Reaping the Seventh Reward: Shared Immortality
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27 Quotes on Books, Reading, Writing, Learning, and Doing


Image quote: Will Rogers said we 'only learn in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.' Books deliver both.

I gathered a lot of quotations while researching the topics covered in Read ‘Em & Reap! Many are spread throughout the book, so I thought I’d collect my favorites and share them here.

A few I’ve put into images that I hope you’ll feel free to share. A couple are my own thoughts, pulled out of the text in the book, so forgive the indulgence. And please add any of your favorites I’ve left out, or any thoughts these may inspire in you, in the comments below.


Indeed, this is one of the great and wondrous characteristics of beautiful books … for the author they may be called Conclusions, but for the reader, Provocations. We can feel that our wisdom begins where the author’s ends …

— Marcel Proust

Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.

— Anna Quindlen

Books are humanity in print.

— Barbara Tuchman


Image quote: 'Every good book is a magic force that lifts the reader out of themselves and the workaday world.' - Edgar Magnin

I’ve come to think of books as social synapses. Within us, a synapse fires when the sending neuron builds enough electro-chemical “action potential” to transmit a signal across the space between it and the receiving cell. When a writer puts enough potential into the words on the page and readers bring their own active participation close enough, sparks of meanings can come alive between.

— Tom Collins



A reader lives a thousand lives … The man who never reads lives only one.

— George R.R. Martin

Deep reading … is a process of inquiry built around the exploration of ‘challenging questions’ and ‘troublesome knowledge.’

— Patrick Sullivan


Image quote: 'Reading provides our finest vehicle to travel outside the circumferences of our lives.' - Maryanne Wolf


No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.

— C.S. Lewis

Think before you speak. Read before you think.

— Fran Lebowitz


One of the things I gained a deeper understanding about in the course of researching and writing Read ‘Em & Reap is the profound relationship between reading and writing, reflected in my choice of quotes here.

If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.

— Stephen King

Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.

— Louis L’Amour


Image quote: 'If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't yet been written, then you must write it.' - Toni Morrison


Read, read, read. Read everything – trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write.

— William Faulkner

[W]e theorize writing as a form of deep reading and learning – an … inquiry built around reading … essential for the development of mature meaning-making.

— Patrick Sullivan

[W]hat sublimity of mind was his who dreamed of finding means to communicate his deepest thoughts … by the different arrangements of twenty characters upon a page!

— Galileo


Learning is the superpower of superpowers, the one that grows the rest of them.

— Rick Hanson, PhD

[C]hildren begin school by learning to read with the ultimate goal of reading to learn.

— Dana Suskind, M.D.


Image quote: 'The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.' - Dr. Seuss


While I’m quoting poetry, this one is not included in the book, but comes from my Old Dog Learning branding statement, third verse:

Why should learning come first? you may ask
Well, when changing course, or results, is your task

You’ll need more information
To map out each new station

So on your journey, in successes you will bask!

— Tom Collins

I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.

— Neil Gaiman



Adults are much more likely to act their way into a new way of thinking than to think their way into a new way of acting.

— Richard Pascale

The final step [to overcome] impasse is integrating what we’ve learned so we can make a decision and take action.

— Dr. Timothy Butler


Image quote: 'The best effect of any book is that it excites the reader to self activity.' - Thomas Carlyle


Now don’t just sit there reading.


— Tom Collins

Any I missed?

Any of the above you especially love?

Even better, any actions you’re inspired to take?

Let us know in the comments, or by sharing on social media.