A Collection of Quotes about Reading
Quotes about Reading From Larry Harrison, printed in the leaf of “John Jasper”
If we went for a coffee today, I might want to take a minute and read to you this collection of quotes about reading. They were in the closing leaf of “John Jasper: The Unmatched Negro Philosopher and Preacher” by William E. Hatcher. Larry must have had this title printed through his company called “Christian Book Gallery” in St. John, Indiana.
This one is from a letter written by John Wesley to a man named John Trembeth in August of 1760.
“What has exceedingly hurt you in time past, nay, and I fear to this day, is a want of reading. I scarce ever knew a preacher read so little. And perhaps by neglecting it you have lost the taste for it. Hence your talent in preaching does not increase. It is just the same as it was seven years ago. It is lively, but not deep; there is little variety; there is no compass of thought; Reading only can supply this, with meditation and daily prayer. You wrong yourself greatly by omitting this. You can never be a deep preacher without it any more than a thorough Christian. O begin! Fix some part of every day for private exercises. You may acquire the taste which you have not; what is tedious at first will afterwards be pleasant. Whether you like it or no; read and pray daily. It is for your life; there is not other way; else you will be a trifle all your days, and a petty, superficial preacher.”
As the kids say… “that’s fire!”
This one is anonymous:
“Reading gives delight, class, and ability; the wise crave it, the crafty discourage it, and the stupid neglect it.”
This one is attributed to “Kingsley.” I don’t know who that is and I feel like I’m supposed to.
“Except a living man, there is nothing more wonderful than a book! A message to us from the dead - from human souls whom we never saw, who lived, perhaps, thousands of miles away; and yet these, in those little sheets of paper; speak to us, amuse us, terrify us, teach us, comfort us, open their hearts to us as brothers. I say we ought to reverence books, to look at them as useful and mighty things. If they are good and true, whether they are about religion or politics, farming, trade or medicine, they are the message of Christ, the maker of all things, the teacher of all truth.
I love it.
This one is from Booker T. Washington of the Tuskegee Institute:
“In my contact with people I find that, as a rule, it is only the little narrow people who live for themselves, who never read good books, who do not travel, who never open up their souls in a way to permit them to come into contact with other souls - with the outside world.”
What an interesting observation.
Here’s the last one for this post. It’s from “The Royal Path of Life.” And, again, I feel like I should know what that is, but I don’t. Maybe someone can enlighten me?
“No man has the right to bring up his children without surrounding them with books. It is a wrong to his family. He cheats them. Children learn to read by being in the presence of books. The love of knowledge comes with reading, and grows upon it. And the love of knowledge in a young mind is almost a warrant against the inferior excitement of passions and vices.
A little library, growing larger every years, is an honorable part of a young man’s history. It is a man’s duty to have books. A library is not a luxury, but one of the necessaries of life. It is not like a dead city of stones, yearly crumbling, and needing repair; but like a spiritual tree. There it stands and yields its precious fruit.
The influence of books upon man is remarkable; they make the man. You may judge a man more truly by the books and papers which he reads than by the company which he keeps, for his associates are often, in a manner, imposed upon him; but his reading is the result of choice, and the man who chooses a certain class of books and papers unconsciously becomes more coloured in their views, more rooted in their opinions, and the mind becomes fettered to their views.
A good book is the most appropriate gift that friendship can make. It never changes, it never grows unfashionable or old. It is soured by no neglect, is jealous of no rival; but always is clean, clear pages are ready to amuse, interest and instruct. The voice that speaks the thought may change or grow still forever, the heart that prompted the kindly and cheering word may grow cold and forgetful; but the page that mirrors it is changeless, faithful, immortal. The book that records the incarnation of divine love, is God’s best gift to man, and the books which are filled with kindly thought and generous sympathy, are the best gifts of friend to friend.
Yeah… each one of those were worth repeating.
What are you reading?
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