Sections in the bookstore - Books You Haven't Read - Books You Needn't Read - Books Made for Purposes Other Than Reading - Books Read Even Before You Open Them Since They Belong to the Category of Books Read Before Being Written - Books That If You Had More Than One Life You Would Certainly Also Read But Unfortunately Your Days Are Numbered - Books You Mean to Read But There Are Others You Must Read First - Books Too Expensive Now and You'll Wait 'Til They're Remaindered - Books ditto When They Come Out in Paperback - Books You Can Borrow from Somebody - Books That Everybody's Read So It's As If You Had Read Them, Too - Books You've Been Planning to Read for Ages - Books You've Been Hunting for Years Without Success - Books Dealing with Something You're Working on at the Moment - Books You Want to Own So They'll Be Handy Just in Case - Books You Could Put Aside Maybe to Read This Summer - Books You Need to Go with Other Books on Your Shelves - Books That Fill You with Sudden, Inexplicable Curiosity, Not Easily Justified - Books Read Long Ago Which It's Now Time to Re-read - Books You've Always Pretended to Have Read and Now It's Time to Sit Down and Really Read Them
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There are books for when you're bored. Plenty of them. There are books for when you're calm. The best kind, in my opinion. There are also books for when you're sad. And there are books for when you're happy. There are books for when you're thirsty for knowledge. And there are books for when you're desperate. - 'The Savage Detectives
Roberto Bolae±o translated from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer
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Books on the bookshelves And stacked on the floor Books kept in baskets And propped by the door Books in neat piles And in disarray Books tucked in closets And books on display Books filling crannies And books packed in nooks Books massed in windows And mounded in crooks Libraries beckon And bookstores invite But book-filled rooms welcome Us back home at night!
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Few pleasures, for the true reader, rival the pleasure of browsing unhurriedly among books: old books, new books, library books, other people's books, one's own books - it does not matter whose or where. Simply to be among books, glancing at one here, reading a page from one over there, enjoying them all as objects to be touched, looked at, even smelt, is a deep satisfaction. And often, very often, while browsing haphazardly, looking for nothing in particular, you pick up a volume that suddenly excites you, and you know that this one of all the others you must read. Those are great moments - and the books we come across like that are often the most memorable.
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The books in Mo and Meggie's house were stacked under tables, on chairs, in the corners of the rooms. There where books in the kitchen and books in the lavatory. Books on the TV set and in the closet, small piles of books, tall piles of books, books thick and thin, books old and new. They welcomed Meggie down to breakfast with invitingly opened pages; they kept boredom at bay when the weather was bad. And sometimes you fall over them.
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I am a product [... of] endless books. My father bought all the books he read and never got rid of any of them. There were books in the study, books in the drawing room, books in the cloakroom, books (two deep) in the great bookcase on the landing, books in a bedroom, books piled as high as my shoulder in the cistern attic, books of all kinds reflecting every transient stage of my parents' interest, books readable and unreadable, books suitable for a child and books most emphatically not. Nothing was forbidden me. In the seemingly endless rainy afternoons I took volume after volume from the shelves. I had always the same certainty of finding a book that was new to me as a man who walks into a field has of finding a new blade of grass.
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Only idiots or snobs ever really thought less of 'genre books' of course. There are stupid books and there are smart books. There are well-written books and badly written books. There are fun books and boring books. All of these distinctions are vastly more important than the distinction between the literary and the non-literary.
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The rest, with very little exaggeration, was books. Meant-to-be-picked-up books. Permanently-left-behind books. Uncertain-what-to-do-with books. But books, books. Tall cases lined three walls of the room, filled to and beyond capacity. The overflow had been piled in stacks on the floor. There was little space left for walking, and none whatever for pacing.
J. D. Salinger
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I am a product of endless books. My father bought all the books he read and never got rid of any of them. There were books in the study, books in the drawing room, books in the cloakroom, books (two deep) in the great bookcase on the landing, books in a bedroom, books piled as high as my shoulder in the cistern attic...In the seemingly endless rainy afternoons I took volume after volume from the shelves. I had always the same certainty of finding a book that was new to me as a man who walks into a field has of finding a new blade of grass.
