Literature, Books & Reading Quotations
Books must be read as deliberately and reservedly as they were written.—Walden
Books, not which affords us a cowering enjoyment, but in which each thought is of unusual daring; such as an idle man cannot read, and a timid one would not be entertained by, which even make us dangerous to existing institutions—such call I good books.—A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
English literature, from the days of the minstrels to the Lake Poets,—Chaucer and Spenser and Milton, and even Shakespeare, included- breathes no quite fresh and in this sense wild strain. It is an essentially tame and civilized literature, reflecting Greece and Rome. Her wilderness is a green wood,—her wild man a Robin Hood.—"Walking"
He who cannot read is worse than deaf and blind, is yet but half alive, is still-born.—Journal, 10 March 1856
He who resorts to the easy novel, because he is languid, does no better than if he took a nap.—A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
His humor is always subordinate to a serious purpose, though often the real charm for the reader is not so much in the essential progress and final upshot of this chapter, as in this indirect side-light illustration of every hue.—"Thomas Carlyle and His Works"
Homer has never yet been printed in English, nor Æschylus, nor Virgil even—works as refined, as solidly done, and as beautiful almost as the morning itself; for later writers, say what we will of their genius, have rarely, if ever, equalled the elaborate beauty and finish and the lifelong and heroic literary labors of the ancients.—Walden
How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.—Walden
I aspire to be acquainted with wiser men than this our Concord soil has produced, whose names are hardly known here. Or shall I hear the name of Plato and never read his book? As if Plato were my townsman and I never saw him — my next neighbor and I never heard him speak or attended to the wisdom of his words.—Walden
I do not know but it is too much to read one newspaper a week. I have tried it recently, and for so long it seems to me that I have not dwelt in my native region.—"Life without Principle"