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brevity quotes

Franklin Delano Roosevelt:
Be sincere; be brief; be seated.
Gracián:
Good things, when short, are twice as good.
Horace:
Whatever advice you give, be brief.
Mark Twain:
To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement. To condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence, is worthy to rank as a prize composition just by itself...Anybody can have ideas--the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph.
Mark Twain:
I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English - it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don't let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in. When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don't mean utterly, but kill most of them - then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are wide apart. An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice.
Sophocles:
A short saying often contains much wisdom.
Woodrow Wilson:
If I am to speak ten minutes, I need a week for preparation; if fifteen minutes, three days; if half an hour, two days; if an hour, I am ready now.

boredom quotes

Aldous Huxley:
Your true traveller finds boredom rather agreeable than painful. It is the symbol of his liberty - his excessive freedom. He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically, but almost with pleasure.
Bert Leston Taylor:
A bore is a man who, when you ask him how he is, tells you.
Bette Midler:
Cherish forever what makes you unique, ‘cuz you're really a yawn if it goes.
Charlotte Whitton:
Boredom is like a pitiless zooming in on the epidermis of time. Every instant is dilated and magnified like the pores of the face.
Ellen Parr:
The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
Eric Hoffer:
When people are bored, it is primarily with their own selves that they are bored.
Fritz Redl:
Boredom will always remain the greatest enemy of school disciplines. If we remember that children are bored, not only when they don't happen to be interested in the subject or when the teacher doesn't make it interesting, but also when certain working conditions are out of focus with their basic needs, then we can realize what a great contributor to discipline problems boredom really is. Research has shown that boredom is closely related to frustration and that the effect of too much frustration is invariably irritability, withdrawal, rebellious opposition or aggressive rejection of the whole show. When We Deal With Children
George Bush:
What's wrong with being a boring kind of guy?
Leo Tolstoy:
Boredom: the desire for desires.Anna Karenina
Lin Yutang:
Probably the difference between man and the monkeys is that the monkeys are merely bored, while man has boredom plus imagination.
Metallica:
Boredom comes from a boring mind.
Saul Steinberg:
The life of the creative man is lead, directed and controlled by boredom. Avoiding boredom is one of our most important purposes.
Sir Cecil Beaton:
Perhaps the world's second worst crime is boredom. The first is being a bore.
Soren Kierkegaard:
Since boredom advances and boredom is the root of all evil, no wonder, then, that the world goes backwards, that evil spreads. This can be traced back to the very beginning of the world. The gods were bored; therefore they created human beings.
Susan Sontag:
Boredom is just the reverse side of fascination: both depend on being outside rather than inside a situation, and one leads to the other.On Photography
Virginia Woolf:
Yet it is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top.
Voltaire:
All kinds are good except the kind that bores you.

