Anyway, the christian faith has been the greatest catalyst in history for spreading literacy and writing. It has also been responsible for the creation of written languages in primitive societies in The far east that had none. From the post Roman era onward to the missionary zeal of the 19th and 20th centuries, reading and the ability to read and write have boomed world wide. Probably never before have so many people of different backgrounds (class, ethnic racial) have been gifted with the talent for reading and writing. Whether its an old well to do professor at Oxford or Harvard studying old texts, a wall street tycoon examining stock market quotes onward down to a primitive bushman in Africa reading a magazine in English or Khosi and a sugarcane farmer reading his bible. This phenomenon happened largely due to the Christian faith.
The Christians of the Byzantine Empire which did more to preserve classical literature and evangelize Europe are largely to thank for this. They along with other movements such as the Calvinist missionaries in North America and India such as Samuel Kellog who translated the Bible to Sanskrit along with missionaries from Victorian England such as Stanley Livingston who learned the languages of the various tribes of Africa and taught them the gospel and the scriptures in their own language are to be thanks for this phenomenon. They along with their courage and zeal for spreading the Gospel of Our lord Jesus Christ.
my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. "Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children. This from Hosea 4:6. And Without literacy and a basic education, the church elders and rulers of Byzantine Rome knew that literacy was necessary so that its citizens could not ignore God's law.
In Byzantium, education was given great priority among the church and the ruling elite. This because they found it necessary for the studying and knowledge of Scripture and christian faith. It was necessary to teach morality and good citizenship as well as to ingratiate the knowledge. Education was made available not just to the nobility and the wealthy but to the country peasant as well. Even women had access to education! This not only helped bring about piety and morality as well as improving culture and quality of life it also aided in the evangelizing of surrounding nations, nations I might add that posed a Threat to the Byzantines after the fall of the western Roman empire.
Sadly, the western Roman Church did not copy this philosophy and this need on literacy and education. In The Roman Catholic church, the Bible and the few surviving literature from the destruction of the Roman empire were in Latin. The church required that the bible remain in Latin and that all priests and bishops had to learn Latin. This made evangelism of the west extremely difficult and would delay the Christianizing of western Europe which in the end was done sadly through the sword. Still... Its rulers, people even its priests were ignorant of what the faith and the church taught.
In rural communities for instance, the people by and large continued following old pagan traditions, merging them with Christian teaching. Even the country priest went along with this since usually he too did not understand what he extolled during Sunday mass. The baptism of infants, the confirmation of young believers, the Eucharist, Sunday mass, church doctrine all were performed but with no understanding. The nobility and even the priests at times were illiterate and ignorant of Latin. Priests and bishops often memorized Latin sayings and quoted them to the best of their knowledge during mass.
IT is even alleged that Great devout saints such as Joan D'arc got much of their powers and their gifts not from scripture but from ancient pre christian mysticism. Joan was often seen praying before a mystic tree before battle. A feat that came down to her from old Frankish paganism and such old superstition may have played an unfortunate roll in her trial and execution by Burgundian and English Clergy. Illiteracy and ignorance would corrupt and weaken the western world throughout the middle ages. It would not be until the protestant reformation and the subsequent counter reformations by the Roman church that would increase literacy yet it would only be more modern efforts that would bring literacy to the west.
So as the church in the west struggled against pagan superstition and in teaching ignorant and barbaric nomads and warlords the teachings of Christ, the Byzantines succeeded doing so in Eastern Europe before the end of the millennium. This is because scripture was not just in Native Greek but in other languages. If the Eastern Church came across a people who had no language they would make one for them as the brothers Cyril and Methodius did when they converted the barbarian peoples of the Slavic and Russian Steppes.
Cyril and Methodius were missionary monks who risked their lives traveling to evangelize the Slavic and Bulgar peoples who at that time were Byzantine Rome's enemies and greatest threat. The barbarians of modern Hungary and Slovak threatened the capital of Constantinople and demanded great tributes from the emperors that nearly bankrupted the empire. Just as Saint Patrick quelled and pacified the violent and pagan Celts of Ireland around that time, the brother monks Cyril and Methodius did to the Slavs and Bulgar's. In 862, Prince Rastilav, Slavic warlord converted and requested that Emperor Michael III send more missionaries.
