Who said: "A truly good book teaches me better than to read it..."

BookBrowse's Favorite Quotes

"A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting."
-
Henry David Thoreau.

Thoreau was born in Concord, Massachusetts in 1817. He began his lifelong habit of journal keeping while at Harvard. After graduating in 1837 he taught briefly but resigned to protest the use of corporal punishment on the students, specifically whippings.

Shortly after, he and his brother, John Thoreau, opened a private school in Concord based on Transcendentalism (the popular literary and philosophical movement that asserted the primacy of the spiritual and transcendental over the material and empirical, and apparently grew from the desire to create a uniquely American body of literature and philosophy to mirror the independence that America had enjoyed politically since 1776).

The school was closed when John fell ill (and later died) and Thoreau moved in with Ralph Waldo Emerson (one of the founders of Transcendentalism), where he continued writing his journals.

Although some of his work was published during his lifetime (such as Walden, Or Life In the Woods (1854) he did not come to be regarded as a major literary figure until the 20th century. In fact, while alive, he was barely known outside his immediate circle and most of his writing was not published until after his death from tuberculosis in 1862.

More Quotes

This quote & biography originally ran in an issue of BookBrowse's membership magazine. Full Membership Features & Benefits.

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Shotgun Lovesongs
    Shotgun Lovesongs
    by Nickolas Butler
    Nickolas Butler's debut novel, Shotgun Lovesongs, follows five life-long friends, now in their mid-...
  • Book Jacket: Gemini
    Gemini
    by Carol Cassella
    How good is Gemini, Carol Cassella's book about a Seattle intensive care physician who becomes ...
  • Book Jacket: The Goldfinch
    The Goldfinch
    by Donna Tartt
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer for Fiction.

    Her canvas is vast. To frame a story about art, love and ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

Who Said...

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.