Thursday’s Quotables #10


I had three Finals back to back yesterday.  I’m exhausted mentally.  I had several items on my to-do list for today, but nothing so important that it can’t wait until tomorrow.  I’m staying in my pajamas, and I plan on spending most of the day with Dresden the cat, my Doctor Who blanket, several cups of tea, and a book or two.  So, today’s quotes are all about books:

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library. – Jorge Luis Borges

Or, a fully stocked bookstore with a cafe that serves all my favorite snacks and teas…

Build yourself a book-nest to forget the world without. – Abraham Cowley

On the other hand, staying at home with my own library and kitchen is better…

Pre-slumber reading should be a kind of small private devotion during which we beat a quiet retreat from the practical. – “Pillow Books” by Clifton Fadiman

Because then I can also take a nap whenever I feel like it…

“You”, he said, addressing the desk and its multiple burdens, “can wait for a day.  So can you,” he said to the wall, and defiantly plucked a mystery novel from the shelf.  He glanced around belligerently, as though daring any of the furnishings to object, but there was no sound but the whirring of the electric fire.  He switched it off and, book under his arm, left the study, flicking off the light.”Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

Bye for now!  I’ll be back tomorrow.  Until then, I hope you’re able to take at least an hour or two to escape reality with a good book 🙂


Thursday’s Quotables #9: The Hobbit

Hobbit Adventure

“Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.”

Brenda @ Daily Mayo wrote about songs inspired by The Hobbit, “The Battle of the Five Armies” will be in theaters in a couple weeks, and one of my current reads, The Hobbit and Philosophy, happens to be one of my 10 fave book covers this year.  All of this has inspired me to dedicate this Thursday’s Quotables to my all time favorite book.

The Hobbit

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

My all time favorite first line.  You just know something fantastic and magical is contained in this book after reading that one sentence.

“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.”

“Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!” So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.”

These two quotes are a strange comfort to me because sometimes they’re very fitting to my life.  I’m sure the first one is relatable to everyone, especially avid readers.  Every time I walk into a bookstore with my long list of books I’d like to get, I almost always leave with something else entirely.  The second quote is for all those scary new beginnings when I’ve stepped far outside my comfort zone to try something new and I have no idea if I’m going to be successful or flail around like an idiot and fall flat on my face.  It’s also for those times when I face the great unknown.  I experienced both of those feelings when I left my steady paycheck and what had been my life for 8 years, moved to a new town and became a full-time college student at the age of 32.

“I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led. And through the air. I am he that walks unseen… I am the clue-finder, the web-cutter, the stinging fly. I was chosen for the lucky number… I am he that buries his friends alive and drowns them and draws them alive again from the water. I came from the end of bag, but no bag went over me… I am the friend of bears and the guest of eagles. I am Ring-winner and Luckwearer; and I am Barrel-rider…”

This quote is important to me because it took me many years to understand it’s ok to speak of my accomplishments, even the ones that seem insignificant, because those are the ones that usually are all but small.  Tooting my own horn from time to time isn’t the same as being a braggart, and if I don’t do it, the chances are no one else will do it for me.

There are so many more.  The entire book is full of them, but I’ll end with this one:

“May the hair on [your] toes never fall out!”

Thursday’s Quotables #8: Stephen King

Stephen King
Image: Stephanie Lawton

I started reading Stephen King when I was 12.  I think my parents thought that books of any kind were OK for me, no matter what the content.  Despite being introduced to highly adult themes in a horror setting at a very young age, I turned out OK.  Sometimes I think that’s because all my reading gave me an education that taught me to think for myself, and clowns are scary.  Sometimes I think I was like the majority of kids and understood that what is in books and on TV isn’t necessarily real life and therefore “don’t try this at home”.  Oh, and clowns are scary.

Some of today’s quotes are from King’s books I read when I was much younger, and some are from his books that I’ve read as an adult.  None of them are from IT because, in case you didn’t already know, clowns are scary.

