I heard his library burned down and both books were destroyed - and one of them hadn't even been colored in yet.
The great book for you is the book that has the most to say to you at the moment when you are reading. I do not mean the book that is most instructive, but the book that feeds your spirit. And that depends on your age, your experience, your psychological and spiritual need.
A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity and once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen by morning light, at noon and by moonlight.
Do not suppose, however, that I intend to urge a diet of classics on anybody. I have seen such diets at work. I have known people who have actually read all, or almost all, the guaranteed Hundred Best Books. God save us from reading nothing but the best.
The clerisy are those who read for pleasure, but not for idleness who read for pastime but not to kill time who love books, but do not live by books.
Book lovers are thought by unbookish people to be gentle and unworldly, and perhaps a few of them are so. But there are others who will lie and scheme and steal to get books as wildly and unconscionably as the dope-taker in pursuit of his drug. They may not want the books to read immediately, or at all they want them to possess, to range on their shelves, to have at command. They want books as a Turk is thought to want concubines not to be hastily deflowered, but to be kept at their master's call, and enjoyed more often in thought than in reality.
If I had my way books would not be written in English, but in an exceedingly difficult secret language that only skilled professional readers and story-tellers could interpret. Then people would have to go to public halls and pay good prices to hear. . .
More Robertson Davies Quotations (Based on Topics)
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Leo Tolstoy - V. S. Naipaul - Umberto Eco - Thomas Hardy - Pearl S. Buck - Louisa May Alcott - J. R. R. Tolkien - Honore de Balzac - Arthur Herzog - Alexander Dumas