Anyone who says they have only one life
to live must not know how to read a book.



To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.

W. Somerset Maugham

As a child raised in rural communities with few libraries, I was thrilled when the bookmobile rolled into my area every other week.  With my books strapped to the back carrier of my bike, I would eagerly pedal a little more than a mile to where the bookmobile was parked.  Happily fortified with new reading selections, I’d pedal back home, clamber up the makeshift ladder to my tree house, and settle in.  When was the last time you settled in for a mindlessly pleasant read?  Why don’t you do that more often?  What’s driving you continually to be productive?  Perhaps some of you, like me, are missing out on the recreational activity that has no purpose other than to give a needed respite from our task-oriented lives.

Marilyn Meberg
I divide all readers into two classes:  those who read to remember and those who read to forget.

William Lyon Phelps
In real life I have qualms, a moral code, a sense of duty.  I live within confines.  In books, I am free to soar and to explore.  There are no limits to my being.
   Books, with their secret knowledge, free me from myself.  I'm never alone.  The greatest minds in history wait by my bed, sit patiently in bookcases, respond to my touch.  I reach out and they are there, waiting to transport me to another realm.

Linda Weltner

When you reread a classic you do not see more in the book
than you did before; you see more in you than was there before.

Clifton Fadiman


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

Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird


There are books so alive that you're always afraid that while
you weren't reading, the book has gone and changed, has
shifted like a river; while you went on living, it went on living
too, and like a river moved on and moved away. No one has
stepped twice into the same river But did anyone ever step
twice into the same book?

Marina Tsvetaeva


I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. . . . We
need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the
death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests
far from everyone, like a suicide.  A book must be the ax for the frozen sea inside us.

Franz Kafka

If you resist reading what you disagree with, how will you ever acquire
deeper insights into what you believe? The things most worth reading
are precisely those that challenge our convictions.


"Tell me what you read and I'll tell you who you are" is true enough,
but I'd know you better if you told me what you reread.

François Mauriac

The person who does not read good books has no advantage over the person who can't read them.

Mark Twain

Nothing is worth reading that does not require an alert mind.

Charles Dudley Warner

To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.

Edmund Burke

You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.

Paul Sweeney

Think before you speak.  Read before you think.

Fran Lebowitz


Children don't read to find their identity, to free themselves from guilt,
to quench the thirst for rebellion or to get rid of alienation. They have
no use for psychology.... They still believe in God, the family, angels,
devils, witches, goblins, logic, clarity, punctuation, and other such
obsolete stuff.... When a book is boring, they yawn openly. They don't
expect their writer to redeem humanity, but leave to adults such childish illusions.

Isaac Bashevis Singer

There is a temperate zone in the mind, between luxurious
indolence and exacting work; and it is to this region, just
between laziness and labor, that summer reading belongs.

Henry Ward Beecher


Then there's the fact that the very act of reading takes us out of ourselves
and the workaday world.  As Emily Dickinson put it, books are the "frigate"
that carries us to a realm of thought, wonder and knowledge.  I'm sure I
don't need to sell you on the idea of reading as a stress-buster; who hasn't
come home after a rough day and collapsed with an escapist
novel or stayed up late to finish just one more chapter?

Shana Aborn
Thirty Days to a More Spiritual Life


To read a book for the first time is to make an acquaintance with a new friend;
to read it for a second time is to meet an old one.

Chinese Saying


The time to read is any time:  no
apparatus, no appointment of time
and place, is necessary.  It is the only
art which can be practised at any hour
of the day or night, whenever the time
and inclination comes, that is your time for
reading; in joy or sorrow, health or illness.

Holbrook Jackson


This nice and subtle happiness of reading, this joy not chilled by age, this
polite and unpunished vice, this selfish, serene life-long intoxication.

Logan Pearsall Smith

Reading well is one of the great pleasures that solitude can afford you.

Harold Bloom


We should read to give our souls a chance to luxuriate.

Henry Miller



The art of reading is in great part that of acquiring a better
understanding of life from one's encounter with it in a book.

André Maurois


From your parents you learn love and laughter and how to
put one foot in front of the other.  But when books
are opened, you discover that you have wings.

Helen Hayes


In the world of books, what is grand and inspiring may easily become
a part of every person's life.  A fondness for good literature, for good
fiction, for travel, for history, and for biography,--what is better than this?

Orison Swett Marden


We have some inspiring and motivational books that may interest you.  Our main way of supporting this site is through the sale of books, either physical copies or digital copies for your Amazon Kindle (including the online reader).  All of the money that we earn through them comes back to the site in one way or another.  Just click on the picture to the left to visit our page of books, both fiction and non-fiction!