“The mild, spicy smell of old books hit him, and the smell was somehow like coming home.”The Wastelands

“In this world Dr. Seuss was king, Judy Blume was queen, and all the princes and princesses attended Sweet Valley High.” – “The Library Policeman” in Four Past Midnight

I spent a lot of time in libraries or in my bedroom reading the books I checked out.  I learned to read from Dr. Seuss books, there was a copy of Are You There God?  It’s Me, Margaret in my Catholic school’s library, and I even read a couple “Sweet Valley High” books before moving on to more interesting reads.  The smell of books is truly like coming home for me.  I’ve moved from place to place so many times throughout my life that the only constant no matter where I’ve been has been books.

“Music hath charms to soothe the savage beast.”The Stand

A close second to books is music.  I’ve been places where I had no music.  Fortunately, my stay in those places was short, and I still had at least one book.  I use music for just about everything.  Music helps me wake up, get out the door on time and through my commute without road raging.  It helps me focus and makes work/chores more enjoyable.  It supplements whatever I’m reading, and most importantly, it’s a mood corrector.  I would love to be able to drop everything and hide away with a book any time I’m in a bad mood, but when I can’t do that, I turn up the tunes and scream-sing myself into happiness.  This usually occurs in my car or when I’m by myself at home.  I don’t believe in torturing others to make myself feel better.

I’m ending today’s Quotables with a humorous toast.  I won’t be posting anything next Thursday, since it will be Thanksgiving.  So, this quote is for all of you:

“To us, Stu.  May we have happy days, satisfied minds, and little or no low back pain.”The Shining

Clowns are scary.

Thursday’s Quotables #7: A Series of Unfortunate Events

2014-11-13 13.02.42

I’ve been coming across quite a few articles and things about Lemony Snicket’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events” (17 Legitimate Lessons We All Learned…What A Bad Beginning: Netflix And Lemony Snicket To Re-Adapt…, and Which A Series of Unfortunate Events Character…, just to name a few).  I LOVE these books.  They are my automatic go-to when I’ve had a yucky day, when I’m in the foulest of moods, and when I’m sick enough that my brain can’t handle anything above children’s fiction.  I also love reading them in November.  Unfortunately, I have too many other books that I’m trying to finish this month (which is almost halfway over already!), so I’m not going to start another, no matter how great or how quickly I can finish it.  However, sharing my favorite quotes from the books might be enough to satisfy me until I have an afternoon to pull one of them off the shelf.  There are far too many quotes to share all of them.  So, I’m only sharing quotes from books 1 through 6.  At some point in the future, I’ll share my favorite quotes from the rest of the series.

“If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats” The Wide Window

I’m not allergic to cats. I love cats.  I wish I could afford to have a cat.  I’m also not allergic to anything else that I know of (except for the standard allergies that everyone has after living in Texas for awhile).  However, I love this quote because it humorously and intelligently states the obvious and doesn’t include “you idiot” or “duh”.  There’s no eye roll or condescension.  That’s one of the reasons I love these books so much.  The frequent stupidity of adults is pointed out without once ever making adults out to be inferior.  They’re human like everyone else, and they have faults and other things that trip them up or keep them from seeing the truth or paying attention to the important things.  The lesson to take away is not to avoid becoming an adult or that all adults are bad, but to avoid developing those ways of thinking that make you blind to reality. With one exception, the following quotes are similar to the first one in that they are statements of common sense, which isn’t so common after all.