To assist in evangelizing the Steppe tribes who had no written language at that time, they created two for them. the Glagolitic alphabet for the Slavs, the Cyrillic alphabet for the Rus and Balts that is continually in use in Eastern Europe to this very day. Boris the first, ruler and warlord of the fierce Bulgars is probably a more famous convert as a result of the Brother's work and the advantage literacy. He was baptized in 865 and Emperor Michael III became his Godfather.
Unfortunately as the centuries passed corruption and many of the old sins of the western Romans took its toll on Byzantium. In the 11th century, the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Pope excommunicated each other and broke away. Many of the various eastern nations such as Ukraine, Novgorod (Russia) and Serbia formed their own churches. Though great distances from Constantinople probably had more to do with it than doctrinal dispensations. Many of its Providences revolted with Serbia breaking away and declaring independence from Eastern Rome. To make matters worse, The empire was besieged to the north from the Hungarians and to the east with the arrival of Islam and the Seljuk's from Asia.
Abu Bakr, Grandson of the Prophet Mohammad conquered North Africa and the holy land reaching as far as Trebizond. Later, the Byzantines were put under siege with the arrival of Two mongol hordes, the Cumans in the northeast and the Seljuk Turks from the east that conquered Isfahan Baghdad and then reached as far as Egypt. The later converted to Islam and waged war with the Christians which lead to the first crusade to recapture Jerusalem. In 1204, the Doge of Venice hijacked the 4th crusade and plundered Constantinople destroying priceless works of art including a stature of Helen of Troy and returning with many other statues, treasures and artworks that can be found in Venice to this day. The empire was occupied by puppet emperors from Normandy France until the close of the century
What followed these disasters was iconoclasm. Works of art in churches were destroyed because of fear that they incurred God's anger. Universities and libraries were also closed even destroyed. It did no good. Corruption, hedonism and tyranny were rampant and the loss of universities, artworks and literature only worsened the empire's condition. The empire slowly shrank with one conquest after another by the Ottoman Dynasty until finally in 1453 with only a few Greek Providences remaining, Constantinople was conquered and the last of the Roman empire was finally destroyed.
Literacy after Rome
After the fall of Byzantine Rome the wave of literacy would continue under the Protestant Reformation. In the sixteenth century, protestant radicals protesting corruption and doctrinal heresy in Rome rebelled and began establishing their own churches. In addition movements to translate the scripture into native tongues that went back a century with the Priest John Wycliffe spurred into action. Bibles were smuggled into Catholic ports and were valuable contraband. Protestant missionaries emphasized on literacy to teach scripture to those with no knowledge of the gospel.
The Puritans of New England passed laws requiring that all children learn to read and write so that they could learn and understand the scriptures. In Scotland, Northern Ireland, the North American colonies and other protestant enclaves literacy and the teaching of reading and writing were heavily emphasized yet in Britain under the Anglican church this was not so until around Victorian times.
In the spirit of Saints Cyrill and Methodious, Missionary Samuel Kellogg travelled through colonial India preaching the gospel and translating the Bible into Sanskrit and other dialects despite missionizing being made illegal by the British East India company until the 1850s and with restrictions finally being totally lifted in 1906. Missionary Stanley Livingstone travelled throughout Africa where he would learn the language of the tribe and begin to communicate it to the tribes he was with. He spent most of his life doing this and was at first presumed dead back at home.
literacy in the 20th century.
In the year 1900 in the start of the 20th century, literacy rates were concentrated mostly in the Christian world and in areas where missions were hard at work. The Late Reverend James Kennedy in his book what if Jesus had never been born noted the benefits of Christianity statistics of literacy as follows at that time:
Protestant nations: 80%-99%
Protestant countries mainly those that had puritanical influences in its foundations like the United states Britain and So on were motivated to educate the population in reading and writing primarily as a way to learn to read the Bible. However in Britain around the time, the Anglican church was not as motivated as the Presbyterians who lived in Scotland or other areas to teach literacy. The Church of England which was under control by the Monarchy did not emphasize too much of it in some circles Mainly to prevent schisms or people from leaving the church. In its colonies, translations of the Bible from English to the vernacular were discouraged. the result was illiteracy and ignorance in its more populated areas and disbelief.
The belief at that time was that the lower classes were little removed from animals and that they were suited only for a life of labor and obedience to their lords. A belief throughout the world. It was also feared that peasants who were literate could rebel or leave the church. Sadly, while it is true that dumbed down populations have a tendency to be submissive, that doesn't mean it will be to the same regime. In the 17th century, England was embroiled in a civil war between the monarchists and Parliament which also consisted of Puritans and Scottish Presbyterians who disliked both the Monarchy and the State's church for religious reasons. In addition Britain had lost its American colonies to a similar revolution and had another close shave (no pun intended) With a French republican style revolution in the close of the 18th century.