C. S. Lewis
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The current publishing scene is extremely good for the big, popular books. They sell them brilliantly, market them and all that. It is not good for the little books. And really valuable books have been allowed to go out of print. In the old days, the publishers knew that these difficult books, the books that appeal only to a minority, were very productive in the long run. Because they're probably the books that will be read in the next generation.
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The would-be students wish to transcend books. But, ask yourselves: if someone says that books do not contain wisdom, and yet he writes books; books do not contain Sufism, and yet he continues to publish books on Sufism, what is really happening? It really is your duty, and not mine, to ask and to find the answer to that question, if you are interested enough.
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We have no time to waste on insignificant books, hollow books, books that are there to please... We want books that cost their authors a great deal, books where you can feel the years of work, the backache, the writer's block, the author's panic at the thought that he might be lost: his discouragement, his courage, his anguish, his stubbornness, the risk of failure that he has taken.
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It's time for bed. And here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to get in bed, and I don't have anyone to sleep with now, so what I do is I sleep with my books. And I know that's kind of weird and solitary and pathetic. But if you think about it, it's very cozy. Over a period of four, five, six, seven, nine, twenty nights of sleeping, you've taken all these books to bed with you, and you fall asleep, and the books are there. Some of the books are thick, and some are thin, some of the books are in hardcover and some in paperback. Sometimes they get rolled up with the pillows and the blankets. And I never make the bed. So it's like a stew of books. The bed is the liquid medium. It's a Campbell's Chunky Soup of books. The bed you eat with a fork.
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We are the people of the book. We love our books. We fill our houses with books. We treasure books we inherit from our parents, and we cherish the idea of passing those books on to our children. Indeed, how many of us started reading with a beloved book that belonged to one of our parents? We force worthy books on our friends, and we insist that they read them. We even feel a weird kinship for the people we see on buses or airplanes reading our books, the books that we claim. If anyone tries to take away our books-some oppressive government, some censor gone off the rails-we would defend them with everything that we have. We know our tribespeople when we visit their homes because every wall is lined with books. There are teetering piles of books beside the bed and on the floor; there are masses of swollen paperbacks in the bathroom. Our books are us. They are our outboard memory banks and they contain the moral, intellectual, and imaginative influences that make us the people we are today.
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My bedroom was filled with reading material: books salvaged from dustbins, books borrowed from friends, books with missing pages, books found in the street, abandoned, unreadable, torn, scribbled on, unloved, unwanted and dismissed. My bedroom was the Battersea Dogs' Home of books.
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It's only in books-actual printed books-that you can easily start and stop your reading, that you can preread and reread, and, these days, as the book itself suffers from a cluster of plagues, it seems only right to pause and assert that the books that ought to be rescued these days are not the books that require a "spoiler alert"-such books are already spoiled-but books that aren't spoiled even if you know what's going to happen, even if you peek at the end, even if you're reading them for a second, or fifth, or dozenth time.
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I think serious readers of books are 5% of the population. If there are good TV shows or a World Cup or anything, that 5% will keep on reading books very seriously, enthusiastically. And if a society banned books, they would go into the forest and remember all the books. So I trust in their existence. I have confidence.
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I realize that people still read books now and some people actually love them, but in 1946 in the Village our feelings about books-I'm talking about my friends and myself-went beyond love. It was as if we didn't know where we ended and books began. Books were our weather, our environment, our clothing. We didn't simply read books; we became them. We took them into ourselves and made them into our histories. While it would be easy to say that we escaped into books, it might be truer to say that books escaped into us. Books were to us what drugs were to young men in the sixties. They showed us what was possible. We had been living with whatever was close at hand, whatever was given, and books took us great distances. We had known only domestic emotions and they showed us what happens to emotions when they are homeless. Books gave us balance-the young are so unbalanced that anything can make them fall. Books steadied us; it was as if we carried a heavy bag of them in each hand and they kept us level. They gave us gravity.