“Being afraid of a monster under the bed is perfectly rational, because there may in fact be a monster under your bed at any time, ready to eat you all up, but a fear of realtors is an irrational fear.”The Wide Window

“Morning is one of the best times for thinking. When one has just woken up, but hasn’t yet gotten out of bed, it is a perfect time to look up at the ceiling, consider one’s life, and wonder what the future will hold.”The Ersatz Elevator

“There are many, many types of books in the world, which makes good sense, because there are many, many types of people, and everybody wants to read something different.”The Bad Beginning

“Just because something is typed-whether it is typed on a business card or typed in a newspaper or book-this does not mean that it is true.” The Wide Window

“The expression “following suit” is a curious one, because it has nothing to do with walking behind a matching set of clothing. If you follow suit, it means you do the same thing somebody else has just done. If all of your friends decided to jump off a bridge into the icy waters of an ocean or river, for instance, and you jumped in right after them, you would be following suit. You can see why following suit can be a dangerous thing to do, because you could end up drowning simply because somebody else thought of it first.”The Austere Academy

“As anyone who’s ever been to a doctor knows, doctors are not necessarily your friends, any more than mail deliverers are your friends, or butchers are your friends, or refrigerator repair-people are your friends. A doctor is a man or woman whose job it is to make you feel better, that’s all, and if you’ve ever had a shot you know that the statement ‘Doctors can’t hurt you’ is simply absurd.”The Miserable Mill

What are your favorite quotes?  Is there something else you learned from “A Series of Unfortunate Events”?

Thursday’s Quotables #6

I’m still making my way through The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.  That’s not because I’m not enjoying it.  It’s for the exact opposite reason.  I love it!  I’m savoring it.  On the one hand, this is surprising to me since I’m not a huge fan of mysteries, and there has only been one vampire who periodically shows up and terrorizes people.  On the other hand, the writing is beautiful without being flowery, and the descriptions of all the places traveled through or visited are proof that the journey is more important than the destination.  I should probably zip it and get on with the quotes before I run out of things to say for the review when I eventually finish the book.

Since I’m smitten by Kostova’s way with words, this week’s quotes are about words:

My father taught me the new alphabet, and I amused myself trying to sound out the station signs, each of which looked to me like code words that could open a secret door.

Dear Reader, words are magic.  I’m probably preaching to the choir, but that’s ok, because I.Love.Words.  I’ve been fascinated by words since the words in my much beloved copy of Hop on Pop began to show me their secrets.  Though the next quote is about learning French, a language I’m also learning, it expresses perfectly the feelings I had as I learned how to read:

Never before had I known the sudden quiver of understanding that travels from word to brain to heart, the way a new language can move, coil, swim into life under the eyes, the almost savage leap of comprehension, the instantaneous, joyful release of meaning, the way the words shed their printed bodies in a flash of heat and light.

I still feel this occasionally as I’m learning French, but not on the same level as that first time the words on a page came to life for me.  My family would say that I got the reading gene from my Grandmother, the only other avid reader in the family.  However, I suspect that my love of books was really the result of wanting to relive that experience over and over again.  So, yes, books are a drug that I’m happily addicted to.  I hope I never recover.

Horror October Fortnight: Read-Along Wrap-Up


It’s Halloween, which means it’s the final day of Horror October Fortnight and the read-along for Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury.  Since I was unable to do Thursday’s Quotables yesterday, I won’t be doing a review.  Instead, this wrap-up will be about all the wonderful quotes I came across.

Something Wicked

Out in the world, not much happened.  But here in the special night, a land bricked with paper and leather, anything might happen, always did.

This line made me think that somehow the carnival would be let loose from some, possibly evil and most definitely mysterious, book.  I’m glad it didn’t, however, since I think that might have ruined libraries for many readers.

Still most comfortable in the library nights, in out of the rain of people.

I love this line not just because it’s about Mr. Halloway’s love of libraries, but because of the beautiful truth of libraries being a place to get away from “the rain of people.”

By the pricking of my thumbs,/ Something wicked this way comes.

I love the cleverness of using a line, spoken by the 2nd Witch, in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” for the title of the book.  If you’re curious to know where exactly in the play this line is, it’s Act 4, Scene 1, Page 2, Line 44.  The beauty of it was destroyed in the modern text, so please, stick to the original version.

