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Quotation about books from Emily Dickinson with illustration of kids sailing on an open book

Quotes About Books, Reading, and Writing

Browse this collection of literacy quotes — for inspiration and for sharing.

You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.

Paul Sweeney

It [the book] was spinning a magic spell around her heart, sticky as a spider’s web and enchantingly beautiful.

Cornelia Funke, Inkheart trilogy

Books have a unique way of stopping time in a particular moment and saying: Let’s not forget this.

Dave Eggers

When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.

Maya Angelou

In a good book, the best is between the lines.

Swedish Proverb

Reading is like breathing in, and writing is like breathing out.

Pam Allyn

A word is a small magic, a spell that can unlock the world.

Jane Yolen

Reading aloud to your children is a gift that will last a lifetime.

Maya Angelou, author and poet

Never give up on a child who is struggling to read. With the right help, they can overcome any obstacle.

Dr. Timothy Shanahan, reading expert

Books to the ceiling, books to the sky, my pile of books is a mile high. How I love them! How I need them! I’ll have a long beard by the time I read them.

Arnold Lobel

Books are a uniquely portable magic.

Stephen King

Let children read whatever they want and then talk about it with them. If parents and kids can talk together, we won't have as much censorship because we won't have as much fear.

Judy Blume

What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person ...

Carl Sagan

Let us remember: one book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.

Malala Yousafzei

A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom.

Robert Frost

I feel the need of reading. It is a loss to a man not to have grown up among books.

Abraham Lincoln

We write stories, not because we have answers, but because we have questions.

Katherine Paterson

Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you’ll find out. If it's not, throw it out the window.

William Faulkner

Reading is not optional.

Walter Dean Myers

I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I write and I understand.

Chinese proverb

Writing is thinking on paper.

William Zinsser

Rule number one is to write every day because writing’s like everything else you do. The more you do it, the better you’re going to get at it.

Christopher Paul Curtis

Give weather reports. It helps the reality of a scene if foghorns are blowing or kites are in the sky on a windy afternoon or the day’s so hot wallpaper is peeling off the walls.

Sid Fleischman

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.

Mark Twain

Ideas are the cheapest part of the writing. They are free! The hard part is what you do with the ideas you have gathered.

Jane Yolen

Read, because that’s the way you learn how the language works. That’s the way you learn about emotion, on paper. That’s how you find out how stories are fastened, by reading and reading and reading.

Katherine Paterson

This morning I took out a comma, and this afternoon I put it back again.

Oscar Wilde

When you catch an adjective, kill it. No I don't mean utterly, but kill most of them — then the rest will be valuable.

Mark Twain

The first draft is a skeleton .… just bare bones. The rest of the story comes later with revising.

Judy Blume

If you want to write, you should pay attention to people — everybody has a story — and listen to people when they talk.

Kate DiCamillo

Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside of them.

Neil Gaiman

Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty. It should be offered to them as a precious gift.

Kate DiCamillo

I’m wondering what to read next.

Matilda, Roald Dahl

When I say to a parent, “read to a child,” I don't want it to sound like medicine. I want it to sound like chocolate.

Mem Fox

There is no frigate like a book, to take us lands away.

Emily Dickinson

Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.

Margaret Fuller

There is no substitute for books in the life of a child.

May Ellen Chase

You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.

Paul Sweeney

A book is like a garden, carried in the pocket.

Proverb, unknown origin

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

Walt Disney

Oh, magic hour, when a child first knows she can read printed words!

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, 1943

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

Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

The man who does not read good books is no better than the man who can't.

Mark Twain

You may have tangible wealth untold. Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be — I had a mother who read to me.

Strickland Gillilan

Wear the old coat and buy the new book.

Austin Phelps

I used to walk to school with my nose buried in a book.


Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.

Groucho Marx

Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.

Emilie Buchwald

So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away. And in its place you can install, a lovely bookshelf on the wall.

Roald Dahl

The things I want to know are in books. My best friend is the man who’ll get me a book I [haven’t] read.

Abraham Lincoln

Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.

Frederick Douglass

I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.

Jorge Luis Borges