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Electronic books are ideal for people who value the information contained in them, or who have vision problems, or who like to read on the subway, or who do not want other people to see how they are amusing themselves, or who have storage and clutter issues, but they are useless for people who are engaged in an intense, lifelong love affair with books. Books that we can touch; books that we can smell; books that we can depend on.
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In books I find the dead as if they were alive; in books I foresee things to come; in books warlike affairs are set forth; from books come forth the laws of peace. All things are corrupted and decay in time; Saturn ceases not to devour the children that he generates; all the glory of the world would be buried in oblivion, unless God had provided mortals with the remedy of books.
Richard de Bury
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[A]ll who are smitten with the love of books think cheaply of the world and wealth; as Jerome says to Vigilantius: The same man cannot love both gold and books... The hideousness of vice is greatly reprobated in books, so that he who loves to commune with books is lead to detest all manner of vice. The demon, who derives his name from knowledge, is most effectually defeated by the knowledge of books, and through books his multitudinous deceits and the endless labyrinths of his guile are laid bare to those who read...
Richard de Bury
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In the shop window you have promptly identified the cover with the title you were looking for. Following this visual trail, you have forced your way through the shop past the thick barricade of Books You Haven't Read, which are frowning at you from the tables and shelves, trying to cow you... And thus you pass the outer girdle of ramparts, but then you are attacked by the infantry of Books That If You Had More Than One Life You Would Certainly Also Read But Unfortunately Your Days Are Numbered. With a rapid maneuver you bypass them and move into the phalanxes of the Books You Mean To Read But There Are Others You Must Read First, the Books Too Expensive Now And You'll Wait Till They're Remaindered, the Books ditto When They Come Out in Paperback, Books You Can Borrow From Somebody, Books That Everybody's Read So It's As If You Had Read Them, Too.
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They will be given as gifts; books that are especially pretty or visual will be bought as hard copies; books that are collectible will continue to be collected; people with lots of bookshelves will keep stocking them; and anyone who likes to make notes in books will keep buying books with margins to fill.
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Boys do not evaluate a book. They divide books into categories. There are sexy books, war books, westerns, travel books, science fiction. A boy will accept anything from a section he knows rather than risk another sort. He has to have the label on the bottle to know it is the mixture as before.
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I found that I could not contemplate an adult life in which books were not dominant. I wanted to live and work with them... I had to be able to take books from their places, run my finger over their backs, see how they opened, flick their corners straight. I wanted a perspective of bookshelves always in my eye. And books, books, books. This was not a rational way of determining on a career and was much tainted by mushiness. But it was the way in which my decision hardened, before I was fifteen years old, to become a librarian.
Clifford Currie Librarian of the Ashmolean Library Oxford
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if everything happens that can't be done (and anything's righter than books could plan) the stupidest teacher will almost guess (with a run skip around we go yes) there's nothing as something as one one hasn't a why or because or although (and buds know better than books don't grow) one's anything old being everything new (with a what which around we come who) one's everyanything so so world is a leaf so tree is a bough (and birds sing sweeter than books tell how) so here is away and so your is a my (with a down up around again fly) forever was never till now now i love you and you love me (and books are shutter than books can be) and deep in the high that does nothing but fall (with a shout each around we go all) there's somebody calling who's we we're anything brighter than even the sun (we're everything greater than books might mean) we're everanything more than believe (with a spin leap alive we're alive) we're wonderful one times one
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Solid scriptural theology should be valued in the church. Books in which Scripture is reverently regarded as the only rule of faith and practice-- books in which Christ and the Holy Ghost have their rightful office-- books in which justification, and sanctification, and regeneration, and faith, and grace, and holiness are clearly, distinctly, and accurately delineated and exhibited, these are the only books which do real good. Few things need reviving more than a taste for such books as these among readers.
J. C. Ryle
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I like to read books one after another. Immerse myself in a book, and then immerse myself in the next book, and just keep going until there aren't any more books left to swim in. That's why I hate when authors die. I cannot stand it. There will be no more books forthcoming from that person. Their future books died with them. In the past I have found a series of books and loved it so much that all I wanted to do was read and read and read those books for the rest of my life. Then I would find out that the author was dead. Had in fact been dead for many a year. This has happened to me several times.