Death doesn’t exist.  It never did, it never will.  But we’ve drawn so many pictures of it, so many years, trying to pin it down, comprehend it, we’ve got to thinking of it as an entity, strangely alive and greedy.  All it is, however, is a stopped watch, a loss, an end, a darkness.  Nothing.  And the carnival wisely knows we’re more afraid of Nothing than we are of Something.  You can fight Something.  But…Nothing?  Where do you hit it?

This sums up the entire story, and is exactly why this book is so scary.  There are so many more amazing lines throughout the book, but they require a lot of context, and are wonderful more for the choice of highly descriptive words and the modern style in which they’re written than what is being said.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday’s Quotables #5

Even though I’m in the middle of reading 7 other books, I decided to start reading The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.  I missed reading about vampires.  Also, I wanted to read something that had nothing to do with any challenges or read-alongs, wasn’t for one of my classes, and wasn’t an ARC.  Besides all that, The Historian has been on my TBR shelf for far too long.

12 pages in, and I’ve already bookmarked 2 quotes.  One concerns traveling, and the other is about books.

A train carried us to Vienna; my father hated planes, which he said took the travel out of traveling.”

Sadly, I’ve never traveled long distance by train.  However, I have traveled quite a bit throughout my life.  I hate planes.  I’m not afraid of flying.  I just feel the same way as her father.  Unfortunately, they’re a necessary evil, and one I couldn’t stand long before all of the added security that makes the experience even worse.  The only consolation for flying is getting time to read, which leads me to the other quote.

I flipped through the rest of the pages – when you handle books all day long, every new one is a friend and a temptation.

This sums up my life.  It’s how I feel when I’m in the book store and the library, and when I’m looking at all the potentially good books on Netgalley.  Reading, writing, critiquing, and editing books are the activities that keep me up into the night, wake me before the sun comes up, and make me forgetful of everything else.  I’ve never felt about any other job or career I’ve had as I do about books.  It’s a shame that I spent most of my life listening to people who told me I needed to be practical, that I couldn’t/wouldn’t/shouldn’t work in the publishing industry for so many reasons.  I’m grateful to the people who have come into my life in the past couple years who have encouraged and supported me.  Most of all, they made me realize that, while being able to pay the bills is important, it’s more important to do what I’m truly passionate about.  Otherwise, the hard work and the long hours aren’t worth it.


Thursday’s Quotables #4: Poetry

Today is National Poetry Day, so I decided to share a few lines from my favorite poets.  All of the quotes have to do with life and whether or not to take it seriously.  The first one is the question, and the remaining are my favorite answers:

I’ve been a thinking, whether it were best/ To take things seriously, or all in jest;/ Whether, with grim Heraclitus of yore,/ To weep, as he did, till his eyes were sore;/ Or rather laugh with him, that queer philosopher,/ Democritus of Thrace, who used to toss over/ The page of life and grin at the dog-ears/ As though he’d say, “Why, who the devil cares?”” – Edgar Allen Poe (“O, Tempora! O, Mores!”)

But I am old; and good and bad/ Are woven in a crazy plaid./ I sit and say, “The world is so;/ And he is wise who lets it go.” – Dorothy Parker (“The Veteran”)

If I don’t drive around the park,/ I’m pretty sure to make my mark./ If I’m in bed each night by ten,/ I may get back my looks again./ If I abstain from fun and such,/ I’ll probably amount to much;/ But I shall stay the way I am,/ Because I do not give a damn.” – Dorothy Parker (“Observation”)

This last quote isn’t from a poem, but from Moby Dick:

I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.

Thursday’s Quotables #3 – Banned Books Week!


*Above artwork courtesy of the American Library Association

Since it’s Banned Books Week, I decided to use one of the resource books I found at the library for this today’s Quotables.  It has a section of quotes, and I found several that are either thought provoking or just simply awesome.

