Love among the Stacks

The library still stands as that most trusted institution: a keystone of communities and a place for individual readers to go deep and get lost. As text grapples with the challenges and opportunities of the digital age, here are some of our favorite writers, thinkers, and readers on the pleasure—and necessity—of books.

Having fun isn’t hard
when you’ve got a library card.
—Marc Brown, from a song on the Arthur show

When I discovered libraries, it was like having Christmas every day.
—Jean Fritz

Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.
—Voltaire, Dictionnaire philosophique

Oh, magic hour, when a child first knows she can read printed words.
—Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

When I was a child I read books. My reading was not indiscriminate. I preferred books that were old and thick and hard.
—Marilynne Robinson, “When I Was a Child”

I was made for the library, not the classroom. The classroom was a jail of other people’s interests. The library was open, unending, free.
—Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me

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