I am a lifelong reader. It is the constant joy of my life, and I'm so glad that I found it early. My children are the same way, and celebrating Read Across America Day with some quotes to inspire older readers and enchant the newest little bookworms is so fun.
Read Across America is the brainchild of the National Education Association. It's their goal to have children of all races, genders, abilities, and religions learn to love reading. They also noted on their charter that children can learn all about the world, other people, and other beliefs through the books they read, and that the more diversity children are introduced to, the more inclusive a world we will have.
Reading and being read to is an essential part of learning, and when kids grow to love it, it enhances every area of their lives. There is something magical about reading that doesn't exist with any other form of entertainment. It's taking words on paper and creating entire worlds in your imagination. What one character looks like in one child's mind might look entirely differently to another, and that's a beautiful and rich discovery for children to have.
Obviously, people have a lot to say about books — reading them, writing them, and simply enjoying that they exist. Readers love talking about books, and these 26 quotes prove why this day matters.
1. “Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” — 'Horseradish,' Lemony Snicket
2. “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” — 'Coraline,' Neil Gaiman
3. “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” — 'Norwegian Wood,' Haruki Murakami
4. “What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though.” — 'The Catcher in the Rye,' J.D. Salinger
5. “If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” — Toni Morrison
6. “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” ― 'Pride and Prejudice,' Jane Austen
7. “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” — 'On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft,' Stephen King
8. “A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.” — C.S. Lewis
9. “You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” — Ray Bradbury
10. “You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.” — James Baldwin
11. “That's the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.” — 'The Namesake,' Jhumpa Lahiri
12. “Stories never really end... even if the books like to pretend they do. Stories always go on. They don't end on the last page, any more than they begin on the first page.” — 'Inkspell,' Cornelia Funke
13. “It is a great thing to start life with a small number of really good books which are your very own.” — Arthur Conan Doyle
14. "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go." — 'I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!,' Dr. Seuss
15. "The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives." — 'Matilda,' Roald Dahl
16. "One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world." — 'Malala's Magic Pencil,' Malala Yousafzai
17. "A book, too, can be a star, 'explosive material, capable of stirring up fresh life endlessly,' a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe." — 'A Wrinkle in Time,' Madeleine L'Engle
18. “Some books are so familiar that reading them is like being home again.” — 'Little Women,' Louisa May Alcott
19. “A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.” — Franz Kafka
20. “Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought.” — Audre Lorde
21. “Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens.” — 'The Shadow of the Wind,' Carlos Ruiz Zafón
22. “There's truth even in tainted knowledge, if one reads carefully.” — 'The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms,' N.K. Jemisin
23. “It is very risky. But each time a child opens a book, he pushes open the gate that separates him from Elsewhere.” — Lois Lowry
24. “My alma mater was books, a good library... I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity.” — Malcolm X
25. “One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time.” — Carl Sagan
26. “We read books to find out who we are. What other people, real or imaginary, do and think and feel... is an essential guide to our understanding of what we ourselves are and may become.” — Ursula K. Le Guin