"Here's what I mean by the miracle of language. When you're falling into a good book, exactly as you might fall into a dream, a little conduit opens, a passageway between a reader's heart and a writer's, a connection that transcends the barriers of continents and generations and even death. And here's the magic. You're different. You can never go back to being exactly the same person you were before you disappeared into that book." - Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
"Reading is sometimes thought of as a form of escapism, and it’s a common turn of phrase to speak of getting lost in a book. But a book can also be where one finds oneself; and when a reader is grasped and held by a book, reading does not feel like an escape from life so much as it feels like an urgent, crucial dimension of life itself." - Rebecca Mead (My Life in Middlemarch)
"I realize that people still read books now and some people actually love them, but in 1946 in the Village our feelings about books -- I’m talking about my friends and myself -- went beyond love. It was as if we didn’t know where we ended and books began. Books were our weather, our environment, our clothing. We didn’t simply read books; we became them. We took them into ourselves and made them into our histories. While it would be easy to say that we escaped into books, it might be truer to say that books escaped into us. Books were to us what drugs were to young men in the sixties.
"They showed us what was possible. We had been living with whatever was close at hand, whatever was given, and books took us great distances. We had known only domestic emotions and they showed us what happens to emotions when they are homeless. Books gave us balance -- the young are so unbalanced that anything can make them fall. Books steadied us; it was as if we carried a heavy bag of them in each hand and they kept us level. They gave us gravity."
- Anatole Broyard (Kafka Was the Rage: A Greenwich Village Memoir)
"Literature is my Utopia. Here I am not disenfranchised. No barrier of the senses shuts me out from the sweet, gracious discourses of my book friends. They talk to me without embarrassment or awkwardness." - Helen Keller (The Story of My Life)
"Books, for me, are a home. Books don't make a home -- they are one, in the sense that just as you do with a door, you open a book, and you go inside. Inside there is a different kind of time and space. There is warmth there too -- a hearth. I sit down with a book and I am warm." - Jeanette Winterson (Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?)
"A book is more than a verbal structure or series of verbal structures; it is the dialogue it establishes with its reader and the intonation it imposes upon his voice and the changing and durable images it leaves in his memory. A book is not an isolated being: it is a relationship, an axis of innumerable relationships." - Jorge Luis Borges (Other Inquisitions)
"If literature truly possesses a mysterious power, I think perhaps it is precisely this: that one can read a book by a writer of a different time, a different country, a different race, a different language, and a different culture and there encounter a sensation that is one's very own." - Yu Hua (China in Ten Words)
"I need words and print... I need print like an addict. I could live without it, perhaps. But I hope I never have to try." - Margaret Drabble
"Books may not change our suffering, books may not protect us from evil, books may not tell us what is good or what is beautiful, and they will certainly not shield us from the common fate of the grave. But books grant us myriad possibilities: the possibility of change, the possibility of illumination." - Alberto Manguel (A History of Reading)
The book scuptures above are by Jodi Harvey-Brown, Susan Hoerth, Justin Rowe, Su Blackwell, Rachel Ashe, Cecilia Levy, and Louise Richardson. Run your cursor over the pictures for individual titles and credits.