Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"Reading furnishes the mind only with the materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours." - William Ellery Channing

"The temptation is not here, where you are reading about it or praying about it. It is down in your shop among bales and boxes, ten-penny nails, and sand-paper." - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

"By reading a man does, as it we, antedate his life, and make himself contemporary with past ages." - Jeremy Collier

"Don't think too much about yourselves. Try to cultivate the habit of thinking of others; this will reward you. Nourish your minds by good reading, constant reading. Discover what your lifework is, work in which you can do most good, in which you can be happiest. Be unafraid in all things when you know you are in the right." - Charles W. Eliot

"When a man thinks he is reading the character of another, he is often unconsciously betraying his own." - James T. Farrell, fully James Thomas Farrell

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead,, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." - Benjamin Franklin

"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." - Henry Giles

"You may glean knowledge by reading, but you must separate the chaff from the wheat by thinking." - Ronald E. Osborn

"Develop the art of friendliness. One can experience a variety of emotions staying home and reading or watching television; one will be alive but hardly living. Most of the meaningful aspects of life are closely associated with people. Even the dictionary definition of life involves people." - William L. Abbott

"There is nothing that solidifies and strengthens a nation like reading of the nation’s own history, whether that history is recorded in books, or embodied in customs, institutions, and monuments." - Joseph Anderson, fully Joseph Inslee Anderson

"In an age of the inconsequential and frivolous, reading fills our minds with the consequential. Reading involves stewardship of a mind, that was created in the divine image, to think great thoughts as well as to notice the small sparrow. Reading stretches the mind." - Joe Bayly, fully Joseph Tate Bayly

"Reading and what it can contribute to one's life is not something that pertains only to the ego and its conscious mind; it is also deeply rooted in the unconsciousness. Those who retain all through life a deep commitment to the literary harbor in their consciousness some residue of their earlier conviction that reading is an art permitting access to magic worlds, although very few of them are aware that they subconsciously believe this to be so." - Bruno Bettelheim

"Reading without purpose is sauntering, not exercise. More is got from one book on which the thought settles for definite end in knowledge, than from libraries skimmed over by a wandering eye." - Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, fully Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, Lord Lytton

"They who have read about everything are thought to understand everything, but it is not always so; reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours. We are of the ruminating kind, and it is not enough to cram ourselves with a great load of collections - we must chew them over again." - William Ellery Channing

"Happy is he who has laid up in his youth, and held fast in all fortune, a genuine and passionate love for reading." - Rufus Choate

"Half the gossip of society would perish if the books that are truly worth reading are read." - George Dawson

"When I want to discover something, I begin by reading up everything that has been done along that line in the past, that's is what all these books in the library are for. I see what has been accomplished at great labor and expense in the past. I gather the data of many thousands of experiments as a starting point, and then I make thousands of more." -

"I pluck up the goodlisome herbs of sentences by pruning, eat them by reading, digest them by musing, and lay them at length in the high seat of memory by gathering them together; that so, having tasted their sweetness, I may the less perceive the bitterness of life." - Elizabeth I NULL

"Reading should be in proportion to thinking, and thinking in proportion to reading." - Nathaniel Emmons

"Reading should be in proportion to thinking, and thinking in proportion to reading." - Nathanael Emmons, also Nathaniel Emmons

"I have no patience with the stupidity of the average teacher of grammar who wastes precious years in hammering rules into children's heads. For it is not by learning rules that we acquire the powers of speaking a language, but by daily intercourse with those accustomed to express themselves with exactness ands refinement and by copious reading of the best authors." -

"When a man thinks he is reading the character of another, he is often unconsciously betraying his own; and this is especially the case with those persons whose knowledge of the world is of such sort that it results in extreme distrust of men." - Joseph Farrell, fully Joseph Patrick Farrell

"Reading makes a full man, meditation a profound man, discourse a clear man." - Benjamin Franklin

"Reading is a joy, but not an unalloyed joy. Books do not make life easier or more simple, but harder and more interesting." - Harry Golden, born Herschel Goldhirsch

"Music is for the betterment and enrichment of the individual, just as education and reading are. When people come together to play music as they do to play bridge, civilization will have taken its longest stride forward since the beginning of time. Music is something to live with always, and children should be taught to regard it as a close and inalienable friend." - Jascha Heifetz

"To limit the press is to insult a nation; to prohibit reading of certain books is to declare the inhabitants to be either fools or slaves." - Claude-Adrien Helvétius

"All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was." - Ernest Hemingway, fully Ernest Miller Hemingway

