But reason has also discerned that all previous cultures were founded by and on gods or belief in gods. Only if the new regimes are enormous successes, able to rival the creative genius and splendor of other cultures, could reason's rational foundings be equal or superior to the kinds of foundings that reason knows were made elsewhere. But such equality or superiority is highly questionable; therefore reason recognizes its own inadequacy. There must be religion, and reason cannot found religions.permalink source: Allan Bloom, Closing of the American Mind 196
Verily, when the day of judgment comes, we shall not be asked what we have read, but what we have done.permalink source: Thomas A' Kempis
It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.permalink source: C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock
A book is a mirror: if an ass peers into it, you can't expect an apostle to look out.permalink source: G. C. Lichtenberg
Says Piper, "Raking is easy, but all you get is leaves; digging is hard, but you might find diamonds." (on why to read old classics as well as new popular books)permalink source: John Piper
Every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes. We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period. And that means the old books. All contemporary writers share to some extent the contemporary outlook ï¿½even those, like myself, who seem most opposed to itï¿½ None of us can escape this blindness, but we shall certainly increase it, and weaken our guard against it, if we read only modern booksï¿½ The only palliative is to keep the clean sea breeze of the centuries blowing through our minds, and this can be done only by reading old books. Not, of course, that there is any magic about the past. People were no cleverer then than they are now; they made as many mistakes as we. But not the same mistakes.permalink source: C. S. Lewis, from his introduction to St. Athanasius, On the Incarnation (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Theological Seminary, 1946), 4-5.
If time is precious, no book that will not improve by repeated readings deserves to be read at all.permalink source: Thomas Carlyle
Read no history: read nothing but biography, for that is life without theory.permalink source: Benjamin Disraeli, Contrarini Fleming, 1844
Men of power have no time to read; yet the men who do not read are unfit for power.permalink source: Michael Foot, 1980
A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read. --permalink source: Mark Twain
Listening to music while reading is like putting ketchup on steak.permalink source: Steven Brust (on his weblog)
Excerpt from "Love is the Killer App" Considering how much knowledge is out there to dine on, what do you eat? When your'e a student in college, the answer is simple: You anchor your diet around assigned textbooks, your augment your books through additional research, you take notes during your professor's lectures, and you pass a test to prove you did all of the above. But you're no longer in college. You can do whatever you want. Do you go for variety or do you catch as catch can? Do you try an even mixture--magazines, books, television, and radio? I say there is no option. I've looked at all the possibilities, and for the student of business, books are the answer. Books should be your diet's staple because they are the complete thought-meal, containing hypotheses, data, research, and conclusions, combined in a thorough attempt to transfer knowledge. If they're good, they contain that essential value prop, the meta-idea, or that statement of fact that gives the reader a unique perspective.... Magazine articles are between-meal snacks. They are Ideas Lite....The news media--electronic or print--are the equivalent of candy or soda: fun to eat, but hardly appropriate to live on.... Books give you knowledge. The news gives you awareness. The latter is a measurement of today. Knowledge is a measure of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Awareness is finite. Knowledge is forever.... Here's another 80/20 rule: spend 80 percent of your time on books, and 20 percent on articles and newspapers. And by books, I don't mean just any book. I mean hardcovers. A paperback is meant to be read. A hardcover is made to be studied. There's a huge difference. I don't read a book just to say I've finished it. I read it so that when I'm done, the inside covers are filled with enough notes that I can use this book for as long as I need to. True, hardcovers are more expensive. But I'm talking about your career. If you can afford to party, or to buy new techno-gadgets, or to eat at fancy restaurants, you can afford a few hardcover books. And if that extra cost makes it a barrier-to-entry for your peers, remember that there are barriers to entry in any competitive field. Not only is this one you can easily overcome, but by removing those barriers you give yourself a chance to shine. The books you read today will fuel your earning power tomorrow. Simply put, hardcover books are the bomb. They are fun to hold, They become personal the first time you mark them up, the first time you bend back the binding. There's something wonderful about the sound of rustling pages. There's something exciting about writing down the ideas that interest you. Soon your book becomes more than just pages between covers. It becomes your ticket to success. Congratulations! You have just achieved traction as a student.permalink source: Anonymous
