Literary Quotations
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QUOTES ON BOOKS


The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.

RAY BRADBURY, Fahrenheit 451

There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.

CHARLES DICKENS, Oliver Twist

The purifying, healing influence of literature, the dissipating of passions by knowledge and the written word, literature as the path to understanding, forgiveness and love, the redeeming might of the word, the literary spirit as the noblest manifestation of the spirit of man, the writer as perfected type, as saint.

THOMAS MANN, The Magic Mountain

What traitors books can be! You think they're backing you up, and they turn on you. Others can use them, too, and there you are, lost in the middle of the moor, in a great welter of nouns and verbs and adjectives.

RAY BRADBURY, Fahrenheit 451

What's more delightful than an evening beside the fire with a nice bright lamp and a book, listening to the wind beating against the windows?... I'm absolutely removed from the world at such times.... The hours go by without my knowing it. Sitting there I'm wandering in countries I can see every detail of -- I'm playing a role in the story I'm reading. I actually feel I'm the characters -- I live and breathe with them.

GUSTAVE FLAUBERT, Madame Bovary

Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them at all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.

RAY BRADBURY, Fahrenheit 451

Now even bookish pharmacists are afraid to take on the great, imperfect, torrential works, books that blaze paths into the unknown. They choose the perfect exercises of the great masters. Or what amounts to the same thing: they want to watch the great masters spar, but they have no interest in real combat, when the great masters struggle against that something, that something that terrifies us all, that something that cows us and spurs us on, amid blood and mortal wonds and stench.

ROBERTO BOLAÑO, 2666

Books—bright windows in this life of ours, lit by the shining souls of men.

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