Books, General

Once upon a time is forever.

I realise, as I begin to write this new post, that I am being slightly hypocritical. Anyone who read my last post will notice I said I am not one for inspirational quotes. That is a little bit of a lie. I appreciate a good quote as  much as the next person, I just don’t find many, if any, truely inspirational. I say this because later in the post I am going to share my favourite quotes about reading, There are a fair few! I feel they sum up a lot of what I think about books and reading that I couldn’t say better myself.

I have been thinking about writing a books/reading post since I first got my blog, but just never actually got round to it. My friend Emma (The Terror Of Knowing) recently wrote a really good post on reading and books, which inspired me to write my own.

Reading is blooming awesome. There is nothing quite like getting lost in a good book and discovering that the bath water has gone cold, or it is in fact 3am, and not 11:30pm, or that you have a necklace shaped tan-line (insert burnline here) because you stayed in the sun a lot longer than you meant to. Expolring new characters, worlds, adventures, and stories is one of life’s great pleasures. I don’t know how anyone can go through a week, never mind their life, without reading.

My love for books has finally dictated the need to buy an eReader. I was skeptical from the moment they were released, there is no smell quite like a book and no feeling quite like turning a page. I saw the Nook SimpleTouch on offer for £30 during a ‘get Britain reading’ drive, and I thought that was cheap enough to dabble. I have to say, even though I will always love the feeling of a book, and will always have copies of my favourites, I have really grown to like having my nook. I take it almost everywhere with me, it’s small enough to fit in most of my bags, and has been a life-saver in many otherwise dull situations. It is going to make travelling round the world a much lighter, and more enjoyable job too, which is another bonus.

One downside is the express rate in which I can get through a book on there. I know I read quickly, I have for as long as I can remember; it has been a very useful skill at university. I can easily read a 2/300 page book in a couple of hours, but where i read a book and stop after I have read a considerable chunk, I forget on the eReader, and before I know it, I am reading the last page.

Now some of you will be wondering where the downside to this is. I partially agree with you, I love reading so much that I don’t mind the fact I am shifting through more literature than ever before. The problem is how much time I ‘waste’ doing it. I use the word waste hesitantly. It is my belief that no time spent reading is wasted, but I certainly could spend more of that time doing more useful stuff!

The other problem is what I am reading. I really hesitate to say I read rubbish, as I think all books and stories are put out there to be read and enjoyed by their fanbase, and no-one should really criticise what another person finds enjoyable to read. I dabble in reading a lot of stuff, I can’t remember what books I’ve read in the same way I can’t remember what I’ve eaten in my life, but they have all been pretty good, or eye-openingly awful. I just haven’t read many classics, or books considered to be important and of quality in the literary world. Nothing by Dickens, Austen, or Wilde; but many throwaway novels from train stations. I just love a good story, and as long as the writing is grammatically correct and engaging enough to read I will enjoy it for what it is. My favourite book is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, considered a modern classic, but I also love Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, which are very removed from normal worlds. I have enjoyed Fifty Shades, and Twilight, and Alex Cross, and all sorts of books perceived to be rubbish because I have appreciated them for what they were. I also have a bad habit of rereading books, most notably Harry Potter, which I think I have read and reread over 60 times per book.

So the main point of this was really: I love reading. I will give anything a go. Don’t judge people by what they read; you don’t know why they are reading it, and in some ways, I think it says more about a person if they are able to enjoy any book, than someone who can’t.

So, about those quotes, they are:

“We read to know we’re not alone.” William Nicholson

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

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” CS Lewis

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Dr. Seuss

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” Charles William Eliot

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” Stephen King

“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” CS Lewis

“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” Harper Lee

“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.” Joseph Brodsky

“We don’t need a lost of rights and wrongs, tables of dos and don’ts: we need books, time, and silence. Thou shalt not is soon forgotten, but Once upon a time lasts forever” Philip Pullman

“No two persons ever read the same book” Edmund Wilson

“There comes a time when you have to choose between turning the page and closing the book” Josh Jameson

“A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.” William Styron

“You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last pages and feel a little as if you have lost a friend” Paul Sweeney

“Books are like mirrors: if a fool looks in, you cannot expect a genius to look out” JK Rowling

“A good book have no ending” RD Cumming

3 thoughts on “Once upon a time is forever.”

  1. Thank you for the shout-out, haha, and I’m glad it spurred you into doing your own post. 🙂 Also, I’ve said this before but never think what you are reading is rubbish or not worth the time invested. Yes, there is a lot of questionable quality writing out there with amazing world-building involved or gripping plots in the same way there is a lot of ‘classic’ literature that (even as a literature student) I wouldn’t recommend if you want something juicy to really sink your teeth into.

    And lastly, I love a lot of the quotes you compiled but this one in particular is so important: “No two persons ever read the same book”. We all have different life experiences and interests, different things that make us tick and make us terrified, it stands to reason that you can tell the same story to five people and not one of them would retell it emphasising the same parts. That’s why I loved studying literature; we all brought something different, maybe a different understanding of a particular element of the storyline, or a difference opinion on a character. That’s what makes books so interesting.


    1. As much as I love places and maps and geological processes, I probably should have studied Literature further than I did. I do love a good book, and certainly think you’re right about classics, and non-classic literature.

      That is one of my favourite quotes. I think it says an awful lot about creating worlds and writing tales!


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