To read well, that is, to read true books in a true spirit, is a noble exercise, and one that will task the reader more than any exercise which the customs of the day esteem. It requires a training such as the athletes underwent, the steady intention almost of the whole life to this object. Books must be read as deliberately and reservedly as they were written.
Henry David Thoreau, Walden
A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.
Franz Kafka, letter to Oskar Pollack