A book tightly shut is but a block of paper

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New Member
My friend has been learning Chinese for a few years now and so for her birthday next week i've decided to get her a book of Chinese fairy tales. I have never learnt Chinese, but i would like to write a brief inscription ("A book tightly shut is but a block of paper") in Chinese on the inside. It would be much appreciated if someone could help me, as for obvious reasons i do not want to ask my friend for the translation!

Thanks in advance.

To paraphrase: English to Chinese translation of "A book tightly shut is but a block of paper" needed.
  • gwerkmeister

    New Member
    UPDATE: I just recieved a reply on Yahoo answers which says this:

    or simplified “万卷藏书,不读皆为废纸。”

    Is this correct? Could you improve it?



    Senior Member
    The suggestions you got are more along the line of advising people against vainglorious book collecting.

    I'd render it as:

    束之高阁,奇书何异废纸 ("Left on the shelf, a most wondeful book is but scraps of paper")
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    I'd recommend "开卷有益" (an idiom meaning 'reading is always profitable', used to encourage people to read as much as they can)
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