Books are the legacies that genius leaves to mankind, to be delivered down from generation to generation, as presents to those that are yet unborn.
That is a good book which is opened with expectation, and closed with delight and profit.
Some books are to be tasted; others swallowed; and some few to be chewed and digested.
Books are men of higher stature; the only men that speak aloud for future times to hear.
Without books, God is silent, justice dormant, natural science at a stand, philosophy lame, letters dumb, and all things involved in darkness.
A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a party, a company by the way, a counsellor, a multitude of counsellors.
Books are the metempsychosis; the symbol and presage of immortality.—The dead are scattered, and none shall find them; but behold they are here.
Books are embalmed minds.
A book may be compared to your neighbor: if it be good, it cannot last too long; if bad, you cannot get rid of it too early.
Some books, like the City of London, fare the better for being burned.
When a book raises your spirit, and inspires you with noble and manly thoughts, seek for no other test of its excellence.—It is good, and made by a good workman.
The past but lives in written words: a thousand ages were blank if books had not evoked their ghosts, and kept the pale unbodied shades to warn us from fleshless lips.
Books are but waste paper unless we spend in action the wisdom we get from thought.
There is a kind of physiognomy in the titles of books no less than in the faces of men, by which a skillful observer will know as well what to expect from the one as the other.
In books, it is the chief of all perfections to be plain and brief.
If a book come from the heart it will contrive to reach other hearts.—All art and authorcraft are of small account to that.
After all manner of professors have done their best for us, the place we are to get knowledge is in books.—The true university of these days is a collection of books.
Books are standing counselors and preachers, always at hand, and always disinterested; having this advantage over oral instructors, that they are ready to repeat their lesson as often as we please.
A good book, in the language of the book-sellers, is a salable one; in that of the curious, a scarce one; in that of men of sense, a useful and instructive one.
God be thanked for books; they are the voices of the distant and the dead, and make us heirs of the spiritual life of past ages.
Books are the true levellers.—They give to all who faithful!; use them, the society, the spiritual presence of the greatest and best of our race.
The best books for a man are not always those which the wise recommend, but often those which meet the peculiar wants, the natural thirst of his mind, and therefore awaken interest and rivet thought.
A man who writes an immoral but immortal book may be tracked into eternity by a procession of lost souls from every generation, every one to be a witness against him at the judgment, to show to him and to the universe the immeasurableness of his iniquity.
A book is the only immortality.
He that loves not books before he comes to thirty years of age, will hardly love them enough afterward to understand them.
Books are a guide in youth, and an entertainment for age. They support us under solitude, and keep us from becoming a burden to ourselves. They help us to forget the crossness of men and things, compose our cares and our passions, and lay our disappointments asleep. When we are weary of the living, we may repair to the dead, who have nothing of peevishness, pride, or design in their conversation.
The society of dead authors has this advantage over that of the living: they never flatter us to our faces, nor slander us behind our backs, nor intrude upon our privacy, nor quit their shelves until we take them down.
Many books require no thought from those who read them, and for a very simple reason; they made no such demand upon those who wrote them. Those works, therefore, are the most valuable, that set our thinking faculties in the fullest operation.
A good book is the very essence of a good man.—His virtues survive in it, while the foibles and faults of his actual life are forgotten.—All the goodly company of the excellent and great sit around my table, or look down on me from yonder shelves, waiting patiently to answer my questions and enrich me with their wisdom.—A precious book is a foretaste of immortality.
Books are masters who instruct us without rods or ferules, without words or anger, without bread or money. If you approach them, they are not asleep; if you seek them, they do not hide; if you blunder, they do not scold; if you are ignorant, they do not laugh at you.
Books should to one of these fours ends conduce, for wisdom, piety, delight, or use.
Bad books are like intoxicating drinks; they furnish neither nourishment, nor medicine.—Both improperly excite; the one the mind; the other the body.—The desire for each increases by being fed.—Both ruin; one the intellect; the other the health; and together, the soul.—The safeguard against each is the same—total abstinence from all that intoxicates either mind or body.
Books are the best of things if well used; if abused, among the worst.—They are good for nothing but to inspire.—I had better never see a book than be warped by its attraction clean out of my own orbit, and made a satellite instead of a system.
The colleges, while they provide us with libraries, furnish no professors of books; and I think no chair is so much needed.
When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.
If all the crowns of Europe were placed at my disposal on condition that I should abandon my books and studies, I should spurn the crowns away and stand by the books.
We are as liable to be corrupted by books, as by companions.
Few are sufficiently sensible of the importance of that economy in reading which selects, almost exclusively, the very first order of books. Why, except for some special reason, read an inferior book, at the very time you might be reading one of the highest order?
Thou mayst as well expect to grow stronger by always eating as wiser by always reading. Too much overcharges Nature, and turns more into disease than nourishment. 'Tis thought and digestion which make books serviceable, and give health and vigor to the mind.
Books are those faithful mirrors that reflect to our mind the minds of sages and heroes.
The silent influence of books, is a mighty power in the world; and there is a joy in reading them known only to those who read them with desire and enthusiasm.—Silent, passive, and noiseless though they be, they yet set in action countless multitudes, and change the order of nations.
In good books is one of the best safeguards from evil.—Life's first danger has been said to be an empty mind which. like an unoccupied room, is open for base spirits to enter.—The taste for reading provides a pleasant and elevating preoccupation.
The best of a book is not the thought which it contains, but the thought which it suggests; just as the charm of music dwells not in the tones but in the echoes of our hearts.
