On Book Collecting



"What we become depends on what we read after all of the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is a collection of books."

-        Thomas Carlyle,  Scottish author, essayist, & historian (1795 - 1881)


"I cannot live without books."

-        Thomas Jefferson, 3rd president of US (1743 - 1826)


"I would be the most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves."

-         Anna Quindlen, (1953 - )


"Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill."

-        Henry David Thoreau, US Transcendentalist author (1817 - 1862)


"The rules have changed. True power is held by the person who possesses the largest bookshelf, not gun cabinet or wallet."

-      Anthony J. D'Angelo, The College Blue Book



"Nature and Books belong to the eyes that see them."

-      Emerson


"Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house."

-         Henry Ward Beecher, US abolitionist & clergyman (1813 - 1887)


"Without words, without writing and without books there would be no history, there could be no concept of humanity."

-         Hermann Hesse, Swiss (German-born) author (1877 - 1962)


"The reading of all good books is indeed like a conversation with the noblest men of past centuries who were the authors of them, nay a carefully studied conversation, in which they reveal to us none but the best of their thoughts."

-         Rene Descartes, French mathematician & philosopher (1596 - 1650)


"These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves."

-      Gilbert Highet


"All men by nature desire knowledge."

-         Aristotle, Greek critic, philosopher, physicist (384 BC - 322 BC)


"Books tap the wisdom of our species -- the greatest minds, the best teachers -- from all over the world and from all our history. And they're patient." 
-    Carl Sagan, In "Parade," with Ann Druyan, March 6, 1994

"There is divine beauty in learning, just as there is human beauty in tolerance. To learn means to accept the postulate that life did not begin at my birth. Others have been here before me, and I walk in their footsteps. The books I have read were composed by generations of fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, teachers and disciples. I am the sum total of their experiences, their quests. And so are you." 
    -    Elie Wiesel


"An ordinary man can surround himself with two thousand books and thenceforward have at least one place in the world in which it is possible to be happy." 
     -   Augustine Birrell