"It was disconcerting for the novel to seem so different when I re-read it. Of course we are a different person each time we open a book to read it again; we can never really experience it in the same way, just as we can never step into the same stream twice."
"That's what reading was for my mother, and became for me - a way to escape, a private time machine, a place that began with moral instruction but soon morphed into empathy and imagination."
"Not only does art imitate life but life imitates art. Perhaps we not only learn about life from stories, perhaps we make our lives through the stories we tell ourselves about the things that happen to us."
"I learned that books could be collected, that they were important enough to keep and that a story that seemed to be over could be part of a bigger one."
"But, in the end, the books that surround me are the books that made me, through my reading (and misreading) of them; they fall in piles on my desk, they stack behind me on my shelves, they surprise me every time I look for one and find ten more I had forgotten about. I love their covers, their weight and their substance. And like the child I was, with the key to the world that reading gave me, it is still exciting for me to find a new book, open it at the first page and plunge in, head first, heart deep."
"I realised that reading was the key that opened the door to secret lands, strange places and the worlds behind other people's eyes."
"Can we really be friends with those who don't love the books that we do? Of course we can, but can we really be friends with those who don't love any books? I'm not so sure of that."
"True browsing means that we discover shelves and subjects that we could not have anticipated when we started. And the books we read introduce us to other books, as if we are at a magnificent party of the mind, being ever welcomed by new friends to join in the conversation."
"Books that recount ordeals are precious because an ordeal is what we most fear, and the stories that tell us how to survive them reassure us about what a human being is capable of, as we survive our own lives every day, our own mysterious journeys."
"That's what is so precious in reading this way - you can plumb the depths of another's experience while sitting still with a book in your hands."
"We read to find out what the world is like, to experience lots of lives, not just the one we live. If it is true that our lives are chaotic and we crave a shape, stories are the shapes that we put on experience, containing all the wisdom in the world. We can even choose what kind of wisdom suits us."