"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." - Charles Lamb

"Education begins the gentleman, but reading good company, and education must finish him." - John Locke

"It is curious how tyrannical the habit of reading is, and what shifts we make to escape thinking. There is no bore we dread being left alone with so much as our own minds." - James Russell Lowell

"Solitary reading will enable a man to stuff himself with information, but without conversation, his mind will become like a pond without an outlet - a mass of unhealthy stagnature. It is not enough to harvest knowledge by study; the wind of talk must winnow it, and blow away the chaff; then will the clear, bright grains of wisdom be garnered, for our own use or that of others." - William Matthews

"Reading affords the opportunity to everyone - the poor, the rich, the humble, the great - to spend as many hours as he wishes in the company of the noblest men and women that the world has ever known." - David O. McKay

"Read ever day something no one else is reading. Think something no one else is thinking. It is bad for the mind to be always a part of unanimity." - Christopher Morley, fully Christopher Darlington Morley

"Everyone reads out of a work as much as he is capable of reading into it. Only in the material realm is "a receiver not a giver." Spiritually, you can't take unless you give. To apprehend God's or a man's creation, you must put in your share and become a partner in a creative work." - Samuel Niger, aka Shmuel Niger, pseudonymn of Samuel Charney

"The books which help you most are those which make you think the most. The hardest way of learning is by easy reading: but a great book that comes from a great thinker - it is a ship of thought, deep freighted with truth and with beauty." - Joseph Parker

"The books which help you most are those which make you think the most. The hardest way of learning is by easy reading. But a great book that comes from a great thinker - it is a ship of thought, deep-freighted with truth and with beauty." - Theodore Parker

"Reading, for a man devoid of prior-understanding, is like a blind man’s looking into a mirror." - Garuda Purana

"War is, after all, the universal perversion. We are all tainted: if we cannot experience our perversion at first hand we spend our time reading war stories, the pornography of war; or seeing war films, the blue films of war; or titillating our senses with the imagination of great deeds, the masturbation of war." -

"Begin by reading thyself rather than books." -

"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body." - Richard Steele, fully Sir Richard Steele

"Thinking, not growth, makes manhood. Accustom yourself, therefore, to thinking. Set yourself to understand whatever you see or read. To join thinking with reading is one of the first maxims, and one of the easiest operations." - Isaac Taylor

"The advice of a scholar, whose piles of learning were set on fire by imagination, is never to be forgotten. Proportion an hour's reflection to an hour's reading, and so dispirit the book into the student." - Robert Aris Willmott

"You ought to say fewer fixed prayers so that you may do more reading. Reading is good prayer. Reading teaches us how to pray, and what to pray for, and then prayer achieves it. In the course of reading, when the heart is pleased, there arises a spirit of devotion which is worth many prayers." - Ancrene Wisse, aka Ancrene Riwle NULL

"Reading to children at night, responding to their smiles, with a smile, returning their vocalizations with one of your own, touching them, holding them – all of these further a child’s brain development and future potential, even in the earliest months. Research demonstrates that the early responsiveness of caring parents sets the tone for future self-esteem, trust, problem solving, ability to communicate successfully and motivation for future learning." - T. Berry Brazelton, fully Thomas Berry Brazelton

"A frequent review of proverbs should enter into our reading." -

"Spiritual growth comes from putting into practice the knowledge we already possess. Instead of reading another book, read your favorite book once more and apply it more carefully than ever in your practical life." - Emmet Fox

"To prohibit the reading of certain books is to declare the inhabitants to be either fools or slaves." -

"Reading, reflection and time have convinced me that the interests of society require the observation of those moral precepts only in which all religions agree (for all forbid us to murder, steal, plunder, or bear false witness) and that we should not intermeddle with the particular dogmas in which all religions differ, which are totally unconnected with morality." - Thomas Jefferson

"Reading is actually plunging into one’s own identity and, one hopes, emerging stronger than before. You see, unconsciously, we are seeking to find an affirmation to our own world perception and set of values." - Amalia Kahana-Carmon

"It is taken for granted in adult society that we cannot all be generalists skilled in every area of learning and mastery. Nevertheless, we apply tremendous pressure on our children to be good at everything. Every day they are expected to shine in math, reading, writing, speaking, spelling, memorization, comprehension, problem solving, socialization, athletics, and following verbal directions. Few if any children can master all of these “trades.” And none of us adults can. In one way or another, all minds have their specialties and their families." - Mel Levine, formally Melvin D Levine