I ask one thing of literature: that it draw blood.
The dead alive and busy.
The punster, the grammarian, the nitpicking fact-checker all display contempt for what is being said. They counterfeit attention.
The to-read list is a stack, not a queue.
The tragedy of human intercourse is that people’s two grand passions — their own health and their own children — interest no one else.
Three qualities distinguish phony erudition: it’s all recent, it’s all humanities, and it’s all in one language.
Many classics are now read only because so many others have already read them.
A book that ossifies at exactly the same rate as its readers becomes a beloved contemporary classic.
Books can also change lives for the worse.
Reading, unless it’s for writing, is high-class idling.
There is nothing that everyone should read but a lot that no one should.