Is there a similar idiomatic phrase for “reading is great, love reading, read excellent books”?

“Reading is great, love reading, read excellent books.” is a rough traslation of the famous saying “读书好 好读书 读好书” by Bing Xin, which is used to encourage Chinese students to read more.

In this sentence, there are altogether three . The first and the third are used as adjectives to describe “reading” and “book” respectively; the second one is used as a verb to persuade us to read.

Does anyone know an equivalent saying in English?


To maintain the parallelism, you would want to choose a word which has both a verbal and adjectival counterpart in English. To that end, I submit this rendering:

Reading is lovely. Love reading. Read lovely books.


Reading is excellent. Excel at reading. Read excellent books.

For the sake of the parallelism, there are unfortunately very few options. But these two may suffice, though the second rendering (‘excellent/excel’) feels a little sterile, like an educational mantra on the planet Vulcan.

If you are willing to use the ‘be’ verb in combination with an adjective to form a verbal phrase, then your options multiply. For example, here is a more colloquial possibility:

Reading is awesome. Be awesome at reading. Read awesome books!

The problem here is that most of these readings obscure the subtle association between reading being good and reading therefore being something one should love. For this purpose, due to the flexibility of ‘love’ in English, I’d submit that my first rendering (‘lovely/love’) is the more accurate translation, all things considered: it retains the parallelism as well as the clarity of the association between the moral quality of reading and the appreciation of that quality as such.

But your purposes may be more mundane and more loose. In some contexts, for example, the ‘awesome/be awesome’ rendering would be preferable.

Source : Link , Question Author : Paul Allen , Answer Author : David Michael Gregg

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