“In this sense, authors and publisher-curators are in the ‘civilisation business’, trafficking in the knowledge that provides the building blocks for culture and society. They probably shouldn’t go around talking about ‘civilisation’ too often, but it’s true nonetheless. Books are a different class of object, profoundly unlike magazines, newspapers, blogs, games or social media sites. The world they evoke is richer, more dense and, literally, more meaningful.”
“From an experience that was so dehumanizing and overwhelming—an experience that turns an entire human being with a complicated life history and destiny first into a cipher and then into a casualty—Saint-Exupéry wanted to rescue the person, not the statistic. The statistics could be any of those the men on the planets are obsessed with, the ‘counting’ fetish that might take in stars if one is an astronomer or profits for businessmen. The richest way to see “Le Petit Prince” is as an extended parable of the kinds and follies of abstraction—and the special intensity and poignance of the story is that Saint-Exupéry dramatizes the struggle against abstraction not as a philosophical subject but as a life-and-death story. The book moves from asteroid to desert, from fable and comedy to enigmatic tragedy, in order to make one recurrent point: You can’t love roses. You can only love a rose.”
Google can bring you back 100,000 answers; a librarian can bring you back the right one.

—Neil Gaiman on Libraries (by imcpl)

“Good contemporary teen fiction shows real life at its worst, but also at its best. Giving young adults knowledge, and therefore power, through reading is vital. Adolescence is no rosy Garden of Eden, it’s a tumultuous and difficult time and reading about those dark times may help you navigate your way just a tiny bit more easily into adulthood. Compared to the real world, books are a pretty safe place to be. So long live the dark side.”
“Author Lee Child claims crime fiction gratifies “a desire for safety and security and the rule of law”. “In the decade following 9/11, I believe crime fiction has become more important in people’s lives,””
“Your library is your portrait.”
— Holbrook Jackson (via bookshavepores)

(via teachingliteracy)

“But there is also a certain power and prestige in being the literary executor of a famous writer. People pay heed to one’s words, come cap-in-hand to one’s door with requests, and the trustee of manuscripts is free to grant or deny favours with a lordly nod or dismissive gesture. It is a power jealously guarded and sometimes remorselessly implemented. State censorship in the West might be dead but private censorship is alive and flourishing.”
“Of course, the previous argument is valid only if, like me, you have always loved reading a little too much and believe that every book changes you. But the effects of e-readers on the publishing industry are widespread, even for someone who would never download A Pluralistic Universe.”
“She received her last rejection letter in February 2010. Hocking says she hasn’t kept the letter, which is a crying shame because it would surely have been an invaluable piece of self-publishing memorabilia. As far as she can remember, the last “thanks-but-no-thanks” came from a literary agent in the UK. If that agent is reading this article, please don’t beat yourself up about this. We all make mistakes …”
“To me, the most interesting question about the whole issue is whether the kind of learning that Johnson focuses on in the book outweighs the potentially negative aspects of what is generally thought of as our dumbed down and getting dumber culture…in some ways, it’s a question of the importance of how we learn versus what we learn.”
“My goal in life is not fame or fortune. It is simply to one day own a library with a ladder.”
— eternallinestotime (via eternallinestotime)

(via prettybooks)

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”
Neil Gaiman (via light-essence)

(via st)

«The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination»

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.

—J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement (by Harvard Magazine). [Full-text speech]