The first quote falls into the latter category:

“Whenever I notice that my name isn’t on the list of banned and challenged authors, I feel faintly like I’m letting the side down.  Although I suspect all I’d have to do to get on the list is to write a book about naked, bisexual, hard-swearing wizards who drink a lot while disparaging the Second Amendment, and I’d be home and dry.” – Neil Gaiman

The second and third quotes are more thought provoking:

“Where there is official censorship it is a sign that speech is serious.  When there is none, it is pretty certain that the official spokesmen have all the loudspeakers.” – Paul Goodman

“A democratic society depends upon an informed and educated citizenry” – Thomas Jefferson

These made me think about the media and the plethora of useless and often ridiculous information that gets spouted on every form of communication available.  Though the first quote specifically mentions “official spokesmen”, I think it still holds true when you include all the news networks.  Perhaps the lack of truly important news is only because they’re going with what sells, but it makes me wonder if there isn’t a second reason.  I’m reminded of the Roman phrase “bread and circuses”.  The Romans had the gladiators; we have celebrities.

Which leads me to the fourth quote I found:

“Books and ideas are the most effective weapons against intolerance and ignorance” – Lyndon Baines Johnson, commenting as he signed a bill providing an increase in Federal aid for libraries on Feb. 11th, 1964

I HAD to include this quote because LBJ was an alumni of my university on top of being a supporter of libraries and education (click on the picture for more info).



Thursday’s Quotables #2

Today’s quotes come from the 2 other books about books and reading I found at the library: Adventures in Reading by May Lamberton Becker and The Delights of Reading by Otto L. Bettmann; the latter being a book of quotes compiled for The Center of the Book in the Library of Congress.  Though it is full of quotes, there were only 2 that stood out from all the rest.  The first one brought a smile to my face; the second made me think for a good long while:

“Build yourself a book-nest to forget the world without” – Abraham Cowley

“Where books are burned, human beings will in the end be burned too” – Heinrich Heine

My first thoughts were of the Nazis.  I then turned my thoughts to the author of the quote, who was a German Romantic.  The Romantics often saw themselves as being prophetic, and though I’m sure this quote was inspired from the world and times in which he lived (especially considering how much of his work was banned in Germany, and having lived out the last years of his life in Paris), I couldn’t help but imagine what his reaction would’ve been if he had been living during the beginning of his country’s darkest years, and see him writing this very quote in response.  Also interesting to note, is that the Nazis hated Heine, and so his books were more than likely banned and burned yet again.  I don’t know about you, but that, and the fact that a Neo-Nazi is sitting on the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, inspires me to read everything Heine ever wrote.

On to lighter subjects….

I loved Adventures in Reading for many reasons, but mostly for the following quote that I can most relate to:

“One day when it was raining heavily…I turned into a great public library to read…and it was not until…the last page that I lifted my eyes…and found that in the meantime the chairs near by had been taken by a dozen or more readers who had come in – and gone out again.”

This is the opening of her chapter on Romance, Adventure, and Fantasy books, and though she was writing specifically about a play, I know that feeling very well of getting so lost in a book that reality disappears until “The End”.  Even more so, I’ve had this experience during rainy days in the library.  I’m fairly certain “rainy day spent in the library” is my favorite day; the second being “rainy day spent in the bookstore’s cafe”.

In a later chapter, she goes on to speak about leaving good books out for children to discover and read on their own.  What I liked about it the most was her equating good books with cookie jars:

“You do not force cookies on healthy children, but you leave them where they can be reached in an emergency.”

Then, her chapter on travel books opens with:

“There are two reasons for reading travel books: because you expect to travel, and because you don’t.”

I believe my love of travel books stems from my love of The Hobbit, and I place it right below my love of Adventure and Fantasy books.  Perhaps that’s why I love the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon so much; It contains a bit of everything: travel, adventure, fantasy, romance, and history.

Hmmmm…..It’s supposed to rain again today, so maybe I’ll grab a good travel book, go to the bookstore’s cafe and get myself a cookie 🙂