She read books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.
She read books as one would breathe ether, to sink in and die.

Annie Dillard

The person who deserves most pity is a lonesome one
on a rainy day who doesn't know how to read.

Benjamin Franklin

Few people ask from books what books can give us.  Most commonly we
come to books with blurred and divided minds, asking of fiction that
it shall be true, of poetry that it shall be false, of biography that it
shall be flattering, of history that it shall enforce our own prejudices.
If we could banish all such preconceptions when we read, that
would be an admirable beginning.

Virginia Woolf
The Second Common Reader


Properly, we should read for power.  A person reading should be a person
intensely alive.  The book should be a ball of light in one's hands.

Ezra Pound


My daughter is seven, and some of the other second-grade parents complain
that their children don't read for pleasure. When I visit their homes, the children's
rooms are crammed with expensive books, but the parent's rooms are empty.
Those children do not see their parents reading, as I did every day of my
childhood. By contrast, when I walk into an apartment with books on the shelves,
books on the bedside tables, books on the floor, and books on the toilet tank,
then I know what I would see if I opened the door that says 'PRIVATE--
GROWNUPS KEEP OUT':  a child sprawled on the bed, reading.

Anne Fadiman
Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader

Reading makes immigrants of us all.  It takes us away from home,
but more important, it finds homes for us everywhere.

Hazel Rochman


The greatest gift is the passion for reading.  It is cheap, it consoles,
it distracts, it excites, it gives you a knowledge of the world and
experience of a wide kind.  It is a moral illumination.

Elizabeth Hardwick

And the books that came into the house, some of them
secretly--well, Samuel rode light on top of a book and he
balanced happily among ideas the way a man rides white
rapids in a canoe.  But Tom got into a book, crawled and
groveled between the covers, tunneled like a mole among
the thoughts, and came up with the book all over his face and hands.

John Steinbeck
East of Eden

The world was a terrible place, cruel, pitiless, dark as a bad dream.
Not a good place to live.  Only in books could you find pity, comfort,
happiness--and love.  Books loved anyone who opened them, they
gave you security and friendship and didn't ask anything in return;
they never went away, never, not even when you treated them badly.

Cornelia Funke
Inkheart Trilogy


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The Value of Reading

How are you coming with your home library?  Do you need some good ammunition on why it's so important to read?  The last time I checked the statistics. . . I think they indicated that only four percent of the adults in this country have bought a book within the past year.  That's dangerous.  It's extremely important that we keep ourselves in the top five or six percent.

In one of the Monthly Letters from the Royal Bank of Canada it was pointed out that reading good books is not something to be indulged in as a luxury.  It is a necessity for anyone who intends to give his life and work a touch of quality.  The most real wealth is not what we put into our piggy banks but what we develop in our heads.  Books instruct us without anger, threats and harsh discipline.  They do not sneer at our ignorance or grumble at our mistakes.  They ask only that we spend some time in the company of greatness so that we may absorb some of its attributes.

You do not read a book for the book's sake, but for your own.

You may read because in your high-pressure life, studded with problems and emergencies, you need periods of relief and yet recognize that peace of mind does not mean numbness of mind.

You may read because you never had an opportunity to go to college, and books give you a chance to get something you missed.  You may read because your job is routine, and books give you a feeling of depth in life.

You may read because you did go to college.

You may read because you see social, economic and philosophical problems which need solution, and you believe that the best thinking of all past ages may be useful in your age, too.

You may read because you are tired of the shallowness of contemporary life, bored by the current conversational commonplaces, and wearied of shop talk and gossip about people.

Whatever your dominant personal reason, you will find that reading gives knowledge, creative power, satisfaction and relaxation.  It cultivates your mind by calling its faculties into exercise.

Books are a source of pleasure--the purest and the most lasting.  They enhance your sensation of the interestingness of life.  Reading them is not a violent pleasure like the gross enjoyment of an uncultivated mind, but a subtle delight.

Reading dispels prejudices which hem our minds within narrow spaces.  One of the things that will surprise you as you read good books from all over the world and from all times of man is that human nature is much the same today as it has been ever since writing began to tell us about it.

Some people act as if it were demeaning to them to wish to be well-read, but you can no more be a healthy person mentally without reading substantial books than you can be a vigorous person physically without eating solid food.  Books should be chosen, not for their freedom from evil, but for their possession of good.  Dr. Johnson said:  "Whilst you stand deliberating which book your child shall read first, another child has read both."

Earl Nightingale
I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people
who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.

Anna Quindlen

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 W. Eliot



Found online:

(Found online images come from a variety of unattributed
sources from various social media pages.  They're too nice
not to share!)


Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.



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