Joe Queenan, One for the Books
"From the moment I own a book, even before I open it to the first page, I feel that it has in some way changed my life."
"Great writers say things that are so beautiful, the very act of repeating them makes life itself more beautiful."
"Books as physical objects matter to me, because they evoke the past, because I find their presence emotionally enriching."
"...the single most feared creature on the planet: the self-published poet."
"The people I know who attend book clubs are generally intelligent, but they are rarely what I would call interesting."
"Libraries provide cost-free reading material so that tightwads and misers can tell local writers that they borrowed their books and then expect them to be grateful."
"Most people read drivel."
"Sometimes I think that I am reluctant to finish books because I want to let the joy of reading them go on and on forever."
"I do not ever want to reach the point where I have nothing left to read but Middlemarch."
"Well, I've already gotten to Ulysses. I've been getting to Ulysses for the past thirty years."
"I think it is important to have goals in life, as long as you understand that achieving those goals will not make you happy."
"Only the greatest books can withstand the damage inflicted on their reputations by bad movies."
"Staff recommendations are pitifully generic -- Fight Club, Outliers, Infinite Jest. It's like soliciting dessert tips from four-year-olds."
"Purchasing a secondhand book does absolutely nothing for a writer. Less than nothing."
"Some, like Arrowsmith and Manhattan Transfer, were books that I was actually looking forward to not reading."
"Indeed, one of the reasons I became a book reviewer was that it gave me the opportunity to read a steady stream of hopelessly moronic books and get paid for it."
"Shockingly bad books have an important place in our lives, because they keep our brains active. Good books don't make you think, because the author has already done all the thinking for you, but a terrible book can really give your brain a workout."
"The Bridges of Madison County is a corn shucker's Madame Bovary."
"Reading books may make you smarter than other people. It does not make you better."
Now those are some lines worth marking up a book for.