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I shall be so glad if you will tell me what to read. I have been looking into all the books in the library at Offendene, but there is nothing readable. The leaves all stick together and smell musty. I wish I could write books to amuse myself, as you can! How delightful it must be to write books after one's own taste instead of reading other people's! Home-made books must be so nice.
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When I first learned about Abrams and saw the types of books they were making, I knew I wanted my books to be published by them. Abrams books are special-when you hold one in your hands, you have the feeling that this book needed to be made. I once heard an artist say that books are fetish objects-I think Abrams gets that, because their books demand to be treasured. So who better to give comics art its proper due? I feel privileged to have found a home with Abrams.
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My father never put a book into my hands and never forbade a book. Instead, he let me roam and graze, making my own more or less appropriate selections. I read gory tales of historic heroism that nine-teenth century parents were suitable for children, and gothic ghost stories that were surely not; I read accounts of arduous travel through treacherous lands undertaken by spinsters in crinolines, and I read handbooks on decorum and etiquette intended for young ladies of good family; I read books with pictures and books without; books in English, books in French, books in languages I didn't understand where I could make up stories in my head on the basis of a handful of guessed-at words. Books. Books. And books.
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Books, books, books in all their aspects, in form and spirit, their physical selves and what reading releases from their hieroglyphic pages, in their sight and smell, in their touch and feel to the questing hand, and in the intellectual music which they sing to the thoughtful brain and loving heart, books are to me the best of all symbols, the realest of all reality.
Lawrence Clark Powell
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To see what books were available for my older students, I made many trips to the library. If a book looked interesting, I checked it out. I once went home with 30 books! It was then that I realized that kids' novels had the shape of real books, and I began to get ideas for young adult novels and juvenile books.
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Books are everywhere; and always the same sense of adventure fills us. Second-hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack. Besides, in this random miscellaneous company we may rub against some complete stranger who will, with luck, turn into the best friend we have in the world.
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A man's bookcase will tell you everything you'll ever need to know about him," my father had told me more than once. "A businessman has business books and a dream has novels and books of poetry. Most women like reading about love, and a true revolutionary will have books about the minutiae of overthrowing the oppressor. A person with no books is inconsequential in a modern setting, but a peasant that reads is a prince in waiting.
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You can tell a book is real when your heart beats faster. Real books make you sweat. Cry, if no one is looking. Real books help you make sense of your crazy life. Real books tell it true, don't hold back and make you stronger. But most of all, real books give you hope. Because it's not always going to be like this and books-the good ones, the ones-show you how to make it better. Now.
Laurie Halse Anderson
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I feel, holding books, accommodating their weight and breathing their dust, an abiding love. I trust them, in a way that I can't trust my computer, though I couldn't do without it. Books are matter. My books matter. What would I have done through these years without the library and all its lovely books?
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Books may not change our suffering, books may not protect us from evil, books may not tell us what is good or what is beautiful, and they will certainly not shield us from the common fate of the grave. But books grant us myriad possibilities: the possibility of change, the possibility of illumination.
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...Generally people don't recomend this type of book at all. It is far too interesting. Perhaps you have had other books recomended to you. Perhaps, even, you have been given books by friends, parents, teachers, then told that these books are the type you have to read. Those books are invariably described as "important"- which in my experience, pretty much means that they're boring. (words like meaningful and thoughtful are other good clues.)
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I try to find the books that I lost or forgot more than 30 years ago on another continent, with the hope and dedication and bitterness of those who search for their first lost books, books that if found I wouldn't read anyway, because I've already read them over and over, but that I would look at and touch just as the miser strokes the coins under which he's buried... Books are like ghosts
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Books can be passed around. They can be shared. A lot of people like seeing them in their houses. They are memories. People who don't understand books don't understand this. They learn from TV shows about organizing that you should get rid of the books that you aren't reading, but everyone who loves books believes the opposite. People who love books keep them around, like photos, to remind them of a great experience and so they can revisit and say, 'Wow, this is a really great book.
