Here are 21 quotes on reading to brighten your day from the 1600s to the present day.



Jane Austen (1775-1817) English Novelist

One of Edwards mistresses was Jane Shore, who has had a play written about her, but it is a tragedy therefore not worth reading.

white ceramic teacup with saucer near two books above gray floral textile
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Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) French novelist

Reading brings us unknown friends


Ray Bradbury (1920-2012) American author

You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them


Joseph Brodsky (1940-96) poet

There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.


Lord Byron (1788-1824), English poet

The reading or the none-reading of a book – will never keep down a single petticoat


Isaac D’Israeli (1766-1848), British literary historian

There is an art to reading, as well as an art of thinking, and an art of writing.


Diana Duane (1952- ) American author

Reading one book is like eating one potato chip


Lena Dunham (1986- ) American actress

Let’s be reasonable and add an eighth day to the week that is devoted exclusively to reading


Samuel Johnson (1709-84), English poet, critic and lexicographer

The greatest part of a writers time is spent reading, in order to write, a man will turn over half a library to make one book.

photo of a wooden bookshelf
Photo by Karl Solano on

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) English novelist and poet

War makes rattling good history; but peace is poor reading


Sarah J. Maas (1986- ) American author

No. I can survive well enough on my own—if given the proper reading material


Moliere (1622-73), French comic playwright

Reading and marriage don’t go well together


Joe Orton (1933-1967), English playwright

Reading isn’t an occupation we encourage among police officers. We try to keep the paper work down to a minimum.


Jim Rohn (1930-2009) writer, motivational speaker

Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary


Logan Pearsall Smith (1865-1946) American-British essayist

People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading


Patrick Rothfuss (1973-) American writer

I always read. You know how sharks have to keep swimming or they die? I’m like that. If I stop reading, I die


Trevelyan (1876-1962), English Historian

It [education] has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading, an easy prey to sensation and cheap appeals.


Francis Quarles (1592-1644), English poet

I wish there was as much pleasure in the reading, as I had in the writing


Langdon Simith (1858-1908)

People say that life is the thing, but I prefer Reading


Sir Richard Steel (1672-1729) Irish-born essayist and playwright

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body


Malcolm X (1925-1965) American minister

My alma mater was books, a good library…. I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity.

Photo by Ena Marinkovic on


Comment below on which one is your favourite on the list or even on one quote that is not there!




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