We are too civil to books. For a few golden sentences we will turn over and actually read a volume of four or five hundred pages.
'Tis the good reader that makes the good book; in every book he finds passages which seem to be confidences or sides hidden from all else and unmistakably meant for his ear; the profit of books is according to the sensibility of the reader; the profound thought or passion sleeps as in a mine, until it is discovered by an equal mind and heart.
There is creative reading as well as creative writing.
Our high respect for a well read person is praise enough for literature.
If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.
Books are the best of things if well used; if abused, among the worst. They are good for nothing but to inspire. I had better never see a book than be warped by its attraction clean out of my own orbit, and made a satellite instead of a system.
Some books leave us free and some books make us free.
If I cannot brag of knowing something, then I brag of not knowing it; at any rate, brag.
There is also this benefit in brag, that the speaker is unconsciously expressing his own ideal. Humor him by all means, draw it all out, and hold him to it.
Every man is a consumer and ought to be a producer.
The right merchant is one who has the just average of faculties we call common sense; a man of a strong affinity for facts, who makes up his decision on what he has seen. He is thoroughly persuaded of the truths of arithmetic. There is always a reason, in the man, for his good or bad fortune in making money. Men talk as if there were some magic about this. He knows that all goes on the old road, pound for pound, cent for cent -- for every effect a perfect cause -- and that good luck is another name for tenacity of purpose.
Every calamity is a spur and valuable hint.
Every burned book or house enlightens the world; every suppressed or expunged word reverberates through the earth from side to side.
People wish to be settled. It is only as far as they are unsettled that there is any hope for them.
Do what you know and perception is converted into character.