Literature Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old literature quotes, literature sayings, and literature proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.

The man who does not read books has no advantage over the man that can not read them. Mark Twain
The best of a book is not the thought which it contains, but the thought which it suggests; just as the charm of music dwells not in the tones but in the echoes of our hearts. Oliver Wendell Holmes
All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse, and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. Ernest Hemingway
Of all the diversions of life, there is none so proper to fill up its empty spaces as the reading of useful and entertaining authors. Joseph Addison
Reading makes a full man, meditation a profound man, discourse a clear man. Benjamin Franklin
Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become. C. S. Lewis
It's in literature that true life can be found. It's under the mask of fiction that you can tell the truth. Gao Xingjian
Literature is the art of discovering something extraordinary about ordinary people, and saying with ordinary words something extraordinary. Boris Pasternak
Every man's work, whether it be literature, or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself. Samuel Butler
Literature is the expression of a feeling of deprivation, a recourse against a sense of something missing. Octavio Paz
Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree. Ezra Pound
Literature is the question minus the answer. Roland Barthes
A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read. Mark Twain
What is wonderful about great literature is that it transforms the man who reads it towards the condition of the man who wrote. E.M. Forster
The duty of literature is to note what counts, and to light up what is suited to the light. If it ceases to choose and to love, it becomes like a woman who gives herself without preference. Anatole France
It is in literature that the concrete outlook of humanity receives its expression. Alfred North Whitehead
The crown of literature is poetry. William Somerset Maugham
Literature always anticipates life. It does not copy it, but moulds it to its purpose. Oscar Wilde
Literature is strewn with the wreckage of those who have minded beyond reason the opinion of others. Virginia Woolf
The difficulty of literature is not to write, but to write what you mean. Robert Louis Stevenson
For whatever is truly wondrous and fearful in man, never yet was put into words or books. Herman Melville
The self-styled intellectual who is impotent with pen and ink hungers to write history with sword and blood. Eric Hoffer
In literature the ambition of the novice is to acquire the literary language: the struggle of the adept is to get rid of it. George Bernard Shaw
The decline in literature indicates a decline in the nation. The two keep pace in their downward tendency. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
If literature isn't everything, it's not worth a single hour of someone's trouble. Jean-Paul Sartre
Books are humanity in print. Barbara W. Tuchman
Good children's literature appeals not only to the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child. unknown
While thought exists, words are alive and literature becomes an escape, not from, but into living. Cyril Connolly
Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity. G. K. Chesterton
Literature is where I go to explore the highest and lowest places in human society and in the human spirit, where I hope to find not absolute truth but the truth of the tale, of the imagination and of the heart. Salman Rushdie