books quotes

Abraham Lincoln:
People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like.
Albert Camus:
After all manner of professors have done their best for us, the place we are to get knowledge is in books. The true university of these days is a collection of books.
Amy Lowell:
For books are more than books, they are the lifeThe very heart and core of ages past,The reason why men lived and worked and died,The essence and quintessence of their lives.Boston Athenaeum
Amy Lowell:
All books are either dreams or swords,You can cut, or you can drug, with words. Sword Blades and Poppy Seed
Ann Richards:
I have a real soft spot in my heart for librarians and people who care about books.
Barbara Tuchman:
Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill.
Bertrand Russell:
There are two motives for reading a book: one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it.
Cicero:
A room without books is like a body without a soul.
Daniel J. Boorstein:
A wonderful thing about a book, in contrast to a computer screen, is that you can take it to bed with you.
Denise Levertov:
I don't think one can accurately measure the historical effectiveness of a poem; but one does know, of course, that books influence individuals; and individuals, although they are part of large economic and social processes, influence history. Every mass is after all made up of millions of individuals.
Elizabeth Drew:
The test of literature is, I suppose, whether we ourselves live more intensely for the reading of it.
Elizabeth Hardwick:
The greatest gift is a passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you the knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination.
Emily Dickinson:
There is no frigate like a bookTo take us lands away.
Francis Bacon:
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed on and digested.
Harriet Martineau:
Readers are plentiful, thinkers are rare.
Henry G. Strauss:
I have every sympathy with the American who was so horrified by what he had read about the effects of smoking that he gave up reading.
Henry Miller:
A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition. Like money, books must be kept in constant circulation. Lend and borrow to the maximum -- of both books and money! But especially books, for books represent infinitely more than money. A book is not only a friend, it makes friends for you. When you have possessed a book with mind and spirit, you are enriched. But when you pass it on you are enriched threefold.
Henry Ward Beecher:
Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house.
Katharine Mansfield:
The pleasure of all reading is doubled when one lives with another who shares the same books.
Kathleen Norris:
Just the knowledge that a good book is awaiting one at the end of a long day makes that day happier.
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu:
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting.
Lenore Hershey:
Do give books - religious or otherwise - for Christmas. They're never fattening, seldom sinful, and permanently personal.
Louisa May Alcott:
She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.
Margaret Fuller:
A house is no home unless it contain food and fire for the mind as well as for the body.
Mark Twain:
There are some books that refuse to be written. They stand their ground year after year and will not be persuaded. It isn't because the book is not there and worth being written -- it is only because the right form of the story does not present itself. There is only one right form for a story and if you fail to find that form the story will not tell itself.
Mark Twain:
Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.
Mortimer Adler:
In the case of good books, the point is not how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.
Mortimer Adler:
Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.
Nick Bantock:
Our house was a temple to The Book. We owned thousands, nay millions of books. They lined the walls, filled the cupboards, and turned the floor into a maze far more complex than Hampton Court's. Books ruled our lives. They were our demigods.
Norman Cousins:
A library, to modify the famous metaphor of Socrates, should be the delivery room for the birth of ideas—a place where history comes to life.
Oscar Wilde:
The difference between literature and journalism is that journalism is unreadable and literature is not read.
Ralph Waldo Emerson:
Books are the best of things, well used; abused, the worst. What is the right use? What is the end which all means go to effect? They are for nothing but to inspire. I had better never see a book than be warped by its attraction clean out of my own orbit, and made a satelite instead of a system.
Ralph Waldo Emerson:
Some books leave us free and some books make us free.
Ralph Waldo Emerson:
We are too civil to books. For a few golden sentences we will turn over and actually read a volume of four or five hundred pages.
Theodore Parker:
The books that help you most are those which make you think the most. The hardest way of learning is that of easy reading; but a great book that comes from a great thinker is a ship of thought, deep freighted with truth and beauty.
Thomas Jefferson:
[A] lawyer without books would be like a workman without tools.
William Ellery Channing:
It is chiefly through books that we enjoy the intercourse with superior minds... In the best books, great men talk to us, give us their most previous thought, and pour their souls into ours. God be thanked for books.

birth quotes

Mary Antin, 1912:
We are not born all at once, but by bits. The body first, and the spirit later; and the birth and growth of the spirit, in those who are attentive to their own inner life, are slow and exceedingly painful. Our mothers are racked with the pains of our physical birth; we ourselves suffer the longer pains of our spiritual growth.
May Sarton:
... without darknessNothing comes to birth,As without lightNothing flowers.
Robert Frost:
What is this talked-of mystery of birthBut being mounted bareback on the earth?