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The difficulty will be to keep her from learning too fast and too much. She is always sitting with her little nose burrowing into books. She doesn't read them, Miss Minchin; she gobbles them up as if she were a little wolf instead of a little girl. She is always starving for new books to gobble, and she wants grown-up books--great, big, fat ones--French and German as well as English--history and biography and poets, and all sorts of things. Drag her away from her books when she reads too much.
Frances Hodgson Burnett
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You're a hopeless romantic, " said Faber. "It would be funny if it were not serious. It's not books you need, it's some of the things that once were in books. The same things could be in the 'parlor families' today. The same infinite detail and awareness could be projected through the radios, and televisors, but are not. No, no it's not books at all you're looking for! Take it where you can find it, in old phonograph records, old motion pictures, and in old friends; look for it in nature and look for it in yourself. Books were only one type or 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. Of course you couldn't know this, of course you still can't understand what i mean when i say all this. You are intuitively right, that's what counts.
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My ears become my conduit to the world. In the darkness I listen-to thrillers, to detective novels, to romances; to family sagas, potboilers and historical novels; to ghost stories and classic fiction and chick lit; to bonkbusters and history books. I listen to good books and bad books, great books and terrible books; I do not discriminate. Steadily, hour after hour, in the darkness I consume them all.
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Buy books, then, that you have read with profit and pleasure and hope to read and reread. Buy books that you may underscore passages and write upon the margins, thus assuring yourself that the book is your own. Keep the books that mean the most to you close at hand, one or two, if possible, on a table at your bedside. Do not hide away your favorite books or keep them locked in enclosed shelves. Do not keep them under glass.
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There were books everywhere. Hundreds of books. Thousands of books. There were books of every size, shape, and color. They lined the walls from floor to ceiling, standing straight and rigid as soldiers on the polished mahogany shelves, the gilt lettering on their worn spines glinting in the soft light, the scent of supple leather and aging paper filling the air.
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I'm not really into comfort books. There are too many of those as it is. Just sort of narcotic books, like my grandmother used to read. They have value like Paxil has value, but there's plenty of them in the world already. There's a shortage of confronting, stimulating, exciting books.
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Childhood is the time and children's books are the place for powerful emotions, powerful language, powerful art... There is no room for cutesy books, dull books, or books that talk down. Children are not inferior. They may be small in stature but not in what they feel, think, listen, and see.
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When you talk to people about the books that have meant a lot to them, it's usually books they read when they were younger because the books have this wonder in everyday things that isn't bogged down by excessively grown-up concerns or the need to be subtle or coy... when you read these books as an adult, it tends to bring back the sense of newness and discovery that I tend not to get from adult fiction.
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I have a very big apartment in Paris but you can't really move around there anymore; piles of books everywhere. I don't want any more books. I have too many books; sometimes I have to buy another copy of a book that I know I have somewhere in my house or office because I can't find it.
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We are in a great school, and we should be diligent to learn, and continue to store up the knowledge of heaven and of earth, and read good books, although I cannot say that I would recommend the reading of all books, for it is not all books which are good. Read good books, and extract from them wisdom and understanding as much as you possibly can, aided by the Spirit of God. (JD 12:124)
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I remember one letter from a girl in a midwestern town who read one of my books and thought she had discovered it- that no one had ever read it or knew about it. Then one day in her local library she found cards for one or two of my other books. They were full of names- the books were borrowed all the time. She resented this a bit and then walked around the town looking in everybody's face and wondering if they were the ones who were reading my books. That is someone I write for.
J. P. Donleavy
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His books were part of him. Each year of his life, it seemed, his books became more and more a part of him. This room, thirty by twenty feet, and the walls of shelves filled with books, had for him the murmuring of many voices. In the books of Herodotus, Tacitus, Rabelais, Thomas Browne, John Milton, and scores of others, he had found men of face and voice more real to him than many a man he had met for a smoke and a talk.
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