As it turns out literacy and education is a necessary pillar for social order and civilization. Education is also especially important with regards of maintaining the christian faith regardless of denomination. Populations that cannot read or write will not be able to understand scripture and therefore not be in obedience to God's laws.
It should come to no surprised that our Christian founders of the United states established laws as well such as the Old deluder Satan act in 1647 that mandating reading classes. It further states:
It being one chief project of that old deluder, Satan, to keep men from the knowledge of
the Scriptures, as in former times keeping them in an unknown tongue, so in these later
times by perswading from the use of tongues, that so at least the true sense and meaning
of the Originall might be clowded by false glosses of Saint-seeming deceivers; and that
Learning may not be buried in the graves of our fore-fathers in Church and
Commonwealth, the Lord assisting our indeavors:
The founding Fathers agreed. Thomas Jefferson Writes:
"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves, (A)nd if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power."
It should come as no surprise then that the United States of America is the nation where literacy took root the greatest and that along with its Christian foundations made this nation great.
Catholic Orthodox and Muslim countries 60%-30%
As mentioned before The catholic church at the time required the scriptures to be in Latin and forbade its translation into the vernacular under pain of death. This it turns out proved to be a hindrance not only to evangelism but in educating the faithful and maintaining order. Even priests bishops and cardinals suffered from illiteracy and only one tenth understood Latin. The rest simply memorized or read the Latin doxologies and missals during mass. Also as I mentioned before most peasants and even nobles did not understand their faith and simply merged ancient pagan superstition into the faith. And As I also mentioned, many feudal lords viewed denying education to the peasantry as necessary to control and suppress them.
This it turns out also did not bode well not only for Catholic nations and rulers but for the church as well. In the later middle ages, heresies and rebellions were commonplace. In the 18th century the results were especially devastating. In Catholic France, it was illegal to teach rural peasants in most parts of the country to read or write. This was to keep the populace ignorant and submissive and to prevent the protestant Huguenots from converting them away from the faith.
While that may have prevented them from turning to heresy, it certainly did not prevent them from turning to the French revolutionary paradigm which in turn fomented rebellion in 1789 after food shortages, abuses by corrupt lords under feudal rights and economic ruin brought on by Louis XV. It ended with the execution of his grandson Louis XVI and his queen Marie Antoinette and what followed were bloody successions of regimes, the rise of emperor Napoleon and wars that engulfed the world for over 22 years.
In the 19th century the Catholic church, seeing the plight of the peasantry and seeing the need for an educated faithful in order to curb the spread of heresy and keep up in the more modern world began to focus more on education. Still, the efforts were mostly focused in urban settings and things didn't pick up until the 20th century. Women of course were among the majority of illiterate.
In the Eastern Orthodox nations, scriptures were in vernacular usually Greek or Cyrillic, the language of Russia and the former soviet states. However education was also hard to come by. Children were educated usually by the local priest in reading and writing and were schooled for an average of 2 years. In 1861 with the abolition of serfdom and a few reforms government schools were added but again the average time of learning was 2 to 5 years. Most peasants could not read or write in 1900. Nikita Khruschev who would become the soviet Unions 3rd ruler and who was raised in the peasant village of Kalinovka in the Don bas region of Ukraine recalled in his memoirs being schooled for about 2 years and then his father took him aside and told him "You've had enough learning, its time for you to do plowing."
The Imperial government was not keen on educating peasants and advised teachers both government and parochial not to emphasize on a subject for very long. Girls were also educated along with boys then but were also mainly illiterate more so than boys. Again this had dire consequences as Revolutions broke out during the 19th and 20th centuries culminating in the Bolshevik revolution and the rise of the Soviet Union. The Orthodox church from 1921 up to the end of world war 2 faced great persecution and witnessed the destruction of many of its famous cathedrals and priceless icons by Lenin and Stalin. A population ignorant of the precepts of faith were easy game for communists.
The Muslim world had its one ways of dealing with education however their mode was largely inferior to that of the western world. While in the Byzantine empire and in the Orthodox church, girls were educated along with boys in Islam women were usually barred from education and largely kept illiterate. Education was focused primarily on men. The motivation instead of reading and understanding the Bible however involved in its place the Koran and Hadith. In many areas especially desert nomad communities, learning and memorizing the Koran was a passage of manhood.
