Books, Writing and Reading Quotations

7-book The Quippery

A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking about what to write.
– Author Unknown-

Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
– P.J. O’Rourke –

A new word is like a fresh seed sown on the ground of the discussion.
– Ludwig Wittgenstein –

And then Satan said, “Put the alphabet in math.”
-getfunny.net –

‘Bookworms’ are now almost exclusively known in the secondary and derivative meaning of the word as porers over dry books; but there was a time when the real worms were as ubiquitous as our cockroaches. They would start at the first or last page and tunnel circular holes through the volume, and were cursed by librarians…. They were dignified, like other disagreeable things, with fine Latin names….
The most audacious beast of our days is the cutter-out of plates…. Towards him we feel a ferocity that is merciless. We should like to extract a tooth without anæsthetics for every plate he has purloined.
– “The Sufferings and Death of Books,” Chambers’s Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art, 1890 August 30th –

Educational television should be absolutely forbidden. It can only lead to unreasonable disappointment when your child discovers that the letters of the alphabet do not leap up out of books and dance around with royal-blue chickens.
– Fran Lebowitz –

Every writer faces a moment in her career when she realizes that a good part of success has nothing to do with skill or planning, and everything to do with pure, dumb luck. For me, that moment arrived at a party at the Romance Writers of America conference in St. Louis in 1993, when a colleague came to me and asked, “Did you know the heroine on the cover of your newest release has three arms?”
– Christina Dodd – On the Other Hand –

For myself, I favored the abstract. I collected not just obsolete terms and words, but ideas.
― Jasper Fforde, Shades of Grey –

Grandma told me Mama was once caught by the Principal for writing in the front of her book, “In Case of Fire, Throw This in First.” I have never had so much respect for Mama as the day I heard this.
– Erma Bombeck (At Wit’s End) –

Having your book turned into a movie is like seeing your oxen turned into bouillon cubes.
– John LeCarre –

Here’s a brain twister. Can you use the word ‘capitulated’ in a sentence where it doesn’t mean ‘Your hat’s on backwards’?
– Joe Martin –

If people say they just love the smell of books, I always want to pull them aside and ask, “To be clear, do you know how reading works”?
– @bridger_w 
(Bridger Winegar) –

I’m a bookaholic on the road to recovery. Ha, not really. I’m on the road to the bookstore.
– Author unknown –

I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done.
– Steven Wright –

I’m writing my book in fifth person, so every sentence starts out with: “I heard from this guy who told somebody …”
– Demetri Martin –

I love walking into a bookstore. It’s like all my friends are sitting on shelves, waving their pages at me.
– Tahereh Mafi –

…I struggled through the alphabet as if it had been a bramble-bush; getting considerably worried and scratched by every letter. After that, I fell among those thieves, the nine figures, who seemed every evening to do something new to disguise themselves and baffle recognition.
– Charles Dickens –

It is clear that the books owned the shop rather than the other way about. Everywhere they had run wild and taken possession of their habitat, breeding and multiplying, and clearly lacking any strong hand to keep them down.
– Agatha Christie, The Clocks –

It is a damned poor mind that can’t think of at least two ways of spelling any word.
– Andrew Jackson –

I try to leave out the parts that people skip.
– Elmore Leonard –

I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.
– Anna Quindlen, “Enough Bookshelves,” New York Times, 7 August 1991 –

Many people, other than the authors, contribute to the making of a book, from the first person who had the bright idea of alphabetic writing through the inventor of movable type to the lumberjacks who felled the trees that were pulped for its printing. It is not customary to acknowledge the trees themselves, though their commitment is total.
– Forsyth and Rada, Machine Learning –

May God forgive me, but the letters of the alphabet frighten me terribly. They are sly, shameless demons – and dangerous! You open the inkwell, release them; they run off – and how will you ever get control of them again!
– Nikos Kazantzakis –

Old or new, the only sign I always try to rid my books of (usually with little success) is the price-sticker that malignant booksellers attach to the backs. These evil white scabs rip off with difficulty, leaving leprous wounds and traces of slime to which adhere the dust and fluff of ages, making me wish for a special gummy hell to which the inventor of these stickers would be condemned.
– Alberto Manguel, The Library at Night –

One of the advantages of reading books is that you get to play with someone else’s imaginary friends, at all hours of the night.
– Dr. SunWolf –

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.
– Attributed to Groucho Marx –

Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book.
– Ronald Reagan –

The covers of this book are too far apart.
– Ambrose Bierce –

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.
– Mark Twain –

The length of this document defends it well against the risk of its being read.
– Winston Churchill –

There are books in which the footnotes, or the comments scrawled by some reader’s hand in the margin, are more interesting than the text.
– George Santayana, “Imagination” –

There’s nothing to match curling up with a good book when there’s a repair job to be done around the house.
– Joe Ryan –

There is a temperate zone in the mind, between luxurious indolence and exacting work; and it is to this region, just between laziness and labor, that summer reading belongs.
– Henry Ward Beecher –

Think about these words: cease, coin, chic, indict, and discrepancy. In this string of terms, C sounds like S, K, Sh, and in one case it’s silent. Even within one word this letter doesn’t always maintain the same sound.
The fickle nature of this letter did not please everyone. As American English grew in the 1700s, Benjamin Franklin campaigned to remove C from the alphabet altogether, though his efforts did not gain much traction.
– From The Curious Chronicle of the Letter C –

Why is the alphabet in that order? Is it because of that song?
– Stephen Wright –

Why pay a dollar for a bookmark? Why not use the dollar for a bookmark?
– Fred Stoller –

Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.
– Mark Twain –

Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn’t wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say.
– Sharon O’Brien –

Punctuation

And all those exclamation marks, you notice? Five? A sure sign of someone who wears his underpants on his head.
– Terry Pratchett –

Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.
– F. Scott Fitzgerald –

In the family of punctuation where the full stop is daddy and the comma is mummy, and the semicolon quietly practises the piano with crossed hands, the exclamation mark is the big attention-deficit brother who gets over-excited and breaks things and laughs too loudly.
– Lynn Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, pages 137-138 –

…it sometimes seems hurtful to suppress the exclamation mark when – after all – it doesn’t mean any harm to anyone, and is so desperately keen.
– Lynn Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, p 139 –

The punctuation marks you use (and where you put them) can completely change the meaning of what you write. “Twenty-odd ducks” is an estimate of how many are waddling by, but “twenty odd ducks” would not only be a big group, they’d be very strange looking.
– From Twenty-Odd Ducks, by Lynne Truss –