Quotes About Libraries

I have always loved libraries and this blog is a library of sorts (as are all blogs in their fashion). To reflect this, here’s some quotes about libraries from some of the best minds humanity has to offer. 

  • Prefer knowledge to wealth, for one is transitory, the other perpetual.” (Socrates)
  • Anybody who has a library and a garden wants for nothing.” (Cicero)
  • When I get any money I buy books and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.” (Erasmus)
  • My library was dukedom large enough.” (William Shakespeare – ‘The Tempest’)
  • When I am attacked by gloomy thoughts, noting helps me so much a running to my books. They quickly absorb me and banish the clouds from my mind.” (Michel de Montaigne)
  • When I step into this library, I cannot understand why I ever step out of it.”(Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, Marquise de Sévigné)
  • I cannot live without books.” (Thomas Jefferson)
  • When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” (Jane Austen – ‘Pride and Prejudice’)
  • The love of learning, the sequestered nooks and all the sweet serenity of books.” (Henry Longfellow)
  • To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all of the miseries of life.” (W. Somerset Maugham)
  • Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings.” (Henrich Heine)
  • I have always imagined paradise will be a kind of library.” (Jorge Luis Borges)
  • The only thing that you absolutely have to know is the location of the library.” (Albert Einstein)
  • Libraries should be open to all – except the censor.” (John F Kennedy)
  • Without libraries, what have we got? We have got no past and no future.” (Ray Bradbury)
  • People can lose their lives in libraries; they ought to be warned.” (Saul Bellow)
  • I couldn’t live a week without a private library – indeed, I’d part with all my furniture and squat and sleep on the floor before I’d let go of the 1,500 or so books I possess.” (HP Lovecraft)
  • My library is an archive of longings.” (Susan Sontag)
  • Imagine the people who believe such things and are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all, who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us, who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.” (Isaac Asimov – The Roving Mind)
  • Until then, I had thought each book spoke of things, human or divine, that lie outside books. Now I realised that not infrequently, books speak of books – it is as if they spoke among themselves. In the light of this reflection, the library seemed all the more disturbing to me. It was then the place of a long, centuries-old murmuring, an imperceptible dialogue between one parchment and another, a living thing, a receptacle of powers not to be ruled by a human mind, a treasure of secrets emanated by many minds surviving the death of those who had produced them or had been their conveyors.” (Umberto Eco – The Name of the Rose)
  • When you are growing up there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully – the church, which belongs to God and the public library, which belongs to you.” (Keith Richards)
  • The three rules of the Librarians of Time and Space are: 1. Silence. 2. Books must be returned no later than the last date shown; and 3. Do not interfere with the nature of causality.” (Terry Pratchett)
  • I like to imagine that, on the day after my last, my library and I will crumble together, so that even when I am no more I’ll still be with my books.” (Alberto Manguel – The Library at Night)



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