30+ quotes from The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Quotes from The Phantom Tollbooth

Norton Juster ·  256 pages

Rating: (199.5K votes)


“So many things are possible just as long as you don't know they're impossible.”
― Norton Juster, quote from The Phantom Tollbooth


“Expect everything, I always say, and the unexpected never happens.”
― Norton Juster, quote from The Phantom Tollbooth


“Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven't the answer to a question you've been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you're alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.”
― Norton Juster, quote from The Phantom Tollbooth


“The most important reason for going from one place to another is to see what's in between, and they took great pleasure in doing just that.”
― Norton Juster, quote from The Phantom Tollbooth


“You must never feel badly about making mistakes ... as long as you take the trouble to learn from them. For you often learn more by being wrong for the right reasons than you do by being right for the wrong reasons.”
― Norton Juster, quote from The Phantom Tollbooth


“Time is a gift, given to you, given to give you the time you need, the time you need to have the time of your life. ”
― Norton Juster, quote from The Phantom Tollbooth


“The only thing you can do easily is be wrong, and that's hardly worth the effort.”
― Norton Juster, quote from The Phantom Tollbooth


“You may not see it now," said the Princess of Pure Reason, looking knowingly at Milo's puzzled face, "but whatever we learn has a purpose and whatever we do affects everything and everyone else, if even in the tiniest way. Why, when a housefly flaps his wings, a breeze goes round the world; when a speck of dust falls to the ground, the entire planet weighs a little more; and when you stamp your foot, the earth moves slightly off its course. Whenever you laugh, gladness spreads like the ripples in the pond; and whenever you're sad, no one anywhere can be really happy. And it's much the same thing with knowledge, for whenever you learn something new, the whole world becomes that much richer.”
― Norton Juster, quote from The Phantom Tollbooth


“Whether or not you find your own way, you're bound to find some way. If you happen to find my way, please return it, as it was lost years ago. I imagine by now it's quite rusty.”
― Norton Juster, quote from The Phantom Tollbooth


“Everybody is so terribly sensitive about the things they know best.”
― Norton Juster, quote from The Phantom Tollbooth


“You can swim all day in the Sea of Knowledge and not get wet.”
― Norton Juster, quote from The Phantom Tollbooth


“if something is there, you can only see it with your eyes open, but if it isn't there, you can see it just as well with your eyes closed. That's why imaginary things are often easier to see than real ones.”
― Norton Juster, quote from The Phantom Tollbooth


“It has been a long trip," said Milo, climbing onto the couch where the princesses sat; "but we would have been here much sooner if I hadn't made so many mistakes. I'm afraid it's all my fault."
"You must never feel badly about making mistakes," explained Reason quietly, "as long as you take the trouble to learn from them. For you often learn more by being wrong for the right reasons than you do by being right for the wrong reasons.”
― Norton Juster, quote from The Phantom Tollbooth


“The most important reason for going from one place to another is to see what's in between.”
― Norton Juster, quote from The Phantom Tollbooth


“It's bad enough wasting time without killing it.”
― Norton Juster, quote from The Phantom Tollbooth


“But just because you can never reach it, doesn’t mean that it’s not worth looking for.”
― Norton Juster, quote from The Phantom Tollbooth


“Just because you have a choice, it doesn't mean that any of them 'has' to be right.”
― Norton Juster, quote from The Phantom Tollbooth


“There are no wrong roads to anywhere.”
― Norton Juster, quote from The Phantom Tollbooth


“... what you learn today, for no reason at all, will help you discover all the wonderful secrets of tomorrow.”
― Norton Juster, quote from The Phantom Tollbooth


“For instance," said the boy again, "if Christmas trees were people and people were Christmas trees, we'd all be chopped down, put up in the living room, and covered in tinsel, while the trees opened our presents."
"What does that have to do with it?" asked Milo.
"Nothing at all," he answered, "but it's an interesting possibility, don't you think?”
― Norton Juster, quote from The Phantom Tollbooth


“Let me try once more," Milo said in an effort to explain. "In other words--"
"You mean you have other words?" cried the bird happily. "Well, by all means, use them. You're certainly not doing very well with the ones you have now.”
― Norton Juster, quote from The Phantom Tollbooth


“Expectations is the place you must always go to before you get to where you're going.”
― Norton Juster, quote from The Phantom Tollbooth


“Would it be possible for me to see something from up there?" asked Milo politely.

"You could," said Alec, "but only if you try very hard to look at things as an adult does."

Milo tried as hard as he could, and, as he did, his feet floated slowly off the ground until he was standing in the air next to Alex Bings. He looked around very quickly and, an instant later, crashed back down to the earth again.

"Interesting, wasn't it?" asked Alex.

"Yes, it was," agreed Milo, rubbing his head and dusting himself off, "but I think I'll continue to see things as a child. It's not so far to fall.”
― Norton Juster, quote from The Phantom Tollbooth


“Things which are equally bad are also equally good. Try to look at the bright side of things.
- Humbug”
― Norton Juster, quote from The Phantom Tollbooth


“A slavish concern for the composition of words is the sign of a bankrupt intellect. Be gone, odious wasp! You smell of decayed syllables.”
― Norton Juster, quote from The Phantom Tollbooth


“...it's very much like your trying to reach infinity. You know that it's there, you just don't know where-but just because you can never reach it doesn't mean that it's not worth looking for.”
― Norton Juster, quote from The Phantom Tollbooth


“Have you ever heard a blindfolded octopus unwrap a cellophane-covered bathtub?”
― Norton Juster, quote from The Phantom Tollbooth


“And remember, also," added the Princess of Sweet Rhyme, "that many places you would like to see are just off the map and many things you want to know are just out of sight or a little beyond your reach. But someday you'll reach them all, for what you learn today, for no reason at all, will help you discover all the wonderful secrets of tomorrow.”
― Norton Juster, quote from The Phantom Tollbooth


“As the cheering continued, Rhyme leaned forward and touched Milo gently on the shoulder.
"They're cheering for you," she said with a smile.
"But I could never have done it," he objected, "without everyone else's help."
"That may be true," said Reason gravely, "but you had the courage to try; and what you can do is often simply a matter of what you *will* do."
"That's why," said Azaz, "there was one very important thing about your quest that we couldn't discuss until you returned.
"I remember," said Milo eagerly. "Tell me now."
"It was impossible," said the king, looking at the Mathemagician.
"Completely impossible," said the Mathemagician, looking at the king.
"Do you mean----" said the bug, who suddenly felt a bit faint.
"Yes, indeed," they repeated together; "but if we'd told you then, you might not have gone---and, as you've discovered, so many things are possible just as long as you don't know they're impossible."
And for the remainder of the ride Milo didn't utter a sound.”
― Norton Juster, quote from The Phantom Tollbooth


“...I'll continue to see things as a child. It's not so far to fall.”
― Norton Juster, quote from The Phantom Tollbooth


About the author

Norton Juster
Born place: in New York, New York, The United States
Born date June 2, 1929
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