The Big Read Blog (Archive)

The Art of Reading

Reading in Bed by flickr user Artotem

Last week, as part of The Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society's Big ReadWashington Post book critic Jonathan Yardley gave a lecture on the "art of reading." While we weren't there to hear his talk, we thought we'd share a few insights on reading from some of our other favorite literary folks.

"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them." --Ray Bradbury

"Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms." --Angela Carter

"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

"The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man. Nothing else that he builds ever lasts. Monuments fall, nations perish, civilization grow old and die out, and after an era of darkness, new races build others. But in the world of books are volumes that have seen this happen again and again and yet live on, still young, still as fresh as the day they were written, still telling men's hearts of the hearts of men centuries dead." --Clarence Day

"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island." --Walt Disney

"No story is the same to us after a lapse of time; or rather we who read it are no longer the same interpreters." --George Eliot

"There is creative reading as well as creative writing." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

"There is a wonder in reading Braille that the sighted will never know: to touch words and have them touch you back." --Jim Fiebig

"The greatest gift is a passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination."  --Elizabeth Hardwick

"To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark."  --Victor Hugo

"To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations---such is pleasure beyond compare." --Yoshida Kenko

"You can either read something many times in order to be assured that you got it all, or else you can define your purpose and use techniques which will assure that you have met it and gotten what you need."
--Peter Kump



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