Nothing makes a man more reverent than a library.
—Winston S. Churchill1


I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.
—Jane Austen2


A book is a way of connecting with another person’s mind.
—Dr. Peter Kreeft3


Wide reading does two things - it extends knowledge and it adjusts the judgment.
—Gerard Manley Hopkins4


Ultimately, only a great diet of excellent reading material can sustain a long and happy life.
—Ben Sasse5


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and
digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few
to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
—Francis Bacon6


Make books your treasures and bookshelves your gardens of delight.
—Judah ibn Tibbon7


Can a dwelling place without books ever truly be a home?
Michael D. O'Brien8


If you cannot read all your books, at any rate handle, or, as it were, fondle them—peer into them, let them fall open where they will, read from the first sentence that arrests the eye, set them back on their shelves with your own hands, arrange them on your own plan so that if you do not know what is in them, you will at least know where they are. Let them be your friends; let them at any rate be your acquaintances.
—Winston S. Churchill9


Reading should help us to pray by concentrating our attention.
—Robert Cardinal Sarah10


What matters is that it is your library, invested with your intellectual capital, and serves as a garden of the mind to which you can return again and again.
—James Mattis11


Bring in the books, let every man have a week away inside the world of a book. If the mind could open the heart would follow.
—Anthony Ray Hinton12


As for me, with the exception of the Gospels, I no longer find anything in books. The Gospels are enough.
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux13


The writer Umberto Eco belongs to that small class of scholars who are encyclopedic, insightful, and nondull. He is the owner of a large personal library (containing thirty thousand books), and separates visitors into two categories: those who react with "Wow! Signore professore dottore Eco, what a library you have! How many of these books have you read?" and the others—a very small minority—who get the point that a private library is not an ego-boosting appendage but a research tool. Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. The library should contain as much of what you do not know as your financial means, mortgage rates, and the currently tight real-estate market allow you to put there. You will accumulate more knowledge and more books as you grow older, and the growing number of unread books on the shelves will look at you menacingly. Indeed, the more you know, the larger the rows of unread books. Let us call this collection of unread books an antilibrary.
—Nassim Nicholas Taleb14


Let the floor go unswept if necessary; simplify your meals; but make time for reading, studying and thinking.
—South Dakota Farmer15


No other purchase of that far-off day is even remembered, but the little book still remains a treasured possession read over and over. It is only one of many that have given me a great deal of pleasure in the years gone by and will continue to do so as long as I live.
—South Dakota Farmer16


I don't want to sound pretentious but I don't understand people who don't have books.
—Emmanuel de Bayser17


I cannot live without a library, and I cannot live without a garden. A garden is where we negotiate with nature—a place between the wild and the tame—and a library is where we confront everything.
—Vik Muniz18


There's more to life than books, you know. But not much more.
—Coralie Bickford-Smith19


Books are food for the souls of men.
—Prior of the Grande Chartreuse20


Books are the food and water of the mind.
—Charles J. Chaput21


What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one.
—Neil Postman22


Let holy reading be always at hand. Sleep may fall upon thee as thou lookest thereon, and the sacred page meet the drooping face.
—St. Jerome23


When you come, bring the books!
—St. Paul24


When I get a little money, I buy books. If any is left, I buy food and clothes.
—Erasmus25


I put good books into the hands of people. Perhaps good thoughts are born in their minds.
Michael D. O'Brien26


Updated: 2022-05-14-Sat


  1. Winston Churchill, Painting as a Pastime (New York: Cornerstone Library Publications, 1965), 11. 

  2. Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (New York: The Modern Library, 2000), 41. 

  3. Peter Kreeft, “The 10 Books Nobody Should Be Allowed to Die Without Reading”, Delivered at Immaculata Classical Academy, December 3, 2017. 

  4. Gerard Manley Hopkins, Poems and Prose of Gerard Manley Hopkins (New York: Penguin Books, 1963), 210. (in a letter to Robert Bridges) 

  5. Ben Sasse, The Vanishing American Adult (New York: St. Martin's, 2017), 241. 

  6. Francis Bacon, "Of Studies", 1625. 

  7. 12th century Judaic scholar Judah ibn Tibbon, quoted in David Sax, The Revenge of Analog (New York: Perscus Books, 2016), 121. 

  8. Michael D. O'Brien, The Island of the World (San Francisco: Ignatius, 2007), 777. 

  9. Winston Churchill, quoted in William Manchester, The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Visions of Glory, 1874-1932 (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 1983), 31. 

  10. Robert Cardinal Sarah, The Power of Silence (San Francisco: Ignatius, 2017), 31. 

  11. Adm. James Stavridis & R. Manning Ancell, The Leader's Bookshelf (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2017), 249. 

  12. Anthony Ray Hinton, The Sun Does Shine (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2018), 153. 

  13. Fr. Christopher Rengers O.F.M.Cap., The 35 Doctors of the Church (Charlotte: TAN Books, 2014), 699. 

  14. Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan (New York: Random House, 2007), 1. 

  15. Lindell, Lisa R. “‘So Long as I Can Read’: Farm Women's Reading Experiences in Depression-Era South Dakota.” Agricultural History, vol. 83, no. 4, 2009, pp. 503–527. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/40607531. Accessed 7 May 2020. 

  16. Lindell, Lisa R. “‘So Long as I Can Read’: Farm Women's Reading Experiences in Depression-Era South Dakota.” Agricultural History, vol. 83, no. 4, 2009, pp. 503–527. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/40607531. Accessed 7 May 2020.

    Also this one: “How many, many times I have been asked, ‘Don’t you get terribly lonely out there, so far from town, so isolated?’ And always my answer has been, ‘Never, so long as I can read!’” 

  17. Nina Freudenberger, Bibliostyle (New York: Random House, 2019), 59. 

  18. Nina Freudenberger, Bibliostyle (New York: Random House, 2019), 99. 

  19. Nina Freudenberger, Bibliostyle (New York: Random House, 2019), 205. 

  20. Katy Beebe, Brother Hugo and the Bear (Grand Rapids: Erdmans Books, 2014), 6. The prior's full quote is "Of course you may borrow our copy of St. Augustine's Letters. Just remember that books are food for the souls of men, not for the stomachs of bears." 

  21. Charles J. Chaput, Things Worth Dying For: Thoughts on a Life Worth Living (New York: Henry Holt/Macmillan, 2021), 50. This is a rearrangement of his quote: ""My parents filled both with the food and water of the mind: books." 

  22. Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death (New York: Penguin, 1985/2005), xix. 

  23. St. Jerome: A Patron for An Angry Time 

  24. 2 Tm-04 (NABRE): When you come, bring the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas, the papyrus rolls, and especially the parchments. Source: 005- How to Start a Good Catholic Library - The Burrowshire Podcast 

  25. Source: 005- How to Start a Good Catholic Library - The Burrowshire Podcast 

  26. Michael D. O'Brien, Father Elijah (San Francisco: Ignatius, 1998), 255.