After centuries of holy war and conquest, the Islamic world briefly settled in for a golden age of learning and culture that prospered and benefited the Islamic world for a short time. Literacy and the motivation to learn the Koran played a big role but the golden age ended with the conquest and invasion of the mongols and with the rise of the ottoman empire which proved to be corrupt and authoritarian and did not encourage education as much. Education was suppressed by more corrupt and brutal regimes and rulers in the Islamic world and later one began to fall into decline while Christendom flourished.
To this day, reading and literacy are mainly encouraged in nomadic tribes mostly in the Sahara region that emphasize reading in order to learn the Koran. Under dictatorship and corrupt regimes however this is discouraged. Women sadly are still forbidden to be schooled in most countries and teaching women to read is heavily discouraged. Indeed the rampant spread of ignorance and illiteracy especially amongst women could lead to the inevitable downfall of Islam.
Pagan nations 20%-0%
The pagan world (that is to say nations neither Christian Jewish or Muslim)including those that had been colonized by the west are were illiteracy was more commonplace. Most of this was due to the lack of a written language in stone age cultures like those found in the pacific Islands, in Africa or in the South American rainforest. In advanced countries such as China, French Indo-China, Thailand and Japan at that time, literacy was found only amongst the well to do classes such as the Mandarins, in Buddhist, confucian or Shinto places or worship or within the aristocrcy. In 1900 missionizing had been largely underway in China as much of that nation had been colonized by Britain, France, Germany, Russia, Japan even the United states.
Two obstacles hindered education and evangelism in China. First and foremost was China's complex written language of symbols which were difficult to memorize and understand. Chinese bibles were translated at first in the 19th century but did not become widespread until later on. The seond obstacle was fervent nationalism and a view of Christianity as foreign. The Boxer rebellions broke out at that time and one large motivator aside from driving out the colonists was the expulsion of Christian belief. The Empire also was forced to side with the Boxers. religious liberty would not come to China until the fall of the monarchy under Sun Yat tsen in 1912 who converted to christianity.
Literacy as a whole was still stunted and further hindered with the rise of communism under Mao Tse Tung. Chinese communists introduced the simplified version of the Chinese alphabet in order to encourage literacy though it was to learn the teachings of Marx and Engels as well as the philosophy of Mao.
In Japan which was rising to become a global empire literacy was encouraged as part of its program of modernization but women were mostly bared from education. In the Middle ages, Catholic and Protestant missionaries from Portugal, the netherlands and England arrived in Japan but were persecuted and nearly exterminated in the 17th century. Japan is still largely closed to christian missionaries even after its defeat in world war 2.
The most unevangelized area was in the polynesian islands of the South Pacific. Many of these tribes had no written language providing a barrier not only to modernization but evangelism as well. After the second world war, american and British veterans who liberated these people from Japan returned as missionaries converting and teaching them a writen language and missionizing them.
Today according to statistics only 1 out of 5 people in the world are illiterate. Out of a population of seven billion this is not much compared to the way things were a century ago. Education worldwide contrary to what secular humanists would say is largely the result of the Christian faith. The Late Doctor James Kennedy writes:
Christianity not only helped to educate america and the west but in the last two centuries, it was primarily christian missionaries who educated countless millions in third world countries. Christians have established schools in the remotest jungles, converted unwritten languages into writing, and taught reading and writing to the nations.
Much more could be said about how christianity promoted literacy and education worldwide. For instance consider the Sunday School movement founded by Robert Raikes of Gloucester England. The purpose of this was to provide bible oriented schooling for poor children who otherwise would not have recieved it.
James Kennedy in his book What if Jesus had never been born tells that were it not for the Christian faith our modern world today would look very little like the modern world but more and more like the world of our forefathers centuries past. A very bleak world I might add as well for we would not have the Christian faith, technology, medicine and things we take for granted and more likely would be toiling and working for a ruling elite class.
Sadly literacy and education has declined in North America with the advent of modern liberalism. Public schools are dumbing down our children and failing to teach them to read or write. Schools are graduating students who cannot read or write and wind up in menial jobs as career welfare recipients, criminals, homeless and generally poor underachievers. As I mentioned in another blog, our schools dont graduate kids, they excrete them. Add to this a high rate of dropouts, violence and even death in what is intended to be hallowed halls of learning. All paid for with our taxes by force at the hands of the liberal elite.
