By the age of 70, he who doesn’t read will have lived only one life. He who reads will have lived 5,000 years. Reading is immortality working backwards.
Source: Umberto Eco (1932-2016), El Pais, 23 Feb. 2016, p. 48
‘Do you prefer reading to cards?’ said he; ‘that is rather singular’.
Source: Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice (Oxford, World’s Classics, 2008; 1813), p. 27
Busy seeking immortality
At last, the secret of immortality – no potions, incantations or extreme diets, just books. Can there be a better summary of the mind-stretching time-travel of reading than this wonderful Umberto Eco quotation published in El Pais following his passing?
Bringing you reviews of books that have delighted, edified, or enchanted me, including a generous dose of choice quotations, a kind of quote-collage. New reviews will be added a few times a month until I catch up with those I’d like to share with you.
Wishing you 5,000 years of reading-endowed life, backwards, forwards, or sideways.
In praise of books which have ‘gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind’ (Emily Bronte).
‘Bestellar’ unhitches the quality of a book from the quantity sold, since the correlation isn’t always obvious.
Readers create writers who in turn create readers.
Source: Alberto Manguel, The City of Words, CBC Massey Lecture Series (Toronto: Anansi Press, 2007), p. 68
Review for you
Reviewing a few of the wonderful books that have crossed my path and enlightened or enchanted me.
Your chosen literary family can extend over thousands of years and beyond the borders of empires, poet connecting to poet, sharing the mitochondria of imagination.
Source: Molly Peacock, The Paper Garden: Mrs Delany Begins her Life’s Work at 72 (London: Bloomsbury, 2012 (2010)), p. 315
They read, they choose, they love: they read forever, and what they read never passes away. In reading, they choose, and, in choosing, they love.
Source: St. Augustine, Confessions, quoted in Brian Stock, Augustine the Reader (1996), quoted in Genius, Harold Bloom (London: Fourth Estate, 2002)
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