Always keep a book handy for when you’re not up to thinking.
The dead alive and busy.
When a critic says that the book he is reviewing is “better than X”, he is advising you, in the strongest possible terms, to read X.
A primary source, in translation, is a secondary source.
Children’s literature posits a compact between author and reader: though the reader may look like a frog to all the uncaring world, the author knows he is a handsome prince, and it can be their little secret. Harry Potter is children’s literature. So is Confederacy of Dunces.
What is worth reading is worth reading esoterically.
One must read widely to discover the few books to read deeply.
When everyone writes, no one reads.
The typical academic bibliography buries the three books the author has plagiarized among hundreds that he has scarcely opened.
I always inspect what people read in public, but guiltily, the way boys look up skirts from under the bleachers.
The desires to have one’s work understood, and oneself understood, are nearly opposite, and ought not to share a verb.