I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.
Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.
Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.
A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people – people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.
Life is like writing with a pen. You can cross out your past but you can’t erase it.
Trust me, Wilbur. People are very gullible. They’ll believe anything they see in print.
The world is full of people who have never, since childhood, met an open doorway with an open mind.
Safety is all well and good: I prefer freedom.
Being the owner of Dachshunds, to me a book on dog discipline becomes a volume of inspired humor. Every sentence is a riot. Some day, if I ever get a chance, I shall write a book, or warning, on the character and temperament of the Dachshund and why he can’t be trained and shouldn’t be. I would rather train a striped zebra to balance an Indian club than induce a Dachshund to heed my slightest command. When I address Fred I never have to raise either my voice or my hopes. He even disobeys me when I instruct him in something he wants to do.
Anyone who writes down to children is simply wasting his time. You have to write up, not down. Children are demanding. They are the most attentive, curious, eager, observant, sensitive, quick, and generally congenial readers on earth…. Children are game for anything. I throw them hard words and they backhand them across the net.
Every morning I awake torn between a desire to save the world and an inclination to savor it. This makes it hard to plan the day. But if we forget to savor the world, what possible reason do we have for saving it? In a way, the savoring must come first.
One of the most time-consuming things is to have an enemy.
I have one share in corporate Earth, and I am nervous about the management.
Use the smallest word that does the job.
I am always humbled by the infite ingenuity of the Lord, who can make a red barn cast a blue shadow.
Reading is the work of the alert mind, is demanding, and under ideal conditions produces finally a sort of ecstasy.
You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.
Old age is a special problem for me because I’ve never been able to shed the mental image I have of myself – a lad of about 19.
Nauseous. Nauseated. The first means “sickening to contemplate”; the second means “sick at the stomach.” Do not, therefore, say “I feel nauseous,” unless you are sure you have that effect on others.
A despot doesn’t fear eloquent writers preaching freedom- he fears a drunken poet who may crack a joke that will take hold.
It’s hard to know when to respond to the seductiveness of the world and when to respond to its challenge. If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between the desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.
I admire anybody who has the guts to write anything at all.
Make the work interesting and the discipline will take care of itself.
Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day.
A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word to paper.