October was National Book Month, so to celebrate, I’ve been reading even more books than usual in the last few weeks. And spending a little extra time doing the thing I love the most has reminded me why I fell in love with books in the first place.
Books provide us with escapism, adventure, comfort, inspiration, education, and much, much more. Plus, a good book is like a trusted friend, someone you can go to when life gets a little too much.
They allow us to journey to far-off locations around the globe, and even different dimensions and realms, all from the comfort of our favorite armchair. And sometimes, this escape is all we need to recharge, reboot, and get ready for another day in the real world.
The Collins English dictionary defines a book lover as “someone who enjoys reading and reads more than the average person,” and I’m pretty sure most of us in the Hooked to Books family fall into that category. In fact, a more accurate term is probably ‘book obsessed with a severe case of bibliomania.’
So to pay homage to our collective love of reading, I’ve put together this list of 60 of the all-time greatest quotes for book lovers. Each one is guaranteed to put a knowing smile on the face of any bibliophile.
Quotes for Book Lovers
“I know some who are constantly drunk on books as other men are drunk on whiskey.”― H.L. Mencken
“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”―Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
“Books were safer than other people anyway.”― Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane
“People can lose their lives in libraries. They ought to be warned.”― Saul Bellow
“We live for books.”― Umberto Eco
“I suspect it may be like the difference between a drinker and an alcoholic; the one merely reads books, the other needs books to make it through the day.”― Gail Carriger
“Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.”― Anne Herbert
“Give me a man or woman who has read a thousand books and you give me an interesting companion. Give me a man or woman who has read perhaps three and you give me a very dangerous enemy indeed.”― Anne Rice, The Witching Hour
“Cram your head with characters and stories. Abuse your library privileges. Never stop looking at the world, and never stop reading to find out what sense other people have made of it. If people give you a hard time and tell you to get your nose out of a book, tell them you’re working. Tell them it’s research. Tell them to pipe down and leave you alone.”― Jennifer Weiner
“The odd thing about people who had many books was how they always wanted more.”― Patricia A. McKillip, The Bell at Sealey Head
“I read books because I love them, not because I think I should read them.”― Simon Van Booy
“That I can read and be happy while I am reading, is a great blessing.”― Anthony Trollope
“When the Day of Judgement dawns and people, great and small, come marching in to receive their heavenly rewards, the Almighty will gaze upon the mere bookworms and say to Peter, “Look, these need no reward. We have nothing to give them. They have loved reading.”― Virginia Woolf
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“Dogeared pages were Antichrist of book lovers everywhere.”― Jennifer L. Armentrout, Onyx
“It is both relaxing and invigorating to occasionally set aside the worries of life, seek the company of a friendly book…from the reading of ‘good books’ there comes a richness of life that can be obtained in no other way.”― Gordon B. Hinckley
“What a blessing it is to love books.”― Elizabeth von Arnim, The Solitary Summer
“About half a second after finishing your book, after reading the very last word, the reader should be overwhelmed by a particular feeling. For a moment he should think only of what he has just read; he should look at the jacket and smile a little sadly because he is already missing all the characters. A good book, Marcus, is a book you are sorry has ended.”― Joël Dicker
“I like best to have one book in my hand, and a stack of others on the floor beside me, so as to know the supply of poppy and mandragora will not run out before the small hours.”― Dorothy Parker, The Collected Dorothy Parker
“I do love secondhand books that open to the page some previous owner read oftenest. The day Hazlitt came he opened to “I hate to read new books,” and I hollered “Comrade!” to whoever owned it before me.”― Helene Hanff, 84, Charing Cross Road
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”―Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood
“I imagined accumulating books as the truest form of wealth and dreamt of vast libraries with rolling ladders, shelves rising up to high ceilings, volumes filled with my notes and annotations. Selling half of my collection reduced me. I worried that I’d given too much away.”― Megan Baxter, Farm Girl: A Memoir
“Some like to believe it’s the book that chooses the person.”― Carlos Ruiz Zafón
“Reading is a private pursuit; one that takes place behind closed doors.”― Siri Hustvedt, The Summer Without Men
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“I took my time, running my fingers along the spines of books, stopping to pull a title from the shelf and inspect it. A sense of well-being flowed through me as I circled the ground floor. It was better than meditation or a new pair of shoes- or even chocolate. My life was a disaster, but there were still books. Lots and lots of books. A refuge. A solace. Each one offering the possibility of a new beginning.”― Beth Pattillo, Jane Austen Ruined My Life
“If I could have anything I wanted, I would choose a story without end, and it seems I have lots of company in that.”― Annie Barrows, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
“Any room in our house at any time in the day was there to read in or to be read to.”― Eudora Welty
“There is nothing like the smell of books, both new and old. If someone ever bottled the smell, I would be all over it .”― Tiffany King, Meant to Be
“Books are magical keys to open up worlds and change perspectives.”― AAAA
“She would read a book hundreds of times, carrying it with her until the pages were torn and the covers were falling off, then she’d paste the covers to the ceiling where she could stare at them, like remembering a good dream.”― Sarah Addison Allen, First Frost
“Friends in books are the best. They sleep in the pages when I don’t want to talk, and they share their days with me soundlessly—I know what makes them sad or scared or happy—when I lift their covers.”― Jennifer Gennari, Muffled
“There’s a vast underground network for goodness at work in this world—a web of people who’ve put reading at the center of their lives because they know from experience that reading makes them more expansive, generous people…”― George Saunders, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life
“In a second-hand bookshop head to the back, find the old books with dust undisturbed and worn off covers for these clothe true treasures.”― Rachel Hall
“I grabbed my book and opened it up.
I wanted to smell it.
Heck, I wanted to kiss it.
