People Share The Books That Are Often Quoted But People Seldom Read
Matias North on zUnsplash

We all wish we were a little more well-read, finding decent-sized pockets in the day to sit with a classic book and delve into the wisdom it offers. Unfortunately, mostly thanks to streaming television I'm sure, we don't all have the opportunity to let a good book sit with us.

So we look up quotes online. Or we see people sharing them around. Or, and this one happens a lot, we see people using them incorrectly to justify some misguided point they're trying to make. Whatever the reason, these books are definitely not seeing as much love as they appear to be.


Reddit user, dragedreper, wanted to know what people aren't actually reading when they asked:

"What books are often quoted, but seldom read?"

There are the classics, the ones you're sure you read at some point in high school but for whatever can't remember that you actually didn't read it because you were too busy marathoning a session on Mario Kart 64.

It Makes Me Sound Cool

"The art of war."

Salazaar099

"Even when people quote it, they're quoting the English translation. It's much more hardcore in Chinese I find - as an example, a lot of translations call it "desperate terrain" where the literal Chinese words are "death ground"."

MordaxTenebrae

"That was going to be my answer too. Every self important salesman and executive loves to "quote" it, but I guarantee you none of them have read it."

staffsargent

I Promise I'll Read It Tomorrow And Tomorrow And Tomorrow

"Anything by Shakespeare"

orange728

"All I have read is Romeo and Juliet in 9th grade and I remember a few boys in the class always voiced Juliet because they loved to do it and found it funny. And we created many class jokes around it. I kinda forget them now though."

ravenpotter3

It Was The Best Of Times It Was The Longest Of Times

"A Tale of Two Cities"

krasilnik

"I started reading it twice, but the writing style just didn't suit me at all"

"Is a third try worth it?"

aroninho

You know the type.

Those individuals who throw around these classic quotes without truly understanding what it's in reference to, or what the message of the book was.

They're Facebook page is bleak.

This Article Is SO Like Orwellian

"1984"

MCMax05

"People don’t really quote 1984, they just compare anything they don’t like to 1984."

Southern-Pineapple68

"Wow, you're telling me what I can and can't quote? This is literally 1984."

phillillillip

Context Is Key

"I feel like Oscar Wilde's 'best bits' are in so many books of quotations, not too many people read his works in full anymore."

faceintheblue

"What annoys me is when you see a quote from one of his books attributed to him out of context, especially "I can resist anything except temptation", as if he said it in a speech or dinner conversation. No, that's Lord Henry Watton in "Dorian Grey" and he's the villain!!"

arrows_of_ithilien

Incorrectly Attributed Benevolence

"The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith."

"What he actually wrote is far different than what free market evangelicals attribute to him."

Lenny_III

"Yep. And the same is true of Keynes. I think with Keynes it’s even worse."

7decadesofhistory

Books are long, we get it. You got stuff to do and who really has 50 hours to sit and ponder the questions of the world?

Maybe wielding these quotes like a weapon, then?

It's So Long...

"The Bible."

Sirsonan_

"The number one answer."

"The vast majority of Christians have never sat down and read the Bible."

GrilledStuffedDragon

"I love how people try to pick out a verse or two and don't add in the additional context. No, that verse is not really saying what you thought it said. I am a Christain and this annoys me so much when I see or hear other Christians do it. I kinda have to give the non-Christians a little leniency because I don't expect them to know much better or have read it through."

Individual_Lemon_139

Seriously...So...Long...

"A classic is any book that everyone wants to have read but nobody wants to read." -Mark Twain.

sin-and-love

"Omg War and Peace"

Personal_Comfort_722

"He clearly was speaking from the grave about Infinite Jest. I made it a few hundred pages, but it's a dense and fascinating read that one day I might start again and finish."

Tesrab

They Call Me Ish-And I'm Already Bored

"Moby Dick"

plot_complication

"Moby Dick is about man's eternal struggle to finish reading Moby Dick."

stryph42

Stop doomscrolling and open a book for those 10 minutes. You'd be surprised what you can gather from a couple of pages.

Want to "know" more?

Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again.

As the years go by, it's harder to imagine what life was like before the invention of the things we take for granted today. Things like cell phones that boast professional camera functions, ordering food online, and of course, social media.

Ask any 18-year-old what the world was like before social media came along, and they won't be able to answer. I barely remember that world!

Some people are worried about the way social media has overtaken the lives of children and wonder if we should place age restrictions on social media. Currently, most social media sites stipulate that users must be at least 13 years of age to register for an account.

Keep reading...Show less
People Divulge The Most Embarrassing Thing They've Ever Witnessed

It's all our deepest fear to fall flat on our faces when there's a bunch of people around. No one wants to look the fool, and no one wants to look the fool especially when it happens before a group of people you're going to see every day for the forseeable future.

Embarrassing moments can come out of nowhere, but how you handle yourself in the aftermath is what matters. Laugh it off, shake it off, go with the chuckles, and let the people know you can't be hurt by it.

Well, unless you're any of the people in the stories below. Then I'd consider getting a new address and name.

Keep reading...Show less
People Break Down Which Things Dumb People Say To Sound Smart

Not everyone is capable of mastering the art of conversation.

It takes skill to perpetuate a lively discussion while also being a respectful listener.

Some people are naturals at this.

Others, however, make up for their self-aware verbal shortcomings by overcompensating. Unfortunately, the ruse ends up exposing their insecurity, much to the delight of their amused audience.

Keep reading...Show less
People Describe The Things They've Witnessed That Will Haunt Them Forever

*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.

Positive memories stay with us forever that we can always revisit with a smile.

Witnessing a loved one receiving their diploma after years of dedicated studying, celebrating a sports victory with other teammates, or traveling to a dream destination with your significant other after months–even years–of careful planning.

But in addition to reveling in nostalgia, there are other life experiences we'd like to soon forget but have a difficult time shaking off.

Keep reading...Show less