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looking for quote

looking for quote

Postby lilybear » 19 Jul 2006, 19:00

I'm trying to find a CS Lewis quote that I'm sure that I read somewhere. It was something about the importance of reading books over and over again (rereading books to get different things out of them). I've been searching all afternoon, but I can't come up with it. Can anyone help?


Re: looking for quote

Postby Karen » 19 Jul 2006, 19:38

This doesn't quite fit with what you say, but could it be this?

It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between. If that is too much for you, you should at least read one old one to every three new ones.

If so, it's from his Introduction to Athanasius on the Incarnation, which you can read here.
I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library. -- Jorge Luis Borges
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re: looking for quote

Postby Guest » 19 Jul 2006, 20:43

I found that one, but I don't think that was it. That one was about the value of classic books vs. modern, I think. The one I'm thinking of was more about what you could get out of a second or third reading of a book.

I'm getting frustrated. Maybe it wasn't Lewis: maybe it was Tolkien or Chesterton?

Thanks for your help!

re: looking for quote

Postby Stanley Anderson » 19 Jul 2006, 21:13

Try Experiment in Criticsm and the essay On Stories (can't remember what book it is in off the top of my head). I believe he also talks (in a letter or some such -- could it be the three-way interview about science fiction? not sure) about not knowing if he liked a certain book because he hadn't read it enough times yet. It is a subject he mentioned often enough in letters since he certainly recognized its truth. And he suggests it at least implicitly in various places. It's the type of subject that is so pervasive in his thinking and practice that it might be hard to find a definitive passage.

…on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water. And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a fair green country under a swift sunrise.
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re: looking for quote

Postby A#minor » 20 Jul 2006, 03:58

Here are a few good quotes about books. Maybe one of these is what you are looking for?

"A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity, and once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen by morning light, at noon, and by moonlight." -Robertson Davies

"When you re-read a classic, you do not see in the book more than you did before; you see more in yourself than you did before." -Oscar Wilde

"I find it so hard to start a fresh novel: I have a lazy desire to dally with the old favorites again." -C.S.Lewis
"My brain and this world don't fit each other, and there's an end of it!" - G.K. Chesterton
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re: looking for quote

Postby Guest » 21 Jul 2006, 00:34

I checked _Experiments in Criticism_. A good chunk of the first chapter dealt with my topic, but there was no pithy quote. You might be right about there not being a definitive passage.

Those three quotes are great, but I don't think that any of them are exactly what I was looking for. Maybe I dreamt it!

re: looking for quote

Postby Someone else » 21 Jul 2006, 12:16

I'm pretty sure there's something along those lines in the book Of Other Worlds, a collection of essays by C.S. Lewis on writing. The essay "On Stories" that Stanley mentioned is in this collection. I would probably start with that essay, since it rings a bell for me, too. (I'm posting at work and don't have a copy handy to check myself.)

Hope this helps
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re: looking for quote

Postby Guest » 21 Jul 2006, 20:53


At the beggining of one of the Radio-Theatre CD's of CoN, Douglas Gresham talks about something Jack says, he mentions that Jack didn't like it when people said that they were too "old" for faiery tales, because he believes that the older you are, the more you can put into a story, the more you can get out of it. Sorry, I can't find any text that it was in.

re: looking for quote

Postby lilybear » 25 Jul 2006, 23:05

Thanks for the help! I'm going to have to buy a copy of _Of Other Worlds_ , though that's one I have not seen before.

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