68 inspirational reading quotes (+ 9 benefits)


Last Updated on February 18, 2021

Did you know that reading is one of the most valuable habits you can stick to? When you read, you dive into another world. Your thoughts are liberated; your consciousness expanded. You learn, are entertained or manage to break out of your reality for a short moment.

Burying your head in a book is at the same time relaxation and training for your mind. There is no other activity that enables you to do this. I highly recommend taking your time to immerse yourself in a book of your choice at least for a few minutes per day.

If you need an impulse, I have curated 68 inspirational quotes about the importance of reading for you. Categorized under 9 main benefits they will motivate you and hopefully help you to put your smartphone aside more often and pick up a book instead.

1. Expands language skills and intellect

It is said that books educate. And indeed, regular reading will automatically expand your vocabulary, knowledge and brain power. The more often you are confronted with different words, the easier it is to memorize them.(1)

By the way, whne reaidng out loud, words move even more easily from passive to active vocabulary.

reading books quotes
“If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” – Margaret Fuller

“I have a passion for teaching kids to become readers, to become comfortable with a book, not daunted. Books shouldn’t be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful; and learning to be a reader gives a terrific advantage.” – Roald Dahl

“Show me a family of readers, and I will show you the people who move the world.” – Napoléon Bonaparte

“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.”
– Emilie Buchwald

“Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would not read yourself.”
– George Bernard Shaw

 “Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.” – Jim Rohn

“Literature speaks with everyone individually – it is personal property that stays inside our heads. And nothing speaks to us as forcefully as a book, which expects nothing in return other than that we think and feel.”
– Herta Muller

“Despite the enormous quantity of books, how few people read! And if one reads profitably, one would realize how much stupid stuff the vulgar herd is content to swallow every day.” – Voltaire

“Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for.” – Socrates

“If you are going to get anywhere in life you have to read a lot of books.” – Roald Dahl

Further Inspiration: 77 learning quotes to become a lifelong learner

2. Boosts creativity

By diving into the world of fantasy, your imagination is trained. In contrast to the cinema, it is the readers themselves who create the images for the narrative.

Already with children it becomes apparent that regular reading has a positive influence on creativity; their ingenuity and imagination improve. And creativity also pays off in adulthood, as it is an important prerequisite to coping successfully with conflicts.

reading creativity quote
“A book is a device to ignite imagination”
– Alan Bennett

“To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.” – Victor Hugo

“I read a book one day and my whole life was changed.” – Orhan Pamuk

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” – Stephen King

“A good book is an event in my life.” – Stendhal

“A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it.” – Edward P. Morgan

“Poetic language is a way of giving the sense of an answer, just a sense of one, that the story itself is unable to provide.” – Emily Ruskovich

“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

“The story is truly finished — and meaning is made — not when the author adds the last period, but when the reader enters.” – Celeste Ng

“Somebody who only reads newspapers and at best books of contemporary authors looks to me like an extremely near-sighted person who scorns eyeglasses. He is completely dependent on the prejudices and fashions of his times, since he never gets to see or hear anything else.” – Albert Einstein

3. Expands the horizon

Books offer you probably the cheapest way to travel. This is true whether you want to escape your own life or you are simply curious and want to get to know other people and places.

Stories give insight into the lives of others, into their thoughts, work and habits. You get to know distant places and experience foreign cultures. You look beyond your own backyard and broaden your horizon.

reading quote
“From the reading of ‘good books’ there comes a richness of life
that can be obtained in no other way.”
– Gordon B. Hinckley

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

 “Think before you speak. Read before you think.” – Fran Lebowitz

“In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.” – Mortimer J. Adler

“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.” – Malala Yousafzai

“One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time.” – Carl Sagan

“Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all.” – Abraham Lincoln

“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

“That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.”
– Jhumpa Lahiri

Further Reading: 150 positive life quotes

4. Promotes social skills

According to a study at the New School for Social Research in New York, reading promotes empathy. Literary works in particular, in which situations are presented realistically and people are presented in a multi-layered way, give room for interpretation and identification.

With a book, readers learn to put themselves in the shoes of their counterparts and thus increase their understanding of the other person’s life. 

quote on reading
“Reading is an exercise in empathy; an exercise in walking
in someone else’s shoes for a while.”
— Malorie Blackman

“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” – Lemony Snicket

“The man who does not read good books is no better than the man who can’t.” – Mark Twain

“The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest (people) of the past centuries.” – Descartes

“With every book, you go back to school. You become a student. You become an investigative reporter. You spend a little time learning what it’s like to live in someone else’s shoes.” – John Irving

“Reading brings us unknown friends” – Honoré de Balzac

“Beware of the person of one book.” – Thomas Aquinas

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

Further Inspiration: 130 quotes on friendship

5. Provides entertainment

Most people read books because they are entertaining. No matter what you prefer as a reader – true lovers or adventurers, dragons or knights, aliens or serial killers, physics, history or current affairs – to dive into completely different worlds with a book is good entertainment.

