Anatole Broyard Quotes (displaying: 1 - 25 of 25 quotes)
For him that stealeth, or borroweth and returneth not, this book from its owner, let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him. Let him be struck with palsy, and all his members blasted. Let him languish in pain, crying aloud for mercy, and let there be no surcease to this agony till he sing in dissolution. Let bookworms gnaw his entrails…and when at last he goeth to his final punishment, let the flames of Hell consume him forever.” — Anonymous Curse on Book Theives from the Monaster of San Pedro, Barcelona, Spain
A good book is never exhausted. It goes on whispering to you from the wall. Books perfume and give weight to a room. A bookcase is as good as a view, as the sight of a city or a river. There are dawns and sunsets in books - storms, fogs, zephyrs. I read about a family whose apartment consists of a series of spaces so strictly planned that they are obliged to give away their books as soon as they've read them. I think they have misunderstood the way books work. Reading a book is only the first step in the relationship. After you've finished it, the book enters on its real career. It stand there as a badge, a blackmailer, a monument, a scar. It's both a flaw in the room, like a crack in the plaster, and a decoration. The contents of someone's bookcase are part of his history, like an ancestral portrait.
The most dangerous part of lending books lies in the returning. At such times, friendships hang by a thread. I look for agony, ecstasy, for tears, transfiguration, trembling hands, a broken voice - but what the borrower usually says is, "I enjoyed it." I enjoyed it - as if that were what books were for.