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Reading Quotes


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There is only one way to read, which is to browse in libraries and bookshops, picking up books that attract you, reading only those, dropping them when they bore you, skipping the parts that drag - and never, never reading anything because you feel you ought, or because it is part of a trend or a movement.

They who have read about everything are thought to understand everything, too, but it is not always so; reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours. We are of the ruminating kind, and it is not enough to cram ourselves with a great load of collections - we must chew them over again.

Think as well as read, and when you read. Yield not your minds to the passive impressions which others may make upon them. Hear what they have to say; but examine it, weigh it, and judge for yourselves. This will enable you to make a right use of books - to use them as helpers, not as guides to your understanding; as counselors, not as dictators of what you are to think and believe.

Thou mayest as well expect to grow stronger by always eating as wiser by always reading. Too much overcharges nature, and turns more into disease than nourishment. It is thought and digestion which make books serviceable, and give health and vigor to the mind.

To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.

We should accustom the mind to keep the best company by introducing it only to the best books.

We should be as careful of the books we read, as of the company we keep. The dead very often have more power than the living.

What blockheads are those wise persons, who think it necessary that a child should comprehend everything it reads.

What is twice read is commonly better remembered than what is transcribed.

When I am reading a book, whether wise or silly, it seems to me to be alive and talking to me.

When I take up a book I have read before I know what to expect; and the satisfaction is not lessened by being anticipated, I shake hands with and look the old tried and valued friend in the face, compare notes, and chat the hour away.

When in reading we meet with any maxim that may be of use, we should take it for our own, and make an immediate application of it, as we would of the advice of a friend whom we have purposely consulted.

When there is no recreation or business for thee abroad, thou mayst then have a company of honest old fellows, in leathern jackets, in thy study, which may find thee excellent divertisement at home.

When you have mastered numbers, you will in fact no longer be reading numbers, any more than you read words when reading books You will be reading meanings.

You may glean knowledge by reading, but you must separate the chaff from the wheat by thinking.


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