
– Oscar Wilde

Librarian is a service occupation.  Gas station attendant of the mind.
– Richard Powers

The librarians know the secrets, not the historians
-Dee Brown

Knowledge has a peculiar quality. When you give it away, you still have it.

A good library will never be too neat or too dusty, because somebody will always be in it, taking books off the shelves and staying up late reading them.
Lemony Snicket

People can lose their lives in libraries. They ought to be warned.
Saul Bellow

If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library.
Frank Zappa

My grandma always said that God made libraries so that people didn’t have any excuse to be stupid.
Joan Bauer

If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?
Lily Tomlin

A truly great library contains something in it to offend everyone.
Jo Goodwin

When I got [my] library card, that was when my life began.
Rita Mae Brown

You want weapons? We’re in a library! Books, best weapons in the world. This room is the greatest arsenal we could have. Arm yourself.
The Tenth Doctor

More than a building that houses books and data, the library has always been a window to a larger world–a place where we’ve always come to discover big ideas and profound concepts that help move the American story forward. . . . .

Libraries remind us that truth isn’t about who yells the loudest, but who has the right information. Because even as we’re the most religious of people, America’s innovative genius has always been preserved because we also have a deep faith in facts.

And so the moment we persuade a child, any child, to cross that threshold into a library, we’ve changed their lives forever, and for the better. This is an enormous force for good.
President-elect Barack Obama in a speech at the American Library Association annual conference in June 2005

A library is a place where you can lose your innocence without losing your virginity.
Germaine Greer

If I have to spend time in purgatory before going to one place or the other, I guess I’ll be all right as long as there’s a lending library.
Stephen King

When I discovered libraries, it was like having Christmas every day.
Jean Fritz

In the nonstop tsunami of global information, librarians provide us with floaties and teach us to swim.
Linton Weeks

If this nation is to be wise as well as strong, if we are to achieve our destiny, then we need more new ideas for more wise men reading more good books in more public libraries. These libraries should be open to all—except the censor. We must know all the facts and hear all the alternatives and listen to all the criticisms. Let us welcome controversial books and controversial authors. For the Bill of Rights is the guardian of our security as well as our liberty.
John F. Kennedy

What a school thinks about its library is a measure of what it feels about education.
Harold Howe

There is something almost sacred about a great library because it represents the preservation of the wisdom, the learning, and the pondering of men and women of all the ages, accumulated under one roof.
Gordon B. Hinckley

There is only one way to read, which is to browse in libraries and bookshops, picking up books that attract you, reading only those, dropping them when they bore you, skipping the parts that drag-and never, never reading anything because you feel you ought, or because it is part of a trend or a movement. Remember that the book which bores you when you are twenty or thirty will open doors for you when you are forty or fifty-and vise versa. Don’t read a book out of its right time for you.
Doris Lessing

I couldn’t live a week without a private library – indeed, I’d part with all my furniture and squat and sleep on the floor before I’d let go of the 1500 or so books I possess.
H. P. Lovecraft

A public library is the most democratic thing in the world. What can be found there has undone dictators and tyrants: demagogues can persecute writers and tell them what to write as much as they like, but they cannot vanish what has been written in the past, though they try often enough…People who love literature have at least part of their minds immune from indoctrination. If you read, you can learn to think for yourself.
Doris Lessing

If your library is not “unsafe,” it probably isn’t doing its job.
John Berry

What we become depends on what we read after all the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is a collection of books.
– Thomas Carlyle


  1. Anonymous

    Grrreeat work, whoever collected these wonderful sayings should have unlimited access to the libraries of the world.

  2. The first of the big state schools « Blog Archive « Eyes Closed, Listening

    […] I can’t say I felt the vibe of the campus. It was, to paraphrase Shelby Foote, just “a group of buildings around a library.” One faculty member even said to me that […]

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