reading entertainment quote
“No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting.”
– Mary Wortley Montagu

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” – Jane Austen

“The person who deserves most pity is a lonesome one on a rainy day who doesn’t know how to read.” – Benjamin Franklin

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R.R. Martin

“A book is a gift you can open again and again.” – Garrison Keillor

“Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere.” – Mary Schmich

“Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.”
– Mason Cooley

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

“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.” —Anna Quindlen

“Oh, magic hour, when a child first knows she can read printed words!” – Betty Smith

“I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.” – Jorge Luis Borges

“I’m old-fashioned and think that reading books is the most glorious pastime that humankind has yet devised.” – Wisława Szymborska

“Rainy days should be spent at home with a cup of tea and a good book.” – Bill Watterson

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” – Cicero

“What better occupation, really, than to spend the evening at the fireside with a book, with the wind beating on the windows and the lamp burning bright.” – Gustave Flaubert

“Well, there’s nothing better than putting your feet up on a Sunday afternoon and grabbing a good book.” – Chris Klein

“The only thing you absolutely have to know is the location of the library.”
– Albert Einstein

6. Reduces stress levels

Things can get pretty challenging in life and many find it hard to find peace after a stressful day at work. Reading can help. People leave their busy schedules behind and escape into the world of fantasy, finding distance to their own lives to relax. (2)

habit of reading quote
“To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge
from almost all the miseries of life.”
– W. Somerset Maugham

“Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.” – Fernando Pessoa

“Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.” – Anne Herbert

“Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people – people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.” – E.B. White

“Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.” – Mortimer J. Adler

“It’s one of the greatest gifts that reading can give a person: easy access to peace inside, even when the world outside is in shambles.” – Jennifer Williamson

“Some books leave us free and some books make us free.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“There is no frigate like a book to take us lands away” – Emily Dickinson

“If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.” – J.K. Rowling

“Many people, myself among them, feel better at the mere sight of a book.” – Jane Smiley

Further Inspiration: 100 being happy quotes to unlock the key to happiness

7. Supports falling asleep

Many people have difficulties in falling asleep. The daily events still keep them too busy and they simply can’t disconnect. Sleeping rituals can help. If you pick up a book every evening and scan a few pages, you might not only find mental peace, but you also give the evening structure and end the day with a relaxing habit.

Tip: To ensure a good night’s sleep it is best to omit books that frighten you or “all-nighters” you can’t put down.

quote about reading
“Knowing you have something good to read before bed
is among the most pleasurable of sensations.”
― Vladimir Nabokov

“I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books.” – Jorge Luis Borges

“That perfect tranquility of life, which is nowhere to be found but in retreat, a faithful friend and a good library.” – Aphra Behn

“We read in bed because reading is halfway between life and dreaming, our own consciousness in someone else’s mind.” —Anna Quindlen

Further Inspiration: 72 sleep quotes for a healthy dose of rest

8. Trains the memory

Studies have shown that people who are frequently involved in complex mental tasks in their lives stay mentally fit longer in old age. In a complex story, names, places, motifs, backgrounds and events must be remembered and linked in the brain. Clearly, this creates new synapses and strengthens existing neuronal connections.

Regular reading and the constant absorption of new information challenge the brain and train the memory to remain fit in old age. It can even lenthen your life span.(3)

reading habit quote
“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”
– Joseph Addison

“I guess there are never enough books.” – John Steinbeck

“I always read. You know how sharks have to keep swimming or they die? I’m like that. If I stop reading, I die.” – Patrick Rothfuss

9. Promotes concentration

Often, information and news are served quickly and in the form of bites. We browse the web in a hurry, read a status message here, a headline there, update Twitter and browse the most important Facebook news. We stumble across disastrous pictures from the news and quickly check the weather again. Accustomed to this pace, reading a novel at the end of the day has a de-accelerating effect. 

Book pages do not change as quickly as clicked pages on the Internet: You spend a relatively long time dealing with the same subject. And you have to learn to resist distractions, otherwise you lose the thread of the story and can no longer follow complex thought processes. The working memory temporarily stores what has been read in the brain. Only then is it possible to understand what the words in the book mean. The more your working memory is challenged, the better you learn to concentrate.

In that context I’d like to end this post with a last wise quote.

“Reading—even browsing—an old book can yield sustenance denied by a database search.” —James Gleick

Grab a book now!

So if you belong to those who hardly reads any books, perhaps these benefits of reading books supported by thought-provoking quotes will convince you. Why not take a book now and then lose yourself in the words. I think in each of us there’s a little but enthusiastic bookworm who just hasn’t been awakened yet.


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