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Monday, March 28, 2016

Virginia Woolf on Books and Reading


Today, March 28, is the 75th anniversary of Virginia Woolf’s death.  In her honour, I am posting some of her quotations about books and reading:
“I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.” 

“Books are the mirrors of the soul.”

“Books are everywhere; and always the same sense of adventure fills us.  Second-hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack.  Besides, in this random miscellaneous company we may rub against some complete stranger who will, with luck, turn into the best friend we have in the world.”

“I am reading six books at once, the only way of reading; since, as you will agree, one book is only a single unaccompanied note, and to get the full sound, one needs ten others at the same time.”

“Fiction is like a spider's web, attached ever so lightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners.”

“I was always going to the bookcase for another sip of the divine specific.”

“Come indoors then, and open the books on your library shelves. For you have a library and a good one. A working library, a living library; a library where nothing is chained down and nothing is locked up; a library where the songs of the singers rise naturally from the lives of the livers.”

“Anyone who’s worth anything reads just what he likes, as the mood takes him, and with extravagant enthusiasm.”

“Literature is no one’s private ground, literature is common ground; let us trespass freely and fearlessly and find our own way for ourselves.”

“Sometimes I think heaven must be one continuous unexhausted reading.”