Great Books Quotes

Quotes tagged as "great-books" Showing 1-23 of 23
Mortimer J. Adler
“The truly great books are the few books that are over everybody's head all of the time.”
Mortimer J. Adler

Maud Hart Lovelace
“Betsy was so full of joy that she had to be alone. She went upstairs to her bedroom and sat down on Uncle Keith's trunk. Behind Tacy's house the sun had set. A wind had sprung up and the trees, their color dimmed, moved under a brooding sky. All the stories she had told Tacy and Tib seemed to be dancing in those trees, along with all the stories she planned to write some day and all the stories she would read at the library. Good stories. Great stories. The classics. Not Rena's novels.”
Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown

Maud Hart Lovelace
“Well, Betsy," he said, "your mother tells me that you are going to use Uncle Keith's trunk for a desk. That's fine. You need a desk. I've often noticed how much you like to write. The way you eat up those advertising tablets from the store! I never saw anything like it. I can't understand it though. I never write anything but checks myself. "

"Bob!" said Mrs. Ray. "You wrote the most wonderful letters to me before we were married. I still have them, a big bundle of them. Every time I clean house I read them over and cry."

"Cry, eh?" said Mr. Ray, grinning. "In spite of what your mother says, Betsy, if you have any talent for writing, it comes from family. Her brother Keith was mighty talented, and maybe you are too. Maybe you're going to be a writer."

Betsy was silent, agreeably abashed.

"But if you're going to be a writer," he went on, "you've got to read. Good books. Great books. The classics.”
Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown

“Even Tolstoy is an insignificant shadow if he takes a stroll with Anna Karenina.”
Elena Ferrante, La frantumaglia

Pat Conroy
“Read the great books, gentlemen,” Mr. Monte said one day. “Just the great ones. Ignore the others. There’s not enough time.”
Pat Conroy

“the best of Cervantes is untranslatable, and this undeniable fact is in itself an incentive [for one and all] to learn Spanish.”
Aubrey F.G. Bell

“You don't need to be a scientist to know how powerful your imagination is.”
Chris Prentiss, Be Who You Want, Have What You Want: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life

Patricia Nedelea
“Great books live longer than people.
They are gonna bury us all.”
Patricia Nedelea

Nick Younker
“You don't 'waste time' by reading, you add value to it. You clock in. If you really had time to kill, you'd be napping during the eclipse.”
Nick Younker

“I wrote this book to show you that a cure is entirely possible because I've seen it happen over and over again.”
Chris Prentiss, The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure

Eugene Manlove Rhodes
“It is commonly said to my little friend Legion: Read the great writers for style. But I say to him: Read the great dead masters for ideas. Devour them, Fletcherize them, digest, assimilate, make them part of your blood; let the enriched blood visit your brain. The resultant activities will be fairly your own, and the little kinks and convolutions of your brain, which are entirely different from the kinks of any other brain, will furnish you all the style you will ever get.

There are no really fresh ideas; just as there is not any fresh air. Air and ideas are refreshed and refreshing, vitalized and vitalizing; but the thoughts have been thought before and the air has been breathed before.”
Eugene Manlove Rhodes

John Gay
“Gulliver was soon being read "from the cabinet council to the nursery".”
John Gay

Denys Turner
“The main danger is that of supposing that the thing to do is get a mind on the scale of Thomas (Aquinas)’s into your head, a task of compression that will be achieved only at your head’s peril. The only safe thing to do is to find a way of getting your mind into his, wherein yours has room to expand and grow, and explore the worlds his contains.”
Denys Turner, Thomas Aquinas: A Portrait

Richard J. Foster
“The great writings interact with one another. They cannot be read in isolation..”
Richard J. Foster, Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth

John Erskine
“It is fatal to suppose the great writer was too wise or too profound for us ever to understand him; to think of art so is not to praise but to murder it, for the next step after that tribute will be neglect of the masterpiece.”
John Erskine

John Erskine
“In the Fourth Eclogue also Vergil has still the enthusiasm of youth. Few poems are so rich in magnificent lines or in stirring hopes... His hope is for a golden age in which there shall be no toil, no commerce, no sorrow, yet he still wants a high development of the intellectual life, the speculations of science, the practical application of knowledge.”
John Erskine, The Delight of Great Books

Harold Bloom
“The tragic sense of life in Don Quixote is also the faith of Moby Dick. Ahab is a monomaniac; so is the kindlier Quixote, but both are tormented idealists who seek justice in human terms, not as theocentric men but as ungodly, godlike men.”
Harold Bloom, The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages

Lailah Gifty Akita
“So many great books to read, when will I finish reading all these books?”
Lailah Gifty Akita

John Erskine
“Whenever we read a book we love, we change it, to some extent. We read into it our own interpretations, and the meanings which the words have taken on in our time. If a book is so rigid that it cannot lend itself to these fluctuations, it is useful only while it seems strictly true, and afterwards it is completely out of date.”
John Erskine, The Delight of Great Books

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“We are lucky to die without having read some books, and without having heard some songs.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

“The thing about a great book is, it leaves a sliver in your skin, an imprint in your mind’s eye that you always remember.”
T. Kenny, Wrap me in Trees

Henry David Thoreau
“A good book is the plectrum with which our else silent lyres are struck”
Henry David Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers