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Fun Friday–Books, Reading, and Writing

Friday, July 6, 2007


Here are some of my favorite quotes about books, reading, and writing collected over the years:

“The last thing one discovers in composing a work is what to put first.”
~Blaise Pascal

“I think I may boast myself to be, with all possible vanity, the most unlearned and uninformed female who ever dared to be an authoress.”
~Jane Austen

“A book is a version of the world. If you do not like it, ignore it; or offer your own version in return.”
~Salman Rushdie

“I like a thin book because it will steady a table, a leather volume because it will strop a razor, and a heavy book because it can be thrown at a cat.”
~Mark Twain

“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.”
~E. L. Doctorow

“People who write fiction, if they had not taken it up, might have become very successful liars.”
~Ernest Hemingway

“Books: the children of the brain.”
~Jonathan Swift

“I write in order to attain that feeling of tension relieved and function achieved, which a cow enjoys on giving milk.”
~H. L. Mencken

“A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”
~Thomas Mann

“Writing is play in the same way that playing the piano is ‘play,’ or putting on a theatrical ‘play’ is play. Just because something’s fun doesn’t mean it isn’t serious.”
~Margaret Atwood

“Writers aren’t exactly people . . . they’re a whole lot of people trying to be one person.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Don’t ask a writer what he’s working on. It’s like asking someone with cancer about the progress of his disease.”
~Jay McInerey

“The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story.”
~Ursula K. Le Guin

“The first draft is the child’s draft, where you let it all pour out and then let it romp all over the place, knowing that no one is going to see it . . . If one of the characters wants to say, ‘Well, so what, Mr. Poopy Pants?’ you let her.”
~ Anne Lamott

Happy Friday!

  1. Friday, July 6, 2007 9:31 am

    HA! I can so relate to the Jay McInerey quote at the moment…


  2. Friday, July 6, 2007 10:11 am

    E.L. Doctorow had it right!


  3. Friday, July 6, 2007 10:31 am

    Great post, Kaye! I laughed out loud at several of these quotes….TOO true!! =)


  4. Friday, July 6, 2007 10:56 am

    Love these, Kaye! I identify with quite a few.


  5. Friday, July 6, 2007 4:46 pm

    “A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”
    ~Thomas Mann

    Amen, and amen.


  6. Friday, July 6, 2007 8:25 pm

    I love the one about the cow.

    Here’s one I found and saved:
    A person who publishes a book willfully appears before the populace with his pants down… If it is a good book nothing can hurt him. If it is a bad book, nothing can help him.

    –Edna St. Vincent Millay


  7. Tuesday, July 10, 2007 10:25 pm

    I LOVE the Fitzgerald quote. I need to get that on my blog somehow….


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