„Chemical signs ought to be letters, for the greater facility of writing, and not to disfigure a printed book … I shall take therefore for the chemical sign, the initial letter of the Latin name of each elementary substance: but as several have the same initial letter, I shall distinguish them in the following manner:— 1. In the class which I shall call metalloids, I shall employ the initial letter only, even when this letter is common to the metalloid and to some metal. 2. In the class of metals, I shall distinguish those that have the same initials with another metal, or a metalloid, by writing the first two letters of the word. 3. If the first two letters be common to two metals, I shall, in that case, add to the initial letter the first consonant which they have not in common: for example, S = sulphur, Si = silicium, St = stibium (antimony), Sn = stannum (tin), C = carbonicum, Co = colbaltum (colbalt), Cu = cuprum (copper), O = oxygen, Os = osmium, &c.“
Jöns Jacob Berzelius, Essay on the Cause of Chemical Proportions, and on some circumstances relating to them: together with a short and easy method of expressing them', Annals of Philosophy, 1814, 3,51-2.
„When I opened a box, I found inside something made of metal, somewhat like our clocks, full of an endless number of little springs and tiny machines. It was indeed a book, but it was a miraculous one that had no pages or printed letters. It was a book to be read not with eyes but with ears.“
— Cyrano de Bergerac French novelist, dramatist, scientist and duelist 1619 - 1655
The Other World (1657)
Context: When I opened a box, I found inside something made of metal, somewhat like our clocks, full of an endless number of little springs and tiny machines. It was indeed a book, but it was a miraculous one that had no pages or printed letters. It was a book to be read not with eyes but with ears. When anyone wants to read, he winds up the machine with a large number of keys of all kinds. Then he turns the indicator to the chapter he wants to listen to. As though from the mouth of a person or a musical instrument come all the distinct and different sounds that the upper-class Moon-beings use in their language.
When I thought about this marvelous way of making books, I was no longer surprised that the young people of that country know more at the age of sixteen or eighteen than the greybeards of our world. They can read as soon as they can talk and are never at a loss for reading material. In their rooms, on walks, in town, during voyages, on foot or on horseback, they can have thirty books in their pockets or hanging on the pommels of their saddles. They need only wind a spring to hear one or more chapters or a whole book, if they wish. Thus you always have with you all the great men, both living and dead, who speak to you in their own voices.
„Hands down, the biggest thrill is to get a letter from a kid saying, I loved your book. Will you write me another one?“
Source: Because of Winn-Dixie
„I received your foolish and impudent letter. Any violence offered me I shall do my best to repel; and what I cannot do for myself, the law shall do for me. I hope I shall never be deterred from detecting what I think a cheat, by the menaces of a ruffian. What would you have me retract? I thought your book an imposture; I think it an imposture still. For this opinion I have given my reasons to the publick, which I here dare you to refute. Your rage I defy. Your abilities, since your Homer, are not so formidable; and what I hear of your morals, inclines me to pay regard not to what you shall say, but to what you shall prove. You may print this if you will.“
— James Macpherson Scottish writer, poet, translator, and politician 1736 - 1796
Samuel Johnson, letter to James Macpherson (20 January 1775), quoted in James Boswell Life of Johnson, Vol. I (1791), p. 449.
„Books, books, books. It was not that I read so much. I read and re-read the same ones. But all of them were necessary to me. Their presence, their smell, the letters of their titles, and the texture of their leather bindings.“
— Colette 1873-1954 French novelist: wrote Gigi 1873 - 1954
— Anatoly Kudryavitsky a Russian/Irish novelist, poet, literary translator and magazine editor 1954
Poems, Shadow of Time (2005)
„THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM. You can write that down in your book in great big letters. The only way you can control anybody is to lie to them.“
— L. Ron Hubbard American science fiction author, philosopher, cult leader, and the founder of the Church of Scientology 1911 - 1986
Lecture: "Off the Time Track" (June 1952) as quoted in Journal of Scientology issue 18-G, reprinted in Technical Volumes of Dianetics & Scientology Vol. 1, p. 418.
