14 Bookish Quotes to Inspire Your Creative Life

Discovering amazing bookish quotes has been one of the many highlights of being a bookstagrammer. If you post on Instagram regularly, then book quotes are likely to be part of your caption kit bag. They make us see the world from another perspective; they capture our experiences. In only a few words, authors constantly entertain, educate and inspire us. And what’s more, new insights are being created all the time. As long as we have writers, we’ll have a neverending stream of bookish quotes to enjoy.

To celebrate this little corner of the literary world, I’ve created some images of our favourite book quotes on this post. It was really hard to whittle them down, but I’ve chosen the ones that have had the most resonance in our lives.

Alice Hoffman

“Books may well be the only true magic.”

I love this book quote because it contains so much truth. Books have the ability to transport us to multiple viewpoints and destinations. They transform lives. (I don’t believe that they’re the only true magic though!)

Books may well be the only true magic words on a night sky

George R.R. Martin

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”

Only a thousand? If you read 50 books a year for 70 years, you’ll live 3500! But seriously, George R.R. Martin says it all here. Readers have experiences that non-readers can only dream of.

Umberto Eco bookish quote

 Umberto Eco

“I love the smell of book ink in the morning.”

I love the smell of book ink full stop! This bookish quote works for me on two levels. Firstly it’s a peace play on the famous Apocalypse Now quote and most importantly, it makes me dream of lazy reading days in bed.

 Toni Morrison

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

Of all the writing quotes, I find this the most inspirational. If you can dream it, you can write it!

C.S. Lewis

“Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”

Do any of us seriously stop reading fairy tales? C.S.Lewis reminds us to connect with childhood wonder rather than push it away in many of his bookish quotes. This is where magic lies if we give it space.

Fairytale window with CS Lewis quote

Jane Austen

“but for my own part, if a book is well written, I always find it too short.”

Why is it that we always speed through the best books and the worst ones take ages? Sadly it appears that nothing has changed since Jane Austen’s time. If anyone can solve this frustrating problem, I’d be grateful.

Jane Austen Book Quote

Neil Gaiman

“Picking five favorite books is like picking the five body parts you’d most like not to lose.”

Clearly impossible, which leads us to…

John Green

“I don’t have a favorite book. I have hundreds.”

Occasionally I’ll try to compile a list of favourite books and I never complete it so I’m totally with John on this.

Fran Lebowitz

“Think before you speak. Read before you think.”

I wish more people would follow this sage advice and not only read more, but read widely. Imagine what the world would be like if everyone took time to educate themselves and empathize with others.

Bookish Quote Fran Lebowitz

Alice Walker

“If art doesn’t make us better, then what on earth is it for.”

An essential question that every creative and reader needs to ask themselves.

Franz Kafka

“A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.”

So many frozen seas to crack open, but luckily enough books to axe them with.

Virginia Woolf

“Books are the mirrors of the soul.”

When we read a book, we catch a glimpse of the author’s inner self. We might also see ourselves too. Woolf sums this up beautifully here.

Stephen King

“Good books don’t give up all their secrets at once.”

Although some readers might dispute King’s assertion, this works for me. I like my books to have secrets right until the very end. And speaking of endings…

Margaret Atwood

“In the end, we’ll all become stories.”

What will your story be?

What’s Your Favourite Bookish Quote?

As I read this again before I posting, I’ve realised how many more book quotations I’ve missed. Have I included any of your favourites here or do you wish I’d added different ones to the list. Please share your recommendations in the comments!

If you’re interested in more thoughts about bookstagramming you can read our Bookstagram posts here.


  1. June 9, 2020 / 10:52 am

    The top one is my all time favourite as I love Alice Hoffman and I have this one on my wall. xxx

    • thebookfamilyrogerson
      June 9, 2020 / 12:16 pm

      It’s a genius quote for many reasons and how lovely to have it on your wall! xxx

  2. June 10, 2020 / 10:00 am

    You’ve chosen really interesting quotes here. I especially like the one from Fran Lebowitz and I agree so much with it.

    • thebookfamilyrogerson
      June 10, 2020 / 7:11 pm

      You don’t often see the Fran Lebowitz quote which is a shame as it holds a lot of power, especially now. I’m glad you enjoyed these!

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