Quotes of Note

I can’t remember where I saw it, but the quote went something like this: “There will always be a need for brick-and-mortar bookstores like Barnes and Noble where you can browse the book shelves, hold the books in your hands, and look at their contents – before you go home and buy them on Amazon.com.”

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[When the 1925 Nobel Prize in Literature was announced people] “wrote to me for loans, mostly for the entire sum.  When the further news came that I had refused it another million or so wrote to say that if I was rich enough to throw away money like that, I could afford to adopt their children, or pay off the mortgages on their houses … or let them have £XXXX to be repaid punctually next May, or to publish a priceless book explaining the mystery of the universe.  It says a good deal for female virtue that only two women proposed that I should take them on as mistresses.” – Comment of George Bernard Shaw after people found that he had won the 1925 Nobel Prize in Literature – and the £7,000 that went with it.

“I read Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath when I was 14, and it shook me to the core. I vividly remember savoring the final scene while on the road, curled up in the hatchback of our Ford Pinto because there were not enough seats for all us kids. By the time I reached the ending, I was sobbing loud enough to require explanation. I knew then that I had magic in my hands and wanted to become a magician.” – Author Brian Payton in a recent Shelf Awareness interview

“Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all.” – Abraham Lincoln

“And yet, though I have read so much, I am a bad reader.  I read slowly and I am a poor skipper.  I find it difficult to leave a book, however bad and however much it bores me, unfinished.  I could count on my fingers the number of books that I have not read from cover to cover.  On the other hand there are few books that I have read twice.  I know very well that there are many of which I cannot get the full value on a single reading, but in that they have given me all I was capable of getting at the time, and this, though I may forget their details, remains a permanent enrichment.” – W. Somerset Maugham, The Summing Up (1938)

“The smallest bookstore still contains more ideas of worth than have been presented in the entire history of television.” – Andrew Ross

“A man learns by two things.  One is reading.  The other is associating with smarter people.” – Will Rogers

“When a friend of mine was once asked, ‘do you know much about Shakespeare?’ she answered, ‘Not as much as he knows about me.’  Is it possible that the great writers know us better than we know ourselves?  Or that their creations might serve as touchstones for your own self-knowledge?” – Arnold Weinstein in Morning, Noon, and Night: Finding the Meaning of Life’s Stages Through Books

“I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.” – Hunter S. Thompson

“It’s not that I don’t like people.  It’s just that when I’m in the company of others—even my nearest and dearest—there always comes a moment when I’d rather be reading a book.” – Maureen Corrigan, Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading (2005)

“It is just as well that it came to an end.  This endless cohabitation with these imaginary people had begun to make me not a little nervous.” – Henrik Ibsen

“Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous.  He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.” – Kurt Vonnegut

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