A book tightly shut is but a block of paper


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?



    AL/OL/Ar/Zh mod
    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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