Literature, Books & Reading Quotations

 

A book should be so true as to be intimate and familiar to all men as the sun to their faces. Such a word as is occasionally uttered to a companion in the woods in summer, and both are silent.—Journal, 4 September 1841
A book should contain pure discoveries, glimpses of terra firma, though by shipwrecked mariners, and not the art of navigation by those who have never been out of sight of land.—A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
A broad margin of leisure is as beautiful in a man's life as in a book.—Journal, 28 December 1852
A truly good book attracts very little favor to itself. It is so true that it teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down and commence living on its hint.—Journal, 19 February 1841
A truly good book is something as wildly natural and primitive, mysterious and marvelous, ambrosial and fertile, as a fungus or a lichen.—Journal, 16 November 1850
After all, I believe it is the style of thought entirely, and the style of expression, which makes the difference in books.—Journal, 23 March 1842
Ancient history has an air of antiquity. It should be more modern. It is written as if the spectator should be thinking of the backside of the picture on the wall, or as if the author expected that the dead would be his readers, and wished to detail to them their own experience.—A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
Blessed are they who never read a newspaper, for they shall see Nature, and through her, God.—Thoreau to Parker Pillsbury, 10 April 1861
Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.—Walden
Books can only reveal us to ourselves, and as often as they do us this service we lay them aside.—Thoreau to Benjamin B. Wiley, 26 April 1857
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