„Reading is my favourite occupation, when I have leisure for it and books to read.“

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Anne Brontë
1820 - 1849
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Sukirti Kandpal photo

„I have read my books by many lights, hoarding their beauty, their wit or wisdom against the dark days when I would have no book, nor a place to read.“

— Louis L'Amour Novelist, short story writer 1908 - 1988
Context: How much of what we do is free will, and how much is programmed in our genes? Why is each people so narrow that it believes that it, and it alone, has all the answers? In religion, is there but one road to salvation? Or are there many, all equally good, all going in the same general direction? I have read my books by many lights, hoarding their beauty, their wit or wisdom against the dark days when I would have no book, nor a place to read. I have known hunger of the belly kind many times over, but I have known a worse hunger: the need to know and to learn. Ch. 11

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F. Scott Fitzgerald photo

„I want leisure to read—an immense amount.“

— F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Heinrich Heine photo

„I owe my conversion simply to the reading of a book.“

— Heinrich Heine German poet, journalist, essayist, and literary critic 1797 - 1856
Context: In my latest book, "Komancero," I have explained the transformation that took place within me regarding sacred things. Since its publication many inquiries have been made, with zealous importunity, as to the manner in which the true light dawned upon me. Pious souls, thirsting after a miracle, have desired to know whether, like Saul on the way to Damascus, I had seen a light from heaven; or whether, like Balaam, the son of Beor, I was riding on a restive ass, that suddenly opened its mouth and began to speak as a man? No; ye credulous believers, I never journeyed to Damascus, nor do I know anything about it, save that lately the Jews there were accused of devouring aged monks of St. Francis; and I might never have known even the name of the city had I not read the Song of Solomon, wherein the wise king compares the nose of his beloved to a tower that looketh towards Damascus. Nor have I ever seen an ass, at least any four-footed one, that spake as a man, though I have often enough met men who, whenever they opened their mouths, spake as asses. In truth, it was neither a vision, nor a seraphic revelation, nor a voice from heaven, nor any strange dream or other mystery that brought me into the way of salvation; and I owe my conversion simply to the reading of a book. A book? Yes, and it is an old, homely-looking book, modest as nature and natural as it; a book that has a work-a-day and unassuming look, like the sun that warms us, like the bread that nourishes us; a book that seems to us as familiar and as full of kindly blessing as the old grandmother who reads daily in it with dear, trembling lips, and with spectacles on her nose. And this book is called quite shortly the Book, the Bible. Rightly do men also call it the Holy Scripture; for he that has lost his God can find Him again in this Book, and towards him that has never known God it sends forth the breath of the Divine Word. The Jews, who appreciate the value of precious things, knew right well what they did when, at the burning of the second temple, they left to their fate the gold and silver implements of sacrifice, the candlesticks and lamps, even the breastplate of the High Priest adorned with great jewels, but saved the Bible. This was the real treasure of the Temple, and, thanks be to God! Religion and Philosophy in Germany, A fragment https://archive.org/stream/religionandphilo011616mbp#page/n5/mode/2up, p. 14-15

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„The first time I read an excellent book, it is to me just as if I had gained a new friend. When I read a book over I have perused before, it resembles the meeting with an old one.“

— Oliver Goldsmith, The Citizen of the World, Or, Letters from a Chinese Philosopher, Residing in London, to His Friends in the Country, by Dr. Goldsmith

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„“What was all that about?”
“It’s an occupational hazard... You start by reading books, and you end by loving them.”“

— Michael Swanwick American science fiction author 1950
Chapter 15 (p. 262; ellipsis represents a minor elision of description)

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„Why read the crystal when he can read the book?“

— Aneurin Bevan Welsh politician 1897 - 1960
Context: It has been suggested, I think by the hon. Member for East Aberdeenshire (Mr. Boothby) that the most constructive suggestion he could make was to urge an early General Election and a return of a Tory Government in Britain. Why on earth should he want to prophesy what might result from a Tory Government when history has the record for him? Why read the crystal when he can read the book? Hansard, House of Commons, 5th series, vol. 468, col. 319. Speech in the House of Commons, 29 September 1949.

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„Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody can read.“

— George Bernard Shaw Irish playwright 1856 - 1950
Context: Any public committee man who tries to pack the moral cards in the interest of his own notions is guilty of corruption and impertinence. The business of a public library is not to supply the public with the books the committee thinks good for the public, but to supply the public with the books the public wants. … Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody can read. But as the ratepayer is mostly a coward and a fool in these difficult matters, and the committee is quite sure that it can succeed where the Roman Catholic Church has made its index expurgatorius the laughing-stock of the world, censorship will rage until it reduces itself to absurdity; and even then the best books will be in danger still. As quoted in "Literary Censorship in England" in Current Opinion, Vol. 55, No. 5 (November 1913), p. 378; this has sometimes appeared on the internet in paraphrased form as "Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody reads"

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