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64 Inspiring Powerful Quotes About Books and Reading

As writers and readers, inspiration is everything. When motivation fades and you’re not sure why you write or why you read, quotes like the ones below can remind you. Keep that energy moving by reading some of my favorite quotes about books and reading.

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“I put a piece of paper under my pillow, and when I could not sleep, I wrote in the dark.”

Henry David Thoreau

“I have lived a thousand lives and I have loved a thousand loves. I’ve walked on distant worlds and seen the end of time.

Because I read.”

George R.R. Martin

“Old books exert a strange fascination in me; their smell, their feel, their history. Wondering who might have owned them, how they lived, and what they felt.”

Lauren Willig

“What is a bookshelf other than a treasure chest for a curious mind?”


“You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.”

Paul Sweeney

“You fail only if you stop writing.”

Ray Bradbury

“You must write every single day of your life.

You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads.

May you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”

Ray Bradbury

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies.

The man who never reads lives only one.”

George R.R. Martin
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“I am part of everything that I have read.”

Theodore Roosevelt

“There comes a point in your life when you need to stop reading other people’s books and write your own.”

Albert Einstein

“If you don’t see the book you want on the shelf, write it.”

Beverly Cleary

Finding any motivation? Let me know which quotes speak to you!

“When trouble strikes, head to the library. You will either be able to solve the problem, or simply have something to read as the world crashes down around you.”

Lemony Snicket

“A house that has a library in it has a soul.”


“With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?”

Oscar Wilde

“The world belongs to those who read.”

Rick Holland

“You have to write when you’re not inspired. And you have to write the scenes that don’t inspire you.

And the weird thing is that six months later, a year later, you’ll look back at them and you can’t remember which scenes you wrote when you were inspired and which scenes you just wrote because they had to be written next.

The process of writing can be magical. Mostly it’s a process of putting one word after another.”

Neil Gaiman
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“The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.”

Terry Pratchett

“Write hard and clear about what hurts.”

Ernest Hemingway

“One must always be careful of books and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”

Cassandra Clare

“Books give a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.”


“Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.”

Mason Cooley

“Reading forces you to be quiet in a world that no longer makes place for that.”

John Green

“We read to know we are not alone.”

C.S. Lewis

“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination and the journey.

They are home.”

Anna Quindlen
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“The worst enemy to creativity is self doubt.”

Sylvia Plath

“Write like it matters, and it will.”

Libba Bray

Don’t forget to share this post with all the writers and readers in your life.

“It is a delicious thing to write; to be no longer yourself but to move in an entire universe of your own creation.”

Gustave Flaubert

“If you want to be a writer, write. Write and write and write. If you stop, start again. Save everything that you write.

If you feel blocked, write through it until you feel your creative juices flowing again. Write.

Writing is what makes a writer.

Nothing more and nothing less.”

Anne Rice

“If I waited for perfection, I would never write.”

Margaret Atwood

“Write what should not be forgotten.”

Isabel Allende

“The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.”

Anais Nin

“Don’t forget—no one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell.”

Charles de Lint
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“You must learn to be three people at once: writer, character, and reader.”

Nancy Kress

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

Benjamin Franklin

“Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.”

Ray Bradbury

“Start writing, no matter what.

The water doesn’t flow until the faucet is turned on.”

Louis L’Amour

“A day will come when the story inside you will want to breathe on its own.

That’s when you’ll start writing.”

Sarah Noffke

“What would you write if you weren’t afraid?”

Mary Kapp

Work. Write. Read.

Write some more. Read some more.

Keep putting words on the page or screen, because that’s the only way you’ll get better.”

S.J. Watson

Leave your favorite quotes in the comments!

“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.”

Virginia Woolf
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“The secret of it all is to write—without waiting for a fit time or place.”

Walt Whitman

“I do not sit down at my desk to put into verse something that is already clear in my mind. If it were clear in my mind, I should have no incentive or need to write about it.

We do not write in order to be understood; we write in order to understand.”

C.S. Lewis

“A writer is a world trapped in a person.”

Victor Hugo

“As a writer you try to listen to what others aren’t saying and write about the silence.”

N.R. Hart

“I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.”

Shannon Hale

“Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day—it helps.

Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.”

John Steinbeck

“The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read.

Not by any other person, and not even by yourself at some later date.

Otherwise you begin excusing yourself.”

Margaret Atwood

“This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done.

It’s that easy and that hard.”

Neil Gaiman
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“You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.”

Les Brown

“Here’s the thing: the book that will most change your life is the book you write.”

Seth Godin

Like quotes about books and reading? Check out some more motivational quotes here!

“Most writers write to say something about other people—and it doesn’t last.

Good writers write to find out about themselves—and it lasts forever.”

Gloria Steinem

“Write to write.

Because you need to write, to settle the rage within you, and with an internal purpose.

Write about something or someone that means so much to you, that you don’t care what others think.”

Nick Miller

“A library is a hospital for the mind.”


“Once you have read a book you care about, some part of it is always with you.”

Louis L’Amour

“Great books help you understand and they help you feel understood.”

John Green

“So many books, so little time.”

Frank Zappa
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“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”

Oscar Wilde

“You are a reader, and therefore a thinker, an observer, a living soul who wants more out of this human experience.”

Salil Jha

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”

Stephen King

“There is space on everyone’s bookshelves for books you have outgrown but can’t give away.

They hold your youth between their pages like flowers pressed on a half-forgotten summer’s day.”


“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Dr. Seuss

“Keep reading.

It’s one of the most marvelous adventures that anyone can have.”

Lloyd Alexander

“At one magical instant in your early childhood, the page of a book—that string of confused, alien ciphers—shivered into meaning.

Words spoke to you, gave up their secrets; at that moment, whole universes opened.

You became, irrevocably, a reader.”

Alberto Manguel

“To read in bed is to draw around us invisible, noiseless curtains. Then at last we are in a room of our own and are ready to burrow back. Back to that private life of the imagination, we all led as a child and to whose secret satisfaction so many of us have mislaid the key.”

Clifton Fadiman
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