26 Inspiring Poems About the Joys and Importance of Books and Reading

National Poetry Month

“Oh, for a nook and a storybook. With tales both new and old. For a jolly good book whereon to look. Is better to me than gold.”— Old English Song.

April is National Poetry Month. In honor and celebration of the largest literary celebration in the world, I’ve compiled a list of 26 of our favorite poems about books, of course books. These inspiring poems will take you into the fascinating world of books, only to have you return with a book or two inside you. They are simple, short, and fun for readers of all ages. All you have to do is dive through the pages. If, even still,  you’re unsure of what’s in store; rest assured, they’ll leave you yearning for more. Take a look!

I Opened a Book
By Julia Donaldson

I opened a book and in I strode.
Now nobody can find me.
I’ve left my chair, my house, my road,
My town and my world behind me.

I’m wearing the cloak, I’ve slipped on the ring,
I’ve swallowed the magic potion.
I’ve fought with a dragon, dined with a king
And dived in a bottomless ocean.

I opened a book and made some friends.
I shared their tears and laughter
And followed their road with its bumps and bends
To the happily ever after.

I finished my book and out I came.
The cloak can no longer hide me.
My chair and my house are just the same,
But I have a book inside me.

There is no Frigate like a Book
By Emily Dickinson

There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry.
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll;
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears the Human Soul!

Read to Me
By Jane Yolen

Read to me riddles and read to me rhymes
Read to me stories of magical times
Read to me tales about castles and kings
Read to me stories of fabulous things
Read to me pirates and read to me knights
Read to me dragons and dragon-book fights
Read to me spaceships and cowboys and then
When you are finished- please read them again.

Notes on the Art of Poetry
By Dylan Thomas

I could never have dreamt that there were such goings-on
in the world between the covers of books,
such sandstorms and ice blasts of words,
such staggering peace, such enormous laughter,
such and so many blinding bright lights,
splashing all over the pages
in a million bits and pieces
all of which were words, words, words,
and each of which were alive forever
in its own delight and glory and oddity and light.

Adventure
By Anonymous

Here’s an adventure! What awaits
Beyond these closed, mysterious gates?
Whom shall I meet, where shall I go?
Beyond the lovely land I know?
Above the sky, across the sea?
What shall I learn and feel and be?
Open, strange doors, to good or ill!
I hold my breath a moment still
Before the magic of your look.
What shall you do to me, O book?

Open A Book,
By Jane Baskwill

Open a book
And you will find
People and places of every kind;
Open a book
And you can be
Anything that you want to be;
Open a book
And you can share
Wondrous worlds you find in there;
Open a book
And I will too
You read to me
And I’ll read to you.

I Met a Dragon Face to Face
By Jack Prelutsky

I met a dragon face to face
the year when I was ten,
I took a trip to outer space,
I braved a pirate’s den,
I wrestled with a wicked troll,
and fought a great white shark,
I trailed a rabbit down a hole,
I hunted for a snark.

I stowed aboard a submarine,
I opened magic doors,
I traveled in a time machine,
and searched for dinosaurs,
I climbed atop a giant’s head,
I found a pot of gold,
I did all this in books I read
when I was ten years old.

Books to the Ceiling
By Arnold Lobel

Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My piles of books are a mile high.
How I love them!
How I need them!
I’ll have a long beard by the time I read them.

Good Books
By Edgar Guest

Good books are friendly things to own.
If you are busy they will wait.
They will not call you on the phone
Or wake you if the hour is late.
They stand together row by row,
Upon the low shelf or the high.
But if you’re lonesome this you know:
You have a friend or two nearby.

The fellowship of books is real.
They’re never noisy when you’re still.
They won’t disturb you at your meal.
They’ll comfort you when you are ill.
The lonesome hours they’ll always share.
When slighted they will not complain.
And though for them you’ve ceased to care
Your constant friends they’ll still remain.

Good books your faults will never see
Or tell about them round the town.
If you would have their company
You merely have to take them down.
They’ll help you pass the time away,
They’ll counsel give if that you need.
He has true friends for night and day
Who has a few good books to read.

