If we were a people more given to revealing secrets, we might raise monuments and sacrifice to the memories of our poets, but slavery cured us of that weakness. It may be enough, however, to have it said that we survive in exact relationship to the dedication of our poets (includes preachers, musicians and blues singers). ~Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

The world I create in writing compensates for what the real world does not give me. ~Gloria Anzaldua

Words are all we have. ~Samuel Beckett

All words are pegs to hang ideas on. ~Henry Ward Beecher

Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore! ~Henry Ward Beecher

When writers die they become books, which is, after all, not too bad an incarnation. ~Jorge Luis Borges

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

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. ~Ray Bradbury

Libraries raised me. ~Ray Bradbury

This book, like most of my books and stories, was a surprise. I began to learn the nature of such surprises, thank God, when I was fairly young as a writer. Before that, like every beginner, I thought you could beat, pummel, and thrash an idea into existence. Under such treatment, of course, any decent idea folds up its paws, turns on its back, fixes its eyes on eternity, and dies. ~Ray Bradbury, introduction to Dandelion Wine

In communist countries, you execute your poets. In the free world, the poets execute themselves. ~Kate Braverman

Every writing career starts as a personal quest for sainthood, for self-betterment. Sooner or later, and as a rule quite soon, a man discovers that his pen accomplishes a lot more than his soul. ~Joseph Brodsky

As a stalwart reader of printed books, I'm left to wonder what will happen to the wide, slow silty river of the their history, to the countless volumes waiting now in the abandoned silence of library stacks. Stacks: The word itself connects books to the harvest, to corn and hay. They were always earthbound. Smell the must, feel the brittle, browning pages between your thumb and forefinger. The tears, the cracked spines, the stains and folds. Even if we readers forget them, printed books will hold us in their memory. ~Jane Brox, Illuminating Texts

To me Art (poetry) is a continuous and continuing process and that when a man fails to write good poetry he fails to live fully or well. ~Charles Bukowski

I have seen too many men wilt and go silly under a little light, and then they continue to write and get published, turning out pure crap under a name that has become a bad habit. The next poem is all that counts. You can't stand on past poems. ~Charles Bukowski

Writing is one of the few professions in which you can psychoanalyze yourself, get rid of hostilities and frustrations in public, and get paid for it. ~Octavia Butler

A writer must take risks, defy the odds, be a bit obsessed and a little mad. ~Robert Cormier

I feel like I'm addicted to the printed word. ~Paula Danziger, The Cat Ate My Gymsuit)

A word is dead/When it is said./Some say./I say it just/Begins to live/That day. ~Emily Dickinson

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends, and the most patient of teachers. ~Charles Eliot

Writers aren't exactly people...they're a whole lot of people trying to be one person. ~F. Scott Fitzgerald

A writer's temperament is continually making him do things he can never repair. ~F. Scott Fitzgerald

A well-chosen book saves you from everything, including yourself. ~F. Scott Fitzgerald

What I do know is that when I read poetry, good poetry, I forget to breathe and my body is suffused with something unnamable--a combination of awe and astonishment and the purest of pleasures. Reading poetry is such a thrill that I often feel like I am getting away with something. ~Roxane Gay, "Losing It"

There's something about the large, clunky, medieval device that appeals to the aspiring writers among us; they make you feel more connected to your work. When a story is done and has been pulled off the roller, you can still feel it in your fingers. ~Nicholas Jackson

Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing. ~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

I don't want to be a propagandist, no matter how good the cause. I want to tell stories. It's just that the stories have to square with my consciousness as a woman and my conscience as a human being. ~Ursula K. LeGuin

You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. ~Jack London

History belongs to she who holds the pen...If we don't tell our stories, they won't be told. ~Julianne Malveaux

I have no feelings of guilt regarding the books I have not read and perhaps will never read; I know that my books have unlimited patience. They will wait for me till the end of my days. ~Alberto Manguel

The most solid materials perish, as do the mightiest thoughts. And the greatest book ever written can convey only a tiny fragment of the artist's real emotion. No, we are only building tombs for posterity to admire with our words. We are trying to record the changing ego, but the self will not be revealed thus. We are only throwing off sparks. ~Henry Miller, letter to Anaïs Nin (February 21, 1939)

She carried a notebook with her everywhere and brimmed with ideas. She often woke in the night and switched on the light to scribble down her thoughts. ~Josephine Moon, The Tea Chest

All I need is a sheet of paper/and something to write with, and then/I can turn the world upside down. ~Friedrich Nietzsche

The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say. ~Anaïs Nin

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection. ~Anaïs Nin

Just the knowledge that a good book is awaiting one at the end of a long day makes that day happier. ~Kathleen Norris, Hands Full of Living

I write because I don't know what I think until I read what I say. ~Flannery O'Connor

Writing a book is an act of sheer defiance. It is a declaration that you believe in the persistence of memory. ~Susan Orlean

Books are like truth serum--if you don't read, you can't tell what's real. ~Rodman Philbrick, Freak the Mighty

Poetry, I feel, is a tyrannical discipline. You've got to go so far, so fast, in such a small space, that you've just got to burn away the peripherals. ~Sylvia Plath

Of course anyone who truly loves books buys more of them than he or she can hope to read in one fleeting lifetime. A good book, resting unopened in its slot on a shelf, full of majestic potentiality, is the most comforting sort of intellectual wallpaper. ~David Quaimen

Poets are always taking the weather so personally. They're always sticking their emotions in things that have no emotions. ~J.D. Salinger, "Teddy"

What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though. ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

Poetry is a pack-sack of invisible keepsakes. Poetry is a sky dark with a wild-duck migration. ~Carl Sandburg

Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar. ~Percy Shelley

Love words, agonize over sentences. And pay attention to the world. ~Susan Sontag

Fiction gives us a second chance that life denies us. ~Paul Theroux

Lignin, the stuff that prevents all trees from adopting the weeping habit, is a polymer made up of units that are closely related to vanillin. When made into paper and stored for years, it breaks down and smells good. Which is how divine providence has arranged for secondhand bookstores to smell like good quality vanilla absolute, subliminally stoking a hunger for knowledge in all of us. ~Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez, Perfumes: The Guide

I have no scepter, but I have a pen. ~Voltaire

All great literature is about what a bummer it is to be a human being. ~Kurt Vonnegut

A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. 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

All words are spiritual--nothing is more spiritual than words. ~Walt Whitman, An American Primer

What beauty there is in words! What a lurking curious charm in the sound some words! ~Walt Whitman

The proof of a poet is that his country absorbs him as affectionately as he absorbed it. ~Walt Whitman

Poetry is the language of intensity. Because we are going to die, an expression of intensity is justified. ~C. D. Wright, Cooling Time: An American Poetry Vigil