Yes, kiss it.
That’s right, I am a book kisser.
Maybe that’s kind of perverted or maybe it’s just romantic and highly intelligent.”― Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
“Then I celebrated my Wall of Books. I counted the volumes on my twenty-foot-long modernist bookshelf to make sure none had been misplaced or used as kindling by my subtenant. “You’re my sacred ones,” I told the books. “No one but me still cares about you. But I’m going to keep you with me forever. And one day I’ll make you important again.” I thought about that terrible calumny of the new generation: that books smell.”― Gary Shteyngart, Super Sad True Love Story
“What is it with you and that book?”
Rafael laughed. “We have a personal relationship.”― Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Last Night I Sang to the Monster
“To a bibliophile, there is but one thing better than a box of new books, and that is a box of old ones.”― Will Thomas, Some Danger Involved
“Reading is an active, imaginative act; it takes work.”―Khaled Hosseini
“When you steal from the library, you are preventing anyone else from reading that book, and the very notion makes me want to drop you in the Void.”― Piers Anthony, Golem in the Gears
“There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it. It’s like falling in love.”― Christopher Morley
“They were steaming out of the station before Maia asked, ‘Was it books in the trunk?’
‘It was books, ‘admitted Miss Minton.
And Maia said, ‘Good.”― Eva Ibbotson, Journey to the River Sea
“I loved women the way I loved books. Ravenously, as fast and as many as I could lay my hands on. Reading indiscriminately in every genre and savoring my favorites again. Slowly.”― G.L. Morrison, Chiaroscuro Kisses
“You have to store up books, becoming acquainted with human experience; let them lie around your thoughts, becoming yours—ring upon ring, as a tree grows, let them rise up from the depths like coral islands.
If it gets crowded with all the books and there’s nowhere to put your bed, it’s better to exchange it for a folding bed”― Viktor Shklovsky
“All good and true book-lovers practice the pleasing and improving avocation of reading in bed … No book can be appreciated until it has been slept with and dreamed over.”― Eugene Field, The Love Affairs of a Bibliomaniac
“A blessed companion is a book–a book that, fitly chosen, is a lifelong friend…a book that, at a touch, pours its heart into your own.”― Douglas Jerrold
“I wish I could remember the moment when I was a kid and I discovered that the letters linked into words, and that the words linked to real things. What a revelation that must have been. We don’t have the words for it, since we hadn’t yet learned the words. It must have been astonishing, to be given the key to the kingdom and see it turn in our hands so easily.”― David Levithan, Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares
“Reality doesn’t always give us the life that we desire, but we can always find what we desire between the pages of books.”― Adelise M. Cullens, Dead Bunnies Make All Eight Of Me Cry
“I’m filled with that buzz that finishing a good book gives you. You know the one. When all you want to do is savor the words that just changed your life, even if for just a moment. When you’re still high from experiencing every up and down the characters went through. Feeling as though you were right there with them, seated front row, hands in the air as you take that first plunge down to the final dip of the roller coaster they call life.”― Joanne Ganci, Their Book Nerd
“Good writing is always about things that are important to you, things that are scary to you, things that eat you up.”― John Edgar Wideman
“I used to be afraid about what people might say or think after reading what I had written. I am not afraid anymore, because when I write, I am not trying to prove anything to anyone, I am just expressing myself and my opinions. It’s ok if my opinions are different from those of the reader, each of us can have his own opinions. So writing is like talking, if you are afraid of writing, you may end up being afraid of talking”― Bangambiki Habyarimana, Pearls Of Eternity
“I want to read every book that’s written
hear every song that was sung
I want to gaze at every cloud
and hold the zing of each fruit on my tongue.”― Sanober Khan, A touch, a tear, a tempest
“Overhyped books are the empty calories of the literary world.”― Kevin Ansbro
“Those for whom the world is not enough: saints, conquerors, poets, and all lovers of books.”― Joseph Joubert, The Notebooks of Joseph Joubert
“Mark ran his fingers over the bindings and
whispered words, written long ago, words that
wriggled through the aged leather, trembled
beneath his touch. What lives and loves,
hopes and dreams, deaths and despair
these volumes held.”― Ellen Read, Love The Gift
“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”―Stephen King
“Any bookseller will tell you that, even with 100,000 books neatly sorted and shelved in a well-lit, warm shop, if you put an unopened box of books in a dark, cold, dimly lit corner, customers will be rifling through it in a matter of moments. The appeal of a box of unsorted, unpriced stock is extraordinary.”― Shaun Bythell, The Diary of a Bookseller
“Marco could not have known about the mystical effect of a full moon on cats and books left on their own in the library. Not until he saw the lines breathe, the words unveiled.”― Rahma Krambo, Guardian Cats and the Lost Books of Alexandria
“Nearly all bookish people are snobs, and especially the more enlightened among them. They are apt to assume that if a writer has immense circulation, if he is enjoyed by plain persons, and if he can fill several theatres at once, he cannot possibly be worth reading and merits only indifference and disdain.”― Arnold Bennett
“Many of the people who came to us were of the kind who would be a nuisance anywhere but have special opportunities in a bookshop”― George Orwell, Bookshop Memories
“Book hangovers are more fun than alcohol hangovers. They take you into a completely different world. They don’t numb the mind but open it to imagination and different perspectives to reality. I knew many worlds better than reality and that they existed in books.”― Namrata Gupta, A Silent Promise
When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature.”― Maya Angelou
I hope these book lover quotes resonated with you just as much as they did me. Personally, I find it pretty hard to express just how much I love reading, but these quotes put it better than I ever could.
What are your favorite book lover’s quotes on this list? Do you have any suggestions that I missed? Let me know in the comments below!