Posted in Writing

About Great Thoughts on Books.


For every word starting off from A to Z, books will find a term describing them. From the thoughts of those great minds who created beautiful books, these terms seem to come from their hearts.

Here, I am on a stroll through the ideas of some the greatest writers on writing and books.

Through centuries prior to the Roman philosopher, Marcus Tullius Cicero, books thrilled generations, and still does the same. His few words said thus:

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”

I begin from one of the greatest presidents ever of any country in the world, Abraham Lincoln.  In his spare time after working for his family, he had attended a   “blab” school. Students in a blab school generally had few or no books.                                                                      “My Best Friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read.”; “All I have learned, I learned from books.”  Lincoln.said.

American Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson had compared wisdom to a book. “Honesty is the first chapter of the book wisdom.”

1860 America’s Mark Twain thought, “In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.” “My books are water; those of the great geniuses is wine. Everybody drinks  water.”                                                                                                                                              “Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else.” And he asks, “If books are not good company, where shall I find it?”

His countryman, Ernest Hemingway had said, “There is no friend as loyal as a book.”

Even as early as 50 years before him, Leo Tolstoy, the Russian writer was regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time.

  • Books: A means to a happy way of life-

          Leo Tolstoy’s words in  Family Happiness goes as

“A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one’s neighbor — such is my idea of happiness.

“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” is Mark Twain’s.

          Jane Austen was one of the earliest and bold female writers of the late 18nth, early 19th century UK. Her thoughts- “The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”

“But for my own part, if a book is well written, I always find it too short.”

“It is only a novel… or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language”

Following her, Virginia Woolf, the modernist spoke volumes on books- “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.”-

“Books are the mirrors of the soul.”

“Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” (A Room of One’s Own)

“Literature is strewn with the wreckage of those who have minded beyond reason the opinion of others.”

“Was not writing poetry a secret transaction, a voice answering a voice?”

“For books continue each other, in spite of our habit of judging them separately.”


Well, we cannot proceed without reading the words of  Robert Louis Stevenson.

“I do not think I ever opened a book in my life which had not something to say upon woman’s inconstancy. Songs and proverbs, all talk of woman’s fickleness. But perhaps you will say, these were all written by men.”

“Perhaps I shall. Yes, yes, if you please, no reference to examples in books. Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove anything.”


“I kept always two books in my pocket, one to read, one to write in.”
American comedian, Groucho Marx puts his finest touch of humour in this words on books as : “I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”

“From the moment I picked up your book until I put it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Some day, I intend reading it.”

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


Just a few moments with the theologian novelist and poet, C.S. Lewis:

“No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.”

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

“It is a good rule after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.”

“Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring two pence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.”

“I was with book, as a woman is with child.”
(in Till We Have Faces)


And then, John Keats’s poetic prose: “Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather and a little music played out of doors by somebody I do not know.”

And, “What refuge is there for the victim who is oppressed with the feeling that there are a thousand new books he ought to read, while life is only long enough for him to attempt to read a hundred?”  ― Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr

And, “The only important thing in a book is the meaning that it has for you.”-  W. Somerset Maugham


Now, listen to Louis L’Amour: “Once you have read a book you care about, some part of it is always with you.”

And to George Orwell: “The best books… are those that tell you what you know already.”

And to Roald Dahl , (in  Matilda)

“So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.”

And finally, J.K. Rowling:

 “I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book.”

“Books are like mirrors: if a fool looks in, you cannot expect a genius to look out.”
 Rowling speaks about books within her characters as in:

“One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.”
(Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone)

“What are you doing with all those books anyway?” Ron asked.
Just trying to decide which ones to take with us,” said Hermione. When we’re looking for the Horcruxes.”
Oh, of course,” said Ron, clapping a hand to his forehead. “I forgot we’ll be hunting down Voldemort in a mobile library.”
(Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows)

  • On writing –

Mark Twain:  “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”

  “A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of it.

“Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.”

“Write what you know.”( in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer)

“Use the right word, not its second cousin.”

“There are three things men can do with women: love them, suffer them, or turn them into literature.”

“Every person is a book, each year a chapter”

And Virginia Woolf:

“Writing is like sex. First you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money.”

“I meant to write about death, only life came breaking in as usual”

“Was not writing poetry a secret transaction, a voice answering a voice?”

“And the poem, I think, is only your voice speaking.”

“The most extraordinary thing about writing is that when you’ve struck the right vein, tiredness goes. It must be an effort, thinking wrong.”


  • On   Fiction –

“Fiction is like a spider’s web, attached ever so lightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners.” ― Virginia Woolf

“Writing fiction is the act of weaving a series of lies to arrive at a greater truth.”-   Khaled Hosseini


  • On Classics –

“′Classic′ – a book which people praise and don’t read.” ― Mark Twain

  • On Reading –

“The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” Mark Twain

“If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.”J. K. Rowling

“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”                                                                                                                                                     “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.”― Oscar Wilde

  • On influence of books on our moral conscience-

“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own                          shame.”

“There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book.
Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.”
― Oscar Wilde

“I suggest that the only books that influence us are those for which we are ready,                      and     which        have  gone a little further down our particular path than we                            have yet gone ourselves.”
― E.M. Forster

“The best stories don’t come from “good vs. bad” but “good vs. good.”
― Leo Tolstoy


Books have been named with so many descriptions, some of which going as:  a device to ignite the imagination; a curious artifact; weapons for man’s freedom; like lobster shells!; not only a friend, but one which makes friends for you; thing which take us to voyage through time, to tap the wisdom of our ancestors; as those which grant us myriad possibilities: the possibility of change, the possibility of illumination,

Oh, I thought it was just a stroll, can’t make it a journey now. So, let’s call it a day with one Lincoln quote: “Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all.” 

open old book, a rose in a vase and a feather

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