„It is remarkable that whilst the Doctors of the Sorbonne were urging Francis the First absolutely to suppress printing even as late as 1533 and whilst this enlightened monarch had actually issued letters-patent January 3 1535 prohibiting under pain of death any person to print any book or books, and ordering all booksellers' shops to be closed under the same penalty, the Jews should have hailed with delight this invention as a Divine gift and sung its praises because it enabled them to multiply and circulate the word of God.“
— Christian David Ginsburg Polish-British Bible scholar 1831 - 1914
Introduction to the Massoretico-Critical Edition of the Hebrew Bible, p. 779
„In old days books were written by men of letters and read by the public. Nowadays books are written by the public and read by nobody.“
— Oscar Wilde Irish writer and poet 1854 - 1900
A Few Maxims for the Instruction of the Over-Educated (1894)
„You know, several years ago, I was in New York City autographing the first book that I had written. And while sitting there autographing books, a demented black woman came up. The only question I heard from her was, "Are you Martin Luther King?"
And I was looking down writing, and I said yes. And the next minute I felt something beating on my chest. Before I knew it I had been stabbed by this demented woman. I was rushed to Harlem Hospital. It was a dark Saturday afternoon. And that blade had gone through, and the X-rays revealed that the tip of the blade was on the edge of my aorta, the main artery. And once that's punctured, you drown in your own blood — that's the end of you.
It came out in the New York Times the next morning, that if I had sneezed, I would have died. Well, about four days later, they allowed me, after the operation, after my chest had been opened, and the blade had been taken out, to move around in the wheel chair in the hospital. They allowed me to read some of the mail that came in, and from all over the states, and the world, kind letters came in. I read a few, but one of them I will never forget. I had received one from the President and the Vice-President. I've forgotten what those telegrams said. I'd received a visit and a letter from the Governor of New York, but I've forgotten what the letter said. But there was another letter that came from a little girl, a young girl who was a student at the White Plains High School. And I looked at that letter, and I'll never forget it. It said simply, "Dear Dr. King: I am a ninth-grade student at the Whites Plains High School." She said, "While it should not matter, I would like to mention that I am a white girl. I read in the paper of your misfortune, and of your suffering. And I read that if you had sneezed, you would have died. And I'm simply writing you to say that I'm so happy that you didn't sneeze."“
— Martin Luther King, Jr. American clergyman, activist, and leader in the American Civil Rights Movement 1929 - 1968
And I want to say tonight, I want to say that I am happy that I didn't sneeze.
1960s, I've Been to the Mountaintop (1968)
„When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, 'I am going to produce a work of art.' I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.“
Source: Why I Write
„The meeting of their shadows or that meet
In a book in a barrack, a letter from Malay.
But your war ends. And after it you return“
— Wallace Stevens American poet 1879 - 1955
Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction (1942), It Must Give Pleasure
„Nothing means more to a writer than to get a letter from a reader who has deeply connected to one of your books.“
— Katherine Paterson American children's writer born and mainly raised in China 1932
— Ahmad Shamlou Iranian Persian poet, writer, and journalist 1925 - 2000
sourced, from his letters to his wife
„Man's books are but man's alphabet,
Beyond and on his lessons lie — The lessons of the violet,
The large gold letters of the sky“
— Joaquin Miller American judge 1837 - 1913
"The Larger College".
In Classic Shades, and Other Poems (1890)
Context: p>Man's books are but man's alphabet,
Beyond and on his lessons lie — The lessons of the violet,
The large gold letters of the sky; The love of beauty, blossomed soil, The large content, the tranquil toil:The toil that nature ever taught,
The patient toil, the constant stir,
The toil of seas where shores are wrought,
The toil of Christ, the carpenter;
The toil of God incessantly
By palm-set land or frozen sea.</p
„To put it one way, a collection of Shakespeare's plays is richer than a phone book that uses the same number of letters; to put it another, the essence of information lies in the relationships among bits, not their sheer number.“
— Hans Christian von Baeyer American physicist 1938
Source: Information, The New Language of Science (2003), Chapter 17, Bioinformatics, Biology meets information technology, p. 145