Will Schwalbe’s Books for Living: a Reader’s Guide to Life was published earlier this year, five years after The End of Your Life Book Club. Back in January, I wrote about how Books for Living had helped me to slow down, make time for the important stuff, and ask others more often, “What are you reading?”
To start addressing this, I recently read – and absolutely loved – Elephant Moon by John Sweeney and The North Water by Ian McGuire. Both books reminded me of how much I enjoy (and need) regular doses of fiction.
Reading fiction is how I wind down, escape from work and worries, and become a better me. The business and self-improvement books I can sometimes gravitate towards don’t cut it.
To help keep this in mind, I’ve compiled some of the many quotes I highlighted, underlined, and applauded in Will Schwalbe’s Books for Living. I hope that other keen readers will enjoy these too.
The best quotes for book lovers about the therapy of reading
1. On looking to books for answers
2. On being a librarian, bookseller and reader
3. Reading makes us feel less alone
4. Talking about books is the greatest gift
5. Searching for books to help us make sense of the world
6. On accidentally discovering books that change your life
7. One question we should ask more often
8. Don’t ignore book recommendations from the universe
9. The best part of interrupting a book with a nap
“The best thing about a nap that interrupts my reading is that it often enriches my experience of a book by allowing my subconscious to place me in it. During these naps I might find myself galloping across the moors with Heathcliff or spending Mondays and Wednesdays with Morrie.”
10. Let others nap
“‘Would you like a nap?’ is one of those questions we should ask of one another more often. It’s easy. And it costs exactly nothing.”
11. Books improve us without us trying
12. Books and people are bound together
13. Every book changes your life
“I’m not the same reader when I finish a book as I was when I started. Brains are tangles of pathways, and reading creates new ones. Every book changes your life. So I like to ask: “How is this book changing mine?”
14. The love of reading is greatest when we forget we’re reading
“To live reading is to want to achieve the state where you don’t know you are reading, where your communion with what you are reading is absolute.”
15. Reading is an art
“Reading is an art we practice our whole lives. It’s not like tying a shoe – it’s like ink painting or flower arranging.”
16. Books don’t need to be thick enough to stop bullets
“A book doesn’t need to be think enough to stop bullets.
Enjoy more from me
- Retreat into my new book, Your Life in Bloom: Finding Your Path and Your Courage, Grounded in the Wisdom of Nature.
- I'm also the author of Mountain Song: A Journey to Finding Quiet in the Swiss Alps, a book about my time living alone by the mountains.
- If you love books, are feeling a little lost right now, and would love some gentle comfort and guidance, join The Sanctuary, my seven-day course to rebalance your life.