The most foolish kind of a book is a kind of leaky boat on the sea of wisdom; some of the wisdom will get in anyhow.
Be as careful of the books you read, as of the company you keep; for your habits and character will be as much influenced by the former as by the latter.
My books kept me from the ring, the dog-pit, the tavern, and the saloon.—The associate of Pope and Addison, the mind accustomed to the noble though silent discourse of Shakespeare and Milton, will hardly seek or put up with low or evil company and slaves.
It is books that teach us to refine our pleasures when young, and to recall them with satisfaction when we are old.
There is no worse robber than a bad book.
Tradition is but a meteor, which, if it once falls, cannot be rekindled.—Memory, once interrupted, is not to be recalled.—But written learning is a fixed luminary, which, after the cloud that had hidden it has passed away, is again bright in its proper station.—So books are faithful repositories, which may be awhile neglected or forgotten, but when opened again, will again impart instruction.
Books that you may carry to the fireside, and hold readily in your hand, are the most useful after all.
There is no book so poor that it would not be a prodigy if wholly wrought out by a single mind, without the aid of prior investigators.
Books to judicious compilers, are useful; to particular arts and professions, they are absolutely necessary; to men of real science, they are tools: but more are tools to them.
Books (says Bacon) can never teach the use of books; the student must learn by commerce with mankind to reduce his speculations to practice. No man should think so highly of himself as to suppose he can receive but little light from books, nor so meanly as to believe he can discover nothing but what is to be learned from them.
Dead counsellors are the most instructive, because they are heard with patience and reverence.
There was a time when the world acted on books; now books act on the world.
We ought to reverence books; to look on them as useful and mighty things.—If they are good and true, whether they are about religion, politics, farming, trade, law, or medicine, they are the message of Christ, the maker of all things—the teacher of all truth.
Except a living man. there is nothing more wonderful than a book! a message to us from the dead—from human souls we never saw, who lived, perhaps, thousands of miles away. And yet these, in those little sheets of paper, speak to us, arouse us, terrify us, teach us, comfort us, open their hearts to us as brothers.
A bad book is the worse that it cannot repent.—It has not been the devil's policy to keep the masses of mankind in ignorance; but finding that they will read, he is doing all in his power to poison their books.
I love to lose myself in other men's minds. When I am not walking, I am reading. I cannot sit and think; books think for me.
A house without books is like a room without windows. No man has a right to bring up his children without surrounding them with books, if he has the means to buy them. It is a wrong to his family. Children learn to read by being in the presence of books. The love of knowledge comes with reading and grows upon it. And the love of knowledge, in a young mind, is almost a warrant against the inferior excitement of passions and vices.
The book to read is not the one which thinks for you, but the one which makes you think. No book in the world equals the Bible for that.
Books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a certain potency of life in them, to be as active as the soul whose progen they are; they preserve, as in a vial, the purest efficacy and extraction of the living intellect that bred them.
A good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose for a life beyond.
As well almost kill a man, as kill a good book; for the life of the one is but a few short years, while that of the other may be for ages.—Who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God's image; but he who destroys a good book, kills reason itself; kills as it were, the image of God.
The constant habit of perusing devout books is so indispensable, that it has been termed the oil of the lamp of prayer. Too much reading, however, and too little meditation, may produce the effect of a lamp inverted; which is extinguished by the very excess of that aliment, whose property is to feed it.
The books that help you most, are those which make you think the most.—The hardest way of learning is that of easy reading; but a great book that comes from a great thinker is a ship of thought, deep freighted with truth and beauty.
The books that help you most are those that make you think the most.
The last thing that we discover in writing a book, is to know what to put at the beginning.
Books are immortal sons deifying their sires.
There is no book so bad but something valuable may be derived from it.
To buy books only because they were published by an eminent printer, is much as if a man should buy clothes that did not fit him, only because made by some famous tailor.
Upon books the collective education of the race depends; they are the sole instruments of registering, perpetuating, and transmitting thought.
When a new book comes out I read an old one.
Choose an author as you choose a friend.
To use books rightly, is to go to them for help; to appeal to them when our own knowledge and power fail; to be led by them into wider sight and purer conception than our own, and to receive from them the united sentence of the judges and councils of all time, against our solitary and unstable opinions.
No book can be so good as to be profitable when negligently read.
Most books, like their authors, are born to die; of only a few books can it be said that death hath no dominion over them; they live, and their influence lives forever.
Books, like proverbs, receive their chief value from the stamp and esteem of the ages through which they have passed.
If a secret history of books could be written, and the author's private thoughts and meanings noted down alongside of his story, how many insipid volumes would become interesting, and dull tales excite the reader!
A good book is the best of friends, the same today and forever.
The books of Nature and of Revelation equally elevate our conceptions and invite our piety; they are both written by the finger of the one eternal, incomprehensible God.
If religious books are not widely circulated among the masses in this country, and the people do not become religious, I do not know what is to become of us as a nation. And the thought is one to cause solemn reflection on the part of every patriot and Christian. If truth be not diffused, error will be; if God and his word are not known and received, the devil and his works will gain the aseendancy; if the evangelical volume does not reach every hamlet, the pages of a corrupt and licentious literature will; if the power of the gospel is not felt through the length and breadth of the land, anarchy and misrule, degradation and misery, corruption and darkness, will reign without mitigation or end.
Books are lighthouses erected in the great sea of time.