Sunday, September 5, 2010

Anna Quindlen and Book Love

Years ago, Anna Quindlen wrote a small book entitled How Reading Changed My Life. I just came across this gem of a book for the first time, and I feel I have found my own personal manifesto in Quindlen's beautiful homage to books and reading.

Quindlen writes: "Those of us who comprise the real clan of the book [are those] who read not to judge the reading of others but to take the measure of ourselves. Who read because we love it more than anything, who feel about bookstores the way some people feel about jewelers."

I read this passage and thought, Here is someone who understands! I don't know about you, but I have had to put myself on "book buying probation" many times due to the stack of waiting-to-be read books beside my bed, even though it is so difficult for me to leave a bookstore without buying anything!

Throughout the book, Quindlen includes quotes about literature from a variety of people and time periods. Here are some of my favorites:

"When I am reading a book, whether wise or silly, it seems to me to be alive and talking to me." -- Montaigne

"My best friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read." -- Abraham Lincoln

"Reading makes immigrants of us all. It takes us away from home, but, more important, it finds homes for us everywhere." -- Hazel Rochman

"A room without books is like a body without a soul." -- Cicero

"Book love: it will make your hours pleasant to you as long as you live." -- Trollope

What are some of your favorite books and quotes about books?

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