It is the loss of the Christian faith that is leading the way of misinformation and poor education along with rampant secular humanism. Our children are now taught that there is no God, america and the west are evil, we all come from monkeys, socialism and Islam are greater and superior to America and on and on.
The secular liberals who detest the Christian faith and desire to see its demise might want to consider the warnings of the late great Dr. Kennedy in his book What if Jesus had never been born? We can already see its consequences not just in the loss of morals and purity but the loss of education. In 1969 using a rocket module whose computer systems are inferior to our modern personal computers, Americans landed on the moon. Today, we have not returned in over 4 decades and we have just ended the Space shuttle program.
We are comparable to 3rd world countries concerning social problems including that of education. The liberals who claim to be for civil rights and civil liberties have done more to erode them and in truth do so deliberately. They hate not just America but Christianity and capitalism and yearn for North America to Join with Western Europe in becoming socialistic totalitarian states that resemble more of communist Russia. In addition to destroying the benefits of Christianity such as literacy in the end liberals sow their own downfall just as other nations have in the past.
“A book burrows into your life in a very profound way because the experience of reading is not passive.” Erica Jong, O Magazine, 2003
“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” Sir Richard Steele
“Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to be always part of unanimity.” Christopher Morley (1890 - 1957)
“I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage.” Charles De Secondat (1689 - 1755)
“Properly, we should read for power. Man reading should be man intensely alive. The book should be a ball of light in one's hand.” Ezra Pound (1885 - 1972)
“How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.” Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862), Walden
“Never be entirely idle; but either be reading, or writing, or praying, or meditating, or endeavoring something for the public good.” Thomas a Kempis (1380 - 1471)
“Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man.” Sir Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626)
“Resolve to edge in a little reading every day, if it is but a single sentence. If you gain fifteen minutes a day, it will make itself felt at the end of the year.” Horace Mann (1796 - 1859)
“Reading well is one of the great pleasures that solitude can afford you.” Harold Bloom (1930 - ), O Magazine, April 2003
“The books that help you most are those which make you think the most. The hardest way of learning is that of easy reading; but a great book that comes from a great thinker is a ship of thought, deep freighted with truth and beauty.” Theodore Parker (1810 - 1860)
“The reading of all good books is indeed like a conversation with the noblest men of past centuries who were the authors of them, nay a carefully studied conversation, in which they reveal to us none but the best of their thoughts.” Rene Descartes (1596 - 1650)
“I'm sure we would not have had men on the Moon if it had not been for Wells and Verne and the people who write about this and made people think about it. I'm rather proud of the fact that I know several astronauts who became astronauts through reading my books.” Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - ), Address to US Congress, 1975
“If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are rotten, either write things worth reading or do things worth the writing.” Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790)
“Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.” John Locke (1632 - 1704)
“Where do I find the time for not reading so many books?” Karl Kraus (1874 - 1936)
“Nobody ever committed suicide while reading a good book, but many have while trying to write one.” Robert Byrne
“People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.” Logan Pearsall Smith (1865 - 1946)
“No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting.” Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689 - 1762)
“If the riches of the Indies, or the crowns of all the kingdom of Europe, were laid at my feet in exchange for my love of reading, I would spurn them all.” Francois Fenelon
“Happy is he who has laid up in his youth, and held fast in all fortune, a genuine and passionate love of reading.” Rufus Choate
“The pleasure of all reading is doubled when one lives with another who shares the same books.” Katherine Mansfield (1888 - 1923)
I cannot live without books. Thomas Jefferson
Books are Y2K compliant. Unknown
The book to read is not the one which thinks for you, but the one which makes you think. James McCosh
Outside of a dog a book is man's best. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. Groucho Marx
I must say that I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a book. Groucho Marx
A book is like a garden carried in the pocket. Chinese Proverb
Anyone who has a library and a garden wants for nothing. Cicero
Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life. Mortimer J. Adler
He who destroys a good book kills reason itself. John Milton
Be as careful of the books you read, as of the company you keep, for your habits and character will be as much influenced by the former as the latter.
Don't join the book burners... Don't be afraid to go in your library and read every book. Dwight D. Eisenhower
Except a living man, there is nothing more wonderful than a book. Charles Kingsley
To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all of the miseries of life. W. Somerset Maugham
Never read a book through merely because you have begun it. John Witherspoon
A good book is the best of friends, the same today and forever. Martin Tupper
What's a book? Everything or nothing. The eye that sees it all. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings. Heinrich Heine
A good word is like a good tree whose root is firmly fixed and whose top is in the sky. The Koran
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends: they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.
