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Adrienne Rich on what it takes

January 31, 2013

“You must write, and read, as if your life depended on it.”


Sherman Alexie on what it takes

January 31, 2013

“If one reads enough books one has a fighting chance.”

Erasmus on household budgeting

January 31, 2013

“When I get a little money, I buy books. If any is left, I buy food and clothes.”

Annie Dillard on broadaxes

January 31, 2013

“How many of you, I asked the people in my class, which of you want to give up your lives and be writers?…(Why do I want them to mean it?) And then I tried to tell them what the choice must mean: you can’t be anything else. You must go at your life with a broadax…They had no idea what I was saying. (I have two hands don’t I? And all this energy, for as long as I can remember. I’ll do it in the evenings, after skiing, or on the way home from the bank, or after the children are asleep…) They thought I was raving again. It’s just as well.”

“Holy the Firm”

Jorge Luis Borges and Carl Sagan describing the greatest tool ever invented

January 31, 2013

“Of all man’s instruments, the most wondrous, no doubt, is the book.”  – Borges


“A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called “leaves”) imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time ― proof that humans can work magic.”  – Sagan

Kim Addonizio, being delicate

January 31, 2013

“Let me put this as delicately as I can: If you don’t read, your writing is going to suck.”

Haruki Murakami on freedom

January 31, 2013

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”