An East Oakland Odyssey
Exploring the Love of Reading in a Small School
Elena Aguilar, ASCEND. Oakland, CA

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Why Read? Favorite Quotes


“If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry.  If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.  These are the only ways I know it.  Is there any other way?”

                                                               --Emily Dickenson

“Books were my pass to personal freedom.  I learned to read at age three, and soon discovered there was a whole world to conquer that went beyond our farm in Mississippi.”

                                                               --Oprah Winfrey

“No days, perhaps, of all our childhood are ever so fully lived as those that we had regarded as not being lived at all:  days spent wholly with a favorite book.”

                                                               --Marcel Proust

“Education begins by teaching children to read and ends by making most of them hate reading.”

                                                               --Holbrook Jackson (1934)

“When people ask me, ‘Do you collect books’ I always say, ‘No, books collect me.’”

                                                               --Nicholas Barker

“O my darling books!  A day will come when you will be laid out on the salesroom table, and others will buy and possess you—persons, perhaps, less worthy of you than your old master.  Yet how dear to me are they all!  Have I not chosen them one by one, gathered them all  in with the sweat of my brow?  I do love you all!”

                                                               --Silvestre de Sacy

“Past and present, it is all the same, books are necromancers, they exercise an influence more varied, more lasting, than any magic known to man.”

                                                               --Holbrook Jackson

“In books I have traveled, not only to other worlds, but into my own.  I learned who I was and who I wanted to be, what I might aspire to, and what I might dare to dream about my world and myself.  More powerfully and persuasively than from the “shalt nots” of the Ten Commandments, I learned the difference between good and evil, right and wrong.”

                                                               --Anna Quindlen

“Bush has not read enough books to have a developed moral sense.  The fewer books you read, the easier it is to become fundamental.  In some ways my antiwar stand here is also a stand on anti-literacy.  Someone should get G.W. into a reading program, get him to join a book club.  Have him read Hamlet, King Lear.”

--Sherman Alexie

“He that loveth a book will never want a faithful friend, a wholesome counselor, a cheerful companion, an effectual comforter.”

                                                               --Isaac Barrow (1683)

“How many a man has dated a new era in  his life from the reading of a book!  The book exists for us perchance which will explain our miracles and reveal new ones.”

                                                               --Henry David Thoreau

 “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.”

--Oscar Wilde

“I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.”

                                                               --Jorge Luis Borges

“For him that stealeth, or borroweth and returneth not, this book from its owner, let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him.  Let him be struck with palsy, and all his members blasted.  Let him languish in pain, crying aloud for mercy, and let there be no surcease to this agony till he sing in dissolution.  Let bookworms gnaw his entrails…and when at last he goeth to his final punishment, let the flames of Hell consume him forever.”

--Anonymous ‘curse’ on book thieves from the monastery of San Pedro, Barcelona, Spain.

“I really do like listening to stuff that’s happened to other people.  I guess that’s why I like to read.”

--Bryon in That was Then, This is Now.

“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road.  They are the destination, and the journey.  They are home.”

                                                               --Anna Quindlen

“Without books, God is silent, justice dormant, natural science at a stand, philosophy lame, letters dumb, and all things involved in darkness.”

                                                               --Thomas V. Bartholin

“Where books are burned in the end people will be burned too.”

                                                               --Heinrich Heine

“There was no answer, no solution, no sop, no deliverance.  What, then, did I do?  I read faster.”

                                                               --Leo Rosten

“Books are becoming everything to me.  If I had at this moment any choice of life, I would bury myself in one of those immense libraries and never pass a waking hour without a book before me.”

                                                               --Thomas B. Macaulay

“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 not but curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.”

                                                               --Francis Bacon (1625)

“So there you have it, a lifetime of first smelling the books, they all smell wonderful, reading the books, loving the books, and remembering the books.”

                                                               --Ray Bradbury

“I can’t die yet—there are too many books I want to read.”

                                                      --Lil Carlson, my grandmother, at age 88.


Favorite Quotes




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