Reading great authors improves your writing by making you desperately unhappy with it.
The dead alive and busy.
There exists in all men a thirst for the hunt, for predator stalking prey inexorably until it is caught and torn to shreds, that only reading Jane Austen can slake.
Quotation device, n. A man whose memory surpasses his wit; whose conversation consists largely or exclusively of other people’s words. Cf. citation device.
Analogously to Benford’s Law, 90% of the annotations in a used book occur in the first twenty pages.
It doesn’t matter much which books you burn.
Censorship, under more competent rule, would indicate something worth reading.
Great literature inspires us to read; bad but celebrated literature inspires us to write.
The Victorians used to tell us fiction rots the mind when in fact it rots the soul.
We read, and imagine we can write; and write, and imagine we can think.
So many readers seem delighted to find their own thoughts in an author; didn’t they hope for something better?