Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Quotes About Reading and Empathy

Top Ten Tuesday blog post

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme originally created by The Broke and the Bookish, but is now run by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt was a book quote freebie so I chose quotes about empathy in relation to books.

I truly believe that reading builds empathy and an invaluable connection to others. The wonder and magic of reading is that we get to live the lives of so many different characters, see the world from so many different perspectives every time we open a book.

We learn that there is no one way of being. We learn that things are not always as they appear. That everyone has a story to tell. They have wants, dreams, fears, desires, worries. Things that make them happy, sad, or mad. They experience triumphs, failure, and grief too. As Maya Angelou once wrote, “We are more alike, my friends,/Than we are unalike” (“Human Family”).

Empathy is so important. It makes us stop, look, and listen. Empathy encourages us to build each other up instead of tearing each other down. So I’ve compiled some quotes about reading and empathy for your viewing pleasure.

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.” – Harper Lee


Reading is an exercise in empathy; an exercise in walking in someone else’s shoes for a while.” – Malorie Blackman


Fiction gives us empathy: it puts us inside the minds of other people, gives us the gifts of seeing the world through their eyes. Fiction is a lie that tells us true things, over and over.” – Neil Gaiman


It’s important to have diverse characters in books because books give kids mirrors and windows. Books create empathy. If we don’t have diversity, if we’re only showing things from one perspective, how are we creating empathy?” – Angie Thomas


Diversity reflects my reality…I feel very strongly that kids should have books where they can find themselves, but also where they read books about other kids who aren’t like them. I think it creates empathy, and it’s also just more fun to read about different kinds of people and their experiences.” – Maurene Goo


That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald


You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.” – James Baldwin


The fact of storytelling hints at a fundamental human unease, hints at human imperfection. Where there is perfection there is no story to tell.” – Ben Okri


Literature is the safe and traditional vehicle through which we learn about the world and pass on values from one generation to the next. Books save lives.” – Laurie Anderson


Reading fiction is important. It is a vital means of imagining a life other than our own, which in turn makes us more empathetic beings. Following complex story lines stretches our brains beyond the 140 characters of sound-bite thinking, and staying within the world of a novel gives us the ability to be quiet and alone, two skills that are disappearing faster than the polar icecaps.” – Ann Patchett

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2 replies on “Top Ten Tuesday: Quotes About Reading and Empathy”

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