belief quotes

Adlai E. Stevenson:
What do I believe? As an American I believe in generosity, in liberty, in the rights of man. These are social and political faiths that are part of me, as they are, I suppose, part of all of us. Such beliefs are easy to express. But part of me too is my relation to all life, my religion. And this is not so easy to talk about. Religious experience is highly intimate and, for me, ready words are not at hand. speech, Libertyville, Illinois, May 21, 1954
Alfred Korzybski:
There are two ways to slide easily through life: to believe everything or to doubt everything; both ways save us from thinking.
Anatole France:
To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.
Andre Gide:
Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it.
Anne Frank:
In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can't build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery and death.
Bertrand Russell:
What a man believes upon grossly insufficient evidence is an index into his desires -- desires of which he himself is often unconscious. If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way.
Buddha:
Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it. Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held. Believe nothing just because it is said in ancient books. Believe nothing just because it is said to be of divine origin. Believe nothing just because someone else believes it. Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true. [paraphrased]
Charlotte Perkins Gilman:
Habits of thought persist through the centuries; and while a healthy brain may reject the doctrine it no longer believes, it will continue to feel the same sentiments formerly associated with that doctrine.
D. H. Lawrence:
The mind can assert anything and pretend it has proved it. My beliefs I test on my body, on my intuitional consciousness, and when I get a response there, then I accept.
Demosthenes:
Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true.
Edith Hamilton:
Faith is not belief. Belief is passive. Faith is active.
Frank Lloyd Wright:
The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.
G. K. Chesterton:
It is not bigotry to be certain we are right; but it is bigotry to be unable to imagine how we might possibly have gone wrong.
George Orwell:
Myths which are believed in tend to become true.
Hannah Senesh:
One needs something to believe in, something for which one can have whole-hearted enthusiasm. One needs to feel that one's life has meaning, that one is needed in this world.
Harry Emerson Fosdick:
Nothing else matters much -- not wealth, nor learning, nor even health -- without this gift: the spiritual capacity to keep zest in living. This is the creed of creeds, the final deposit and distillation of all important faiths: that you should be able to believe in life.
Isaiah Berlin:
Only barbarians are not curious about where they come from, how they came to be where they are, where they appear to be going, whether they wish to go there, and if so, why, and if not, why not.
Johann Goethe:
If you must tell me your opinions, tell me what you believe in. I have plenty of douts of my own.
John Burroughs :
It is always easier to believe than to deny. Our minds are naturally affirmative.
John Lovejoy Elliott:
I have known many good people who did not believe in God. But I have never known a human being who was good who did not believe in people. [language slightly modified]
Mark Twain:
In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing. Autobiography, 1959
Michael Korda:
To succeed, we must first believe that we can.
Pearl S. Buck:
I feel no need for any other faith than my faith in the kindness of human beings. I am so absorbed in the wonder of earth and the life upon it that I cannot think of heaven and angels.
Pearl S. Buck:
When men destroy their old gods they will find new ones to take their place.
Philip K. Dick:
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
Ralph Waldo Emerson:
Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul; Unbelief, in denying them.
Ralph Waldo Emerson:
A person will worship something, have no doubt about that. We may think our tribute is paid in secret in the dark recesses of our hearts, but it will out. That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming.
Robert Fulghum:
I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge -- myth is more potent than history -- dreams are more powerful than facts -- hope always triumphs over experience -- laughter is the cure for grief -- love is stronger than death.
Rudyard Kipling:
I always try to believe the best of everybody -- it saves so much trouble.
Sophia Lyon Fahs:
Some beliefs are like walled gardens. They encourageexclusiveness, and the feeling of being especially privileged. Other beliefs are expansive and lead the way into wider anddeeper sympathies.
This entry continued ...Sydney J. Harris:
An idealist believes the short run doesn't count. A cynic believes the long run doesn't matter. A realist believes that what is done or left undone in the short run determines the long run.
Thomas Jefferson:
The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the Supreme Being in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.
Thomas Jefferson:
Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong.
Thomas Wentworth Higginson:
All ... religions show the same disparity between belief and practice, and each is safe till it tries to exclude the rest. Test each sect by its best or its worst as you will, by its high-water mark of virtue or its low-water mark of vice. But falsehood begins when you measure the ebb of any other religion against the flood-tide of your own. There is a noble and a base side to every history.
Voltaire:
As long as people believe in absurdities, they will continue to commit atrocities.
William Robertson Smith:
Belief in a certain series of myths was neither obligatory as a part of the true religion, nor was it supposed that, by believing, a man acquired religious merit and conciliated the favour of the gods.

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