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12 quotes that explain why we should all be reading more

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World Book Day is held each year to celebrate authors, illustrators, books and reading. Marked in 100 countries across the world and recognised by Unesco, the initiative hopes to encourage children to "explore the pleasures of books and reading".

To mark this day, Amnesty International has released a new picture book titled Dreams of Freedom, which teaches children about the importance of liberties with quotes from the likes of Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama and Aung San Suu Kyi.

Taking inspiration from this, we have compiled a list of 12 quotes that celebrate the joy of reading and help to explain why books are so important and wonderful:

No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting.

  • Mary Wortley Montagu

To read is to fly: it is to soar to a point of vantage which gives a view over wide terrains of history, human variety, ideas, shared experience and the fruits of many inquiries.

  • A C Grayling

No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.

  • Confucius

The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.

  • Dr. Seuss

Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.

  • Harry S Truman

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.

  • Joseph Addison

A book is a dream that you hold in your hands.

  • Neil Gaiman

When you sell a man a book you don't sell him just 12 ounces of paper and ink and glue - you sell him a whole new life.

  • Christopher Morley

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends, they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors and the most patient of teachers.

  • Charles W Eliot

Books let us into their souls and lay open to us the secrets of our own.

  • William Hazlitt

Books are the compasses and telescopes and sextants and charts which other men have prepared to help us navigate the dangerous seas of human life.

  • Jesse Lee Bennett

A good book is always on tap; it may be decanted and drunk a hundred times, and it is still there for further imbibement.

  • Holbrook Jackson

More: The most ironic tweet you will see on #WorldBookDay

More: The 50 books every child should read

More: These are the best novels of the past 20 years, according to the experts

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