Charles W. Eliot
A library is a hospital for the mind. Anonymous
I had just taken to reading. I had just discovered the art of leaving my body to sit impassive in a crumpled up attitude in a chair or sofa, while I wandered over the hills and far away in novel company and new scenes... My world began to expand very rapidly,... the reading habit had got me securely.
H. G. Wells
Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house. Henry Ward Beecher
Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. Richard Steele
Force yourself to reflect on what you read, paragraph by paragraph. Samuel Taylor Coleridge
I divide all readers into two classes: Those who read to remember and those who read to forget. William Phelps
I have often reflected upon the new vistas that reading opened to me. I knew right there in prison that reading had changed forever the course of my life. As I see it today, the ability to read awoke in me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive. Malcolm X
If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads. Ralph Waldo Emerson
In a very real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. S. I. Hayakawa
It is no more necessary that a man should remember the different dinners and suppers which have made him healthy, than the different books which have made him wise. Let us see the results of good food in a strong body, and the results of great reading in a full and powerful mind. Sydney Smith
Let us read with method, and propose to ourselves an end to which our studies may point. The use of reading is to aid us in thinking. Edward Gibbon
There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island. Walt Disney
The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go. Dr. Seuss
There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away,
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry...
Resolve to edge in a little reading every day, if it is but a single sentence. If you gain fifteen minutes a day, it will make itself felt at the end of the year.
The best effect of any book is that it excites the reader to self activity. Thomas Carlyle
When I step into this library, I cannot understand why I ever step out of it. Marie de Sevigne
The way a book is read-which is to say, the qualities a reader brings to a book-can have as much to do with its worth as anything the author puts into it.
My mother and my father were illiterate immigrants from Russia. When I was a child they were constantly amazed that I could go to a building and take a book on any subject. They couldn't believe this access to knowledge we have here in America. They couldn't believe that it was free.
T'is the good reader that makes the good book.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes. Erasmus
To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life. W. Somerset Maugham
To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting. Edmund Burke
We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. B. F. Skinner
The end of reading is not more books but more life. Holbrook Jackson
Fiction is like a spider's web, attached ever so lightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners. Virginia Woolf
Prefer knowledge to wealth, for the one is transitory, the other perpetual. Socrates
Literature is my Utopia. Helen Keller
Reading maketh a full man. Francis Bacon
My library was dukedom large enough. William Shakespeare (The Tempest)
In a library we are surrounded by many hundreds of dear friends imprisoned by an enchanter in paper and leathern boxes. Ralph Waldo Emerson
When I discovered libraries, it was like having Christmas every day. Jean Fritz
When I got [my] library card, that was when my life began. Rita Mae Brown
The library, I believe, is the last of our public institutions to which you can go without credentials. You don't even need the sticker on your windshield that you need to get into the public beach. All you need is the willingness to read. Harry Golden
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few are to be chewed and digested. Francis Bacon
I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library. Jorge Luis Borges
We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge. John Naisbitt
A library should be like a pair of open arms. Roger Rosenblatt
[The library] is like a place of sacredness. If we were fools at onetime, perhaps we will not be fools tomorrow, if we study. Chief Tom Porter
Research is the process of going up alleys to see if they are blind. Marston Bates
T'is true: there's magic in the web of it... William Shakespeare, Othello Act 3, Scene 4
More people should use their library. Regis Philbin
What can I say? Librarians rule. Regis Philbin
What's important is that all human knowledge be made available to all intelligent people who want to learn it. Stephen Jay Gould
Doing research on the Web is like using a library assembled piecemeal by pack rats and vandalized nightly. Roger Ebert
Words are the voice of the heart. Confucius
We read to know we are not alone. C.S. Lewis
Books had instant replay long before televised sports. Bern Williams
The books that help you the most are those which make you think the most. Theodore Parker
The libraries have become my candy store. Juliana Kimball
A wonderful thing about a book, in contrast to a computer screen, is that you can take it to bed with you. Daniel J. Boorstein
The love of learning, the sequestered nooks, and all the sweet serenity of books. Longfellow
I've traveled the world twice over,
Met the famous; saints and sinners,
Poets and artists, kings and queens,
Old stars and hopeful beginners,
I've been where no-one's been before,
Learned secrets from writers and cooks
All with one library ticket
To the wonderful world of books.