People sometimes act as though owning books you haven't read constitutes a charade or pretense, but for me, there's a lovely mystery and pregnancy about a book that hasn't given itself over to you yet--sometimes I'm the most inspired by imagining what the contents of an unread book might be. ~ Jonathan Lethem, author of The Fortress of Solitude
When you stand inside somebody's library, you get a powerful sense of who they are, and not just who they are now but who they've been. . . . It's a wonderful thing to have in a house. It's something I worry is endangered by the rise of the e-book. When you turn off an e-book, there's no map. All that's left behind is a chunk of gray plastic. ~ Lev Grossman
I feel that my tendency to acquire books is rather like someone smoking two packs a day: it's a terrible vice that I wish I could shuck. I love my books, and with all their dog-ears and underlinings they are irreplaceable; but I sometimes wish they'd just vanish. ~ Claire Messud, author of The Emperor's Child.
I certainly couldn't have survived my childhood without books. All that deprivation and pain--abuse, broken home, a runaway sister, a brother with cancer--the books allowed me to withstand. They sustained me. I read still, prolifically, with great passion, but never like I read in those days: in those days it was life and death. ~ Junot Diaz, author of 2008 Pulitizer Prize novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
But most of all books (I say again and again) are like the Thirty-Mile Woman from Toni Morrison's Beloved: 'She is a friend of my mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order.' ~ Junot Diaz, author of the Pulitzer Prize novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.
Just as television didn't put an end to radio or the movies (to say nothing of books),I don't think e-books will put an end to hard copies, even for someone like me who loves technology and does not fetishize the physical medium of books. ~ Steven Pinker, author of The Lauguage Instinct, How the Mind Works The Blank Slate and The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature.
RE: Kindle, iPad, et cetera: For a researcher, these new ways of accessing information are just extraordinary. I thing it introduces the possibility of a new standard of cognitive exactness and precision. ~ Rebecca Goldstein, author of Properties of Light: A Novel of Love, Betrayal and Quantum Physics.
I read obsessively when I'm writing. I think there are two kinds of fiction writers, those who read incessantly while they write and those who can't read at all, lest their individual voices get overwhelmed, or tainted somehow. I'm the first kind. To use a painfully precious metaphor, I need fixed stars to navigate by, otherwise I get lost in the blankness of the page. ~ Lev Grossman