In a book I read recently the author says that some people get up to age thirty-five or forty, level off and never climb any higher. He said that during the younger part of your life just being alive is enough to drive you forward, but then that energy starts to level off and unless you have a spiritual urge to drive you forward, the physical urge runs out and you level off. The non-physical urge that drives you forward is the thing that is a great motivation. One of the sources of motivation is reading. We can't keep up without reading. Let me ask you --- what do you read? Do you read objectively for yourself? Do you say, "what do I need to read to improve me?" Until you do, you miss the best of reading. It is impossible to read everything. You need to make clear decisions about what you read and why. I wear glasses and maybe you do, too. Mine probably cost about the same as yours. Would you trade lenses with me just because I asked you to? Of course not! That would silly because yours fit you and mine fit me. Reading is the same thing. Are you reading what the boss is reading or are you reading what fits you? Are you reading a book because someone sent it to you? How about because it is on the Best-Seller list? You wouldn't wear someone else's glasses - don't let them pick your books. Understand what your purpose is for reading and carefully discipline your choices. This week, look at the books on your desk or nightstand and ask why you are reading each one. Read to keep up, but not to keep up with the Joneses.permalink source: Fred Smith (breakfast with fred)
New York University professor Atwood H. Townsend wrote in his <em>Good Reading: A Helpful Guide for Serious Readers</em>, “Never force yourself to read a book that you do not enjoy. There are so many good books in the world that it is foolish to waste time on one that does not give you pleasure and profit.” <a href="http://www.levenger.com/PAGETEMPLATES/WELLREADLIFE/WellReadLife.asp?Params=category=541|level=2|pageid=3221&FileName=column">source</a>permalink source: Levenger's Well-Read Life Column #1
I would be content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.permalink source: Anna Quindlen
We don't believe what we read; we read what we believe.permalink source: John Bevere
How rebuked are they by the apostle! He is inspired, and yet he wants books! He has been preaching at least for thirty years, and yet he wants books! He had seen the Lord, and yet he wants books! He had had a wider experience than most men, and yet he wants books! He had been caught up into the third heaven, and had heard things which it was unlawful for a man to utter, yet he wants books! He had written the major part of the New Testament, and yet he wants books! The apostle says to Timothy and so he says to every preacher, "GIVE THYSELF UNTO READING." The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other menâ€™s brains, proves that he has no brains of his own. Brethren, what is true of ministers is true of all our people. YOU need to read. Renounce as much as you will all light literature, but study as much as possible sound theological works, especially the Puritanic writers, and expositions of the Bible. We are quite persuaded that the best way for you to be spending your leisure, is to be either reading or praying. You may get much instruction from books which afterwards you may use as a true weapon in your Lord and Master's service. Paul cries, "Bring the books" â€” join in the cry. Paul herein is a picture of industry. He is in prison; he cannot preach: WHAT will he do? As he cannot preach, he will read. As we read of the fishermen of old and their boats. The fishermen were gone out of them. What were they doing? Mending their nets. So if providence has laid you upon a sick bed, and you cannot teach your class â€” if you cannot be working for God in public, mend your nets by reading. If one occupation is taken from you, take another, and let the books of the apostle read you a lesson of industry"permalink source: Charles Spurgeon, sermon #542 "PAUL - His Cloak And His Books" in the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit 9 (1863): 668-669).
I have yet to meet a pastor who is growing in his knowledge of God and his effectiveness in pastoral ministry, who doesnâ€™t read consistently. Where there is an absence of reading, there is normally the presence of decline and deficiency in oneâ€™s soul and ministry. John Wesley had this concern for a particular pastor he had visited. Wesley observed the distinct absence of growth and fruit as he spent time with this pastor and listened to him preach. So here was the caring, courageous and wise counsel Wesley gave this man: [note to self--from this point on I edited out Mahaney's asides on Wesley's comments] â€œWhat has exceedingly hurt you in time past, nay, and I fear, to this day, is, want of reading. I scarce ever knew a preacher read so little. And perhaps, by neglecting it, have lost the taste for it. Hence your talent in preaching does not increase. It is just the same as it was seven years ago. It is lively, but not deep; there is little variety; there is no compass of thought. Reading only can supply this. Whether you like it or not, read and pray daily. It is for you life; there is no other way; else you will be a trifler all your days, and a pretty, superficial preacher."permalink source: C. J. Mahaney
So how much time should you devote to reading and studying each week, month or year? Lots! Actually, I canâ€™t answer that question for you. You must work hard and seek counsel to come up with your own custom-designed plan. If you donâ€™t know how or where to start, check out John Stottâ€™s time allotments for study (apart from sermon preparation), which he has followed for many years: One hour a day One 3 hour period a week One day every month One week every yearpermalink source: C.J. Mahaney, http://blog.togetherforthegospel.org/2006/04/a_plan_for_read.html
When you find a writer who really is saying something to you, read everything that writer has written and you will get more education and depth of understanding out of that than reading a scrap here and a scrap there and elsewhere. Then go to people who influenced that writer, or those who were related to him, and your world builds together in an organic way that is really marvelous.permalink source: Joseph Campbell, The Heroâ€™s Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life and Work, page 53
Must Novels Be Profound Or Merely Diverting?
(Tukko) "I had thought you preferred novels for relaxation." (Sethra) "Sometimes. But then, I judge a novel more harshly." "Do you? Why is that?" "Because history is able to rely upon the truth, of course. A novel, in which all is created by the author's whim, must strike a more profound level of truth or it is worthless." "And yet, I have heard you say that any novel that relieves your ennui for an hour has proved its usefulness."permalink source: Steven Brust, Sethra Lavode, 124