There is a Land
By Leland B. Jacobs

There is a land –
A marvelous land –
Where trolls and giants dwell;
Where witches
With their bitter brew
Can cast a magic spell;
Where mermaids sing,
Where carpets fly,
Where, in the midst of night,
Brownies dance
To cricket tunes;
And ghosts, all shivery and white,
Prowl and moan.
There is a land
Of magic folks and deeds,
And anyone
Can visit there
Who reads and reads and reads.

Adventures with Books
By Velda Blumhagen

Books are ships that sail the seas
To lands of snow or jungle trees.
And I’m the captain bold and free
Who will decide which place we’ll see.
Come, let us sail the magic ship.

Books are trains in many lands,
Crossing hills or desert sands.
And I’m the engineer who guides
The train on its exciting rides.
Come, let us ride the magic train.

Books are zoos that make a home
For birds and beasts not free to roam.
And I’m the keeper of the zoo,
I choose the things to show to you.
Come, let us visit in a zoo.

Books are gardens, fairies, elves,
Cowboys, and people like ourselves.
And I can find with one good look
Just what I want inside a book.
Come, let us read! For reading’s fun!

The Reading Mother
By Strickland Gillilan

I had a mother who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea,
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth,
“Blackbirds” stowed in the hold beneath.

I had a Mother who read me lays
Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.

I had a Mother who read me tales
Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust till his tragic death,
Faithfulness blent with his final breath.

I had a Mother who read me the things
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings –
Stories that stir with an upward touch,
Oh, that each mother of boys were such!

You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be –
I had a Mother who read to me.

What is a Book?
By Lora Daunt

A book is pages, pictures and words
A book is animals, people and birds
A book is stories of queens and kings
Poems and songs-so many things!
Curled in a corner where I can hide
With a book I can journey far and wide
Though it’s only paper from end to end
A book is a very special friend.

Books
By Helen H. Moore

If you read a few, then you’ll know it’s true:
Books are good for you!
Chefs read cook books,
Pirates? “Hook” books!
Little kids read lift-and-look books!
We read books of poems and prose –
Some of these and some of those.
Read some too, and you’ll agree,
Books are good for you and me!

Pass The Poems, Please
By Jane Baskwill

Pass the poem please
Pile them on my plate
Put them right in front of me
For I can hardly wait
To take each tangy word
To try each tasty rhyme
And when I’ve tried them once or twice
I’ll try them one more time:
So pass the poems please
They just won’t leave my head
I have to have more poems
Before I go to bed.

Reading in Bed
By Helen H. Moore

Oh, what could be better
Than reading in bed,
Or thinking about
All the books that you’ve read?

With someone who loves you,
A father, a mother,
A doll, or a pet,
Or a sister or brother,

A grandma, a grandpa,
An uncle, an aunt –
(Can you think of anything better?
I can’t!)

While outside the sky
Is all twinkling with light,
From stars that shine down
As we sleep through the night.

Oh, what could be better
Than sleepin in bed,
When the books that you love
Fill the dreams in your head?

Happy Chimney Corner Days
By Robert Louis Stevenson

Summer fading, winter comes –
Frosty mornings, tingling thumbs
Window robins, winter rooks,
And the picture story-books.

Water now is turned to stone
Nurse and I can walk upon;
Still we find the flowing brooks
In the picture story-books.

All the pretty things put by,
Wait upon the children’s eye,
Sheep and shepherds, trees and crooks,
In the picture story-books.

We may see how all things are,
Seas and cities, near and far,
And the flying fairies’ looks,
In the picture story-books.

How am I to sing your praise,
Happy chimney-corner days,
Sitting safe in nursery nooks,
Reading picture story-books

Books are for Looks
By Isabelle Spooner

Books are for looks; a look for a tale
Of possible a lion, a tiger, or a whale.

A look for adventure, exciting, intense
With mystery unfolding and growing suspense.

A look for a fact, to inform or relate,
A picture, a poem, or a word to locate.

You never can tell when you start to look
What interesting things may come in a book!

