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“Aren’t we blessed, we who love books?” ― Frances Maureen Richardson
First of all, you’re probably wondering who is Frances Maureen Richardson? I would be shocked if you had heard of her. She’s a friend of mine, a woman in my book club, and a woman who in her senior years wrote and published her first and only novel. The novel is called Not All of Me is Dust. It’s really a fine novel. Twenty reviews on Amazon and all gave it five stars, and other than a couple of friends she has no idea who those reviewers are. You can read about her book here.
Second, I was searching for a quote on the love of books, and I could do no better than her quote. I have about nine quotes on my Goodreads page on the love of books, and Frances’ quote stands out. I was the one who actually identified it as a quote. We were going back and forth discussing a particular book—I don’t even recall which one—and in the joy of discussion she blurted it out.
I seem to have an ear for picking up memorable quotes. I spent years rummaging through Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations before the internet existed, and I think you develop an ear for what makes a good quote. Do people still have Bartlett’s on their bookshelves any longer?
The moment Frances put that quote down I knew it was memorable. I instantly uploaded into the Goodreads quotes database and selected it to put on my quotes page. For those not familiar with Goodreads, each member gets to have a personal Quotes page of meaningful quotes. A list of personal favorite quotes really explains a person’s interest, characterizes their life in a particular way, helps define their identity. Out of the sixty-one quotes on My Quotes page, nine deal with reading. So I wanted to take one to post on.
Here are the other quotes on reading I have identified:
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.” -Ernest Hemingway
“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” -Marcus Tullius Cicero
“That’s what literature is. It’s the people who went before us, tapping out messages from the past, from beyond the grave, trying to tell us about life and death! Listen to them!” -Connie Willis
“A good book is an event in my life.” -Stendhal
“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” -Jorge Luis Borges
“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” -Jane Austen
“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.” -J.D. Salinger
“In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.” -Mortimer J. Adler
I would have to say that a good deal of my life revolves around reading books. Why is that? After all I’m busy as heck. I’m a full-time engineer, I have a family with a ten-year-old son, I chauffeur my 86-year-old mother around, I have a house that requires repairs, and yet I spend hours and hours reading. The quotes I posted above hint at this. Reading is a sort of joy, an experience in itself, one that might reshape your life, a connection—emotional, mental, spiritual—that one makes with an author, or with a time and place, or with an entire culture and civilization. One is absorbed metaphysically into a story, into a situation, into characters, into values, into their problems and challenges and muddles and dilemmas and afflictions. We are transferred into a different journey and existence. How much poorer we would be without reading, at least for me.
So all of my quotes above are profound in their own way. But Frances’ quote sums it all up. I am blessed to love reading and to love books. There is no better way to say it.
How about you? Is there a particular quote on books or reading that you think worthy? Perhaps I can add it to my quotes page.Published in