Very often human beings don't become available for the purposes of art until they have shaken off some of their dogged, self-preserving sanity.

The world has been printing books for 450 years, and yet gunpowder still has a wider circulation. Never mind! Printer's ink is the greater explosive: it will win.

I have always suffered from the feeling that it's better to read a good book than to write a poor one; and I've done so much mixed reading in my time that my mind is full of echoes and voices of better men. But this book I'm worrying about now really deserves to be written, I think, for it has a message of its own.

A man who has never made a woman angry is a failure in life.

Laughter and prayer are the two noblest habits of man; they mark us off from the brutes.

One of the penalties of being a human being is other human beings.

In every man's heart there is a secret nerve that answers to the vibrations of beauty.

Night, I have discovered, has a faintly bitter taste, caused by its large ingredient of Un-attained Possibility.

The courage of the poet is to keep ajar the door that leads into madness.

The enemies of the future are always the very nicest people.

Life is a foreign language; all men mispronounce it.

My theology, briefly, is that the universe was dictated but not signed.

The trouble with wedlock is that there's not enough wed and too much lock.

Lord! when you sell a man a book you don't sell just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue - you sell him a whole new life. Love and friendship and humour and ships at sea by night - there's all heaven and earth in a book, a real book.

I think reading a good book makes one modest. When you see the marvelous insight into human nature which a truly great book shows, it is bound to make you feel small—like looking at the Dipper on a clear night, or seeing the winter sunrise when you go out to collect the morning eggs. And anything that makes you feel small is mighty good for you.

Lots of times you have to pretend to join a parade in which you're not really interested in order to get where you're going.

A doctor is advertised by the bodies he cures. My business is advertised by the minds I stimulate. And let me tell you that the book business is different from other trades. People don't know they want books. I can see just by looking at you that your mind is ill for lack of books but you are blissfully unaware of it!

God made man merely to hear some praise of what he'd done on those Five Days.

Summer was over, and we were no longer young, but there were great things before us.

Haunted by the ghosts of books I haven't read. Poor uneasy spirits, they walk and walk around me. There's only one way to lay the ghost of a book, and that is to read it.

From now until the end of time no one else will ever see life with my eyes, and I mean to make the best of my chance.

A good book ought to have something simple about it. And, like Eve, it ought to come from somewhere near the third rib: there ought to be a heart beating in it. A story that's all forehead doesn't amount to much.

There is only one success: to be able to spend life in your own way and not to give others absurd maddening claims upon it.

That's what this country needs -- more books!

I went to the theatre with the author of a successful play. He insisted on explaining everything. He told me what to watch, the details of the direction, the errors of the property man, the foibles of the star. He anticipated all of my surprises and ruined the evening. Never again! And mark you, the greatest author of all made no such mistake.

A human being: an ingenious assembly of portable plumbing.

The fact that Holmes had earlier lodgings in Montague Street (alongside the British Museum) is forgotten. That was before Watson and we must have Watson too.

There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it. It is like falling in love, and like that colossal adventure it is an experience of great social import. Even as the tranced swain, the booklover yearns to tell others of his bliss.

Calling us men doesn't make us men. No creature on earth has a right to think himself a human being if he doesn't know at least one good book.

Life's a lot different from what people pretend. That's why pretending is fun. I used to think it was some special wickedness of my own that made such queer things happen. Now I'm beginning to guess that everybody's like that.

There's no mistaking a real book when one meets it. It is like falling in love.

My theology briefly is that the universe was dictated but not signed.

All cities are mad: but the madness is gallant. All cities are beautiful: but the beauty is grim.

Dancing is a wonderful training for girls, it's the first way you learn to guess what a man is going to do before he does it.

We've had bad luck with our kids – they've all grown up.

There is only one success — to be able to spend your life in your own way.

Long ago I fell back on books as the only permanent consolers. They are the one stainless and unimpeachable achievement of the human race. It saddens me to think that I shall have to die with thousands of books unread that would have given me noble and unblemished happiness.

The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets.

There is no one so grateful as the man to whom you have given just the book his soul needed and he never knew it. - Roger Mifflin.

Mr. Gilbert had the earnest mania for self-improvement which has blighted the lives of so many young men.

All students can learn.

New York, the nation's thyroid gland.

Human beings pay very little attention to what is told them unless they know something about it already.

Although he kept late hours, Roger Mifflin was a prompt riser. It is only the very young who find satisfaction in lying abed in the morning. Those who approach the term of the fifth decade are sensitively aware of the fluency of life, and have no taste to squander it among the blankets.

If we discovered that we only had five minutes left to say all that we wanted to say, every telephone booth would be occupied by people calling other people to stammer that they loved them.

For paradise in the world to come is uncertain, but there is indeed a heaven on this earth, a heaven which we inhabit when we read a good book.

There is only one rule for being a good talker - learn to listen.

The everlasting lure of round-the-corner, how fascinating it is.

If you have to keep reminding yourself of a thing, perhaps it isn't so.