Saturday, October 10, 2009

What Nobel Laureates Read When They Were Young

Link to webpage.

"Lacking guidance, my reading (in books borrowed from the local public library) was undiscriminating and, as I now realize, I was unable to distinguish the charlatan from the serious scholar." (Ronald H. Coase)

"… by the time I was six I was inscribed in the children’s library /- - -/ and without that library I don’t think I would ever have been a writer." (Nadine Gordimer)

"Sterling Library, then said to be the largest in the world with open stacks, became a favorite haunt where I spent many winter weekend afternoons with a good book and an apple or a candy bar." (John B. Fenn)

"While physics was taught at the Kloster only in the later grades, in the public library I read books with titles such as "Umsturz im Weltbild der Physik" and learned about the Balmer series and Bohr's energy levels of the hydrogen atom." (Hans G. Dehmelt)

"My first salvation was reading. I visited the local public library regularly and began reading the great adventure stories of Jules Verne, Alexander Dumas and Walter Scott." (Roy J. Glauber)

"I was an early reader, reading even before kindergarten, and since we did not have books in my home, my older brother, Alexander, was responsible for our trip every week to the Public Library to exchange books already read for new ones to be read." (Rosalyn Yalow)

"Although I was unaware of it at the time, my parents must have made special arrangements for their children to use the library since we lived far outside the region it was supposed to serve. The librarians would also overlook the normal five-book limit and allow me to check out a large pile of books each week that I would then eagerly devour. That experience has left me with a profound appreciation for the value of public libraries." (Carl E. Wieman)

"On other days, I would read in a most beautifully appointed place, the Reading Room of the Central New York Public Library on 42nd Street. One passes the pair of sculpted lions, ascends a flight of stairs into a huge high-ceilinged room of impressive silence where I read incessantly without direction but with a newfound fascination that made up for years of illiteracy." (Richard Axel)

"I grew up surrounded by family and friends, church and school, and physical and mental activity. I clearly remember the value my parents placed on reading and education. My parents read to us and encouraged us to read. As soon as I could read for myself, walking across town to the library became a regular activity." (William D. Phillips)

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