Reading is like sauce-making: one does not remember the books so much as become infused with them.
The dead alive and busy.
We seem almost naturally to revere books, for which reading them is the only cure.
If it can be translated, it’s not literature.
To read well is to let the book read you.
He who can, writes books; he who cannot, writes books for children.
I ask one thing of literature: that it draw blood.
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.