I Like a Book
By M. Lucille Ford

I like a book. It tells me things
Of ancient peoples and their kings
And what they used to do;
Of giants in some far-off land
And things I hardly understand,
Both make-believe and true.

I like books. It’s fun to see
How interesting they can be –
As people are. And so
I try to treat them like a friend
And many pleasant hours spend
In learning what they know.

Books
By Solveig Paulson Russell

Books are friends who take you far
Wherever you would go,
From torrid lands and jungle ways
To northern fields of snow.

Books bring us gifts from long ago
And hints of future days,
And lead the mind refreshingly
On unfamiliar ways.

Books are the chests of pirate gold
Where wealth in stories lies
As varied as the clouds that blow
Across November skies.

Reading Books
By Vivian G. Gouled

I like to read all kinds of books
To entertain myself,
And so I’m glad when I can take
A book down from the shelf.

I like the picture books of planes,
Of flowers, birds, and ships
From which I can imagine that
I’m taking wonder trips.

I like the books with stories in
And also books of rhymes;
I often try to learn a few
And say them lots of times.

I like to read all kinds of books
I find upon the shelf –
Particularly now that I
Can read all by myself!

The Land of Story-books
By Robert Louis Stevenson

At evening when the lamp is lit,
Around the fire my parents sit;
They sit at home and talk and sing,
And do not play at anything.

Now, with my little gun, I crawl
All in the dark along the wall,
And follow round the forest track
Away behind the sofa back.

There, in the night, where none can spy,
All in my hunter’s camp I lie,
And play at books that I have read
Till it is time to go to bed.

These are the hills, these are the woods,
These are my starry solitudes;
And there the river by whose brink
The roaring lions come to drink.

I see the others far away
As if in firelit camp they lay,
And I, like to an Indian scout,
Around their party prowled about.

So, when my nurse comes in for me,
Home I return across the sea,
And go to bed with backward looks
At my dear land of Story-books.

Magic Keys
By Leah Gibbs Knobbe

Would you like to travel far
From the place where now you are?
Read a book!

Would you nature’s secrets know,
How her children live and grow?
Read a book!

Is it adventure that you crave,
On land or on ocean wave?
Read a book!

Would you like to talk with kings?
Or to fly with Lindbergh’s wings?
Read a book!

Would you look on days gone by?
Know scientific reasons why?
Read a book!

The world before you will unfold,
For a magic key you hold
In a book!

Storyboat
By Bobbi Katz

It’s time to read a story,
so climb aboard with me,
and we can sail a storyboat
across a magic sea.
We can visit jungles
or rub noses with a bear.
We can visit anyplace
and sail to anywhere.
We can learn a lot of stuff
from sailin storyboats –
like how to ride on elephants
or how skinks got striped coats.
We can meet a bunch of kids
that we’ll be glad to know,
and when the summer gets too hot,
we’ll sail in seas of snow!

When Mother Reads Aloud
By Anonymous

When Mother reads aloud, the past
Seems real as every day;
I hear the tramp of armies vast,
I see the spears and lances cast,
I join the thrilling fray;
Brave knights and ladies fair and proud
I meet when Mother reads aloud.

When Mother reads aloud, far lands
Seem very near and true;
I cross the desert’s gleaming sands,
Or hunt the jungle’s prowling bands,
Or sail the ocean blue.
Far heights, whose peaks the cold mists shroud,
I scale, when Mother reads aloud.

When Mother reads aloud, I long
For noble deeds to do –
To help the right, redress the wrong;
It seems so easy to be strong,
So simple to be true.
Oh, thick and fast the visions crowd
My eyes, when Mother reads aloud.

When You Can Read
By Bobbi Katz

When you can read, then you can go
from Kalamazoo to Idaho –
Or read directions that explain
just how to build a model plane –
Or bake a cake or cook a stew –
The words will tell you what to do!
When you can read, then you can play
a brand new game the proper way –
Or get a letter from a friend
and read it . . . to the very end!

By Dawn Hoff, Book Kids

You might also want to check out: 8 Inspirational Poems About Books and Reading

 

 

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