The best quotes for book lovers

Wit and wisdom on the power of reading, from some of the world's greatest writers.

There is something quite magical when you discover that a character in a book shares your passion for the written word. From Caroline Bingley's attempts to woo Mr Darcy by declaring her future home should have 'an excellent library', to the world's biggest bookworm, Roald Dahl's Matilda – reading about reading is a bibliophile's dream.

Here we round-up some of the best quotes exploring author's love of literature, the transformative power of reading and the joy of a good book. 


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

- C.S. Lewis

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

- Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice


‘Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.’

- Lemony Snicket, Horseradish 


'If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.'

- Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood 

'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.'

- Roald Dahl, Matilda


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


‘I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.’

‘The world was hers for the reading.’

- Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn


'A room without books is like a body without a soul.'

'Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly - they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.'

- Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

'Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. And then there are books like An Imperial Affliction, which you can't tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like betrayal.'

- John Green, The Fault in Our Stars


'Woke up this morning with a terrific urge to lie in bed all day and read.'


'To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.'

- W. Somerset Maugham, Books and You

'The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours.'

- Alan Bennett, The History Boys


'A good book is an event in my life.'

- Stendhal, The Red and the Black 

What is your favourite quote about reading? Email editor@penguinrandomhouse.co.uk and let us know.


Image: Vicky Ibbetson

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