“We all have our moments of brilliance and glory, and this was mine.”
“When writing about oneself, one must strive to be truthful. Truth is more important than modesty.”
“An autobiography is a book a person writes about his own life and it is usually full of all sorts of boring details.”
“The writer walks out of his workroom in a daze. He wants a drink. He needs it. It happens to be a fact that nearly every writer of fiction in the world drinks more whisky than is good for him. He does it to give himself faith hope and courage. A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul and that I am sure is why he does it.”
“my candle burns at both ends it will not last the night but arh my friends and oh my foes it gives a lovely light”
“It is almost worth going away because it's so lovely coming back.”
“Do you wonder then that this man’s behaviour used to puzzle me tremendously? He was an ordinary clergyman at that time as well as being Headmaster, and I would sit in the dim light of the school chapel and listen to him preaching about the Lamb of God and about Mercy and Forgiveness and all the rest of it and my young mind would become totally confused. I knew very well that only the night before this preacher had shown neither Forgiveness nor Mercy in flogging some small boy who had broken the rules.
So what was it all about? I used to ask myself.
Did they preach one thing and practise another, these men of God?
And if someone had told me at the time that this flogging clergyman was one day to become the Archbishop of Canterbury, I would never have believed it.
It was all this, I think, that made me begin to have doubts about religion and even about God. If this person, I kept telling myself, was one of God’s chosen salesmen on earth, then there must be something very wrong about the whole business.”
“You must remember that there was virtually no air travel in the early 1930s. Africa was two weeks away from England by boat and it took you about five weeks to get to China. These were distant and magic lands and nobody went to them just for a holiday. You went there to work. Nowadays you can go anywhere in the world in a few hours and nothing is fabulous anymore.”
“Then there was a hard brown lozenge called the Tonsil Tickler. The Tonsil Tickler tasted and smelled very strongly of chloroform. We had not the slightest doubt that these things were saturated in the dreaded anaesthetic which, as Thwaites had many times pointed out to us, could put you to sleep for hours at a stretch. "If my father has to saw off somebody's leg," he said, "he pours chloroform on to a pad and the person sniffs it and goes to sleep and my father saws his leg off without him even feeling it."
"But why do they put it into sweets and sell them to us?" we asked him. You might think a question like this would have baffled Thwaites. But Thwaites was never baffled.
"My father says Tonsil Ticklers were invented for dangerous prisoners in jail," he said. "They give them one with each meal and the chloroform makes them sleepy and stops them rioting."
"Yes," we said, "but why sell them to children?"
"It's a plot," Thwaites said. "A grown-up plot to keep us quiet.”
“I began to realize how simple life could be if one had a regular routine to follow with fixed hours and a fixed salary and very little original thinking to do. The life of a writer is absolute hell compared with the life of a businessman. The writer has to force himself to work. He has to make his own hours and if he doesn’t go to his desk at all there is nobody to scold him. If he is a writer of fiction he lives in a world of fear. Each new day demands new ideas and he can never be sure whether he is going to come up with them or not. Two hours of writing fiction leaves this particular writer absolutely drained. For those two hours he has been miles away, he has been somewhere else, in a different place with totally different people, and the effort of swimming back into normal surroundings is very great. It is almost a shock. The writer walks out of his workroom in a daze. He wants a drink. He needs it. It happens to be a fact that nearly every writer of fiction in the world drinks more whisky than is good for him. He does it to give himself faith, hope and courage. A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.”
“All grown-ups appear as giants to small children. But Headmasters (and policemen) are the biggest giants of all and acquire a marvellously exaggerated stature.”
“I usually carried with me six loaded plates, which allowed me only six exposures, so that clicking the shutter even once was a serious business that had to be carefully thought out beforehand.”
“Bütün büyükler çocuklara dev gibi görünürler.”
“Eve dönüşün keyfini çıkarmak için evden uzaklaşmaya değer.”
“Vaig començar a adonar-me que podia resultar molt senzilla, la vida, si s'entrava en una rutina regular, amb hores fixes, salari fix i poca necessitat de tenir idees originals. La vida d´un escriptor és l'infern, comparada amb la d'un executiu. L'escriptor s'ha de forçar a treballar. S'ha de fer l'horari, i si no s'asseu a la taula de treball ningú no l'esbronca. Viu en un món de temor. Cada dia exigeix idees noves, i no pot estar mai segur de si les podrà seguir o no. Dues hores d'escriure ficció el deixa completament sec. (....) La persona que vol ser escriptor és un beneit. L'única compensació és uqe té tota la llibertat. No té més amo que el seu propi esperit; i es per això que es fa escriptor, n'estic segur”
“Leave it to Niles Sparks to prank his pranking partner in the middle of a prank.”
“When all the other animals, downcast looked upon the earth, he [Prometheus] gave a face raised on high to man, and commanded him to see the sky and raise his high eyes to the stars.”
“It was their vampire teacher’s custom of late to administer decidedly oddball lessons. Which is to say, more oddball than an ordinary lesson with a vampire in a floating dirigible espionage school.”
“Real isn't how you are made. It's a thing that happens to you. Sometimes it hurts, but when you are Real you don't mind being hurt. It doesn't happen all at once. You become. Once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand. Once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always.”
“Healing is a deeply private process and, honestly, you’re not welcome to be a part of it. But you will have given me a short furlough from the dark, sorry prison of my mind, and that gift, precious in its own right, is really the best you can hope to offer.”
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