There isn’t an end point to excellence where you have it and you can stop. Being your best self means keeping on trying.
If I were omnipotent and omnibenevolent I wouldn’t be so damn ineffable.
It doesn’t matter. I have books, new books, and I can bear anything as long as there are books.
If you love books enough, books will love you back.
I care more about the people in books than the people I see every day.
the knowledge that change can be frightening, that responsibility can, but that the answer to that is not refusing to change or to accept responsibility.
There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.
And there’s no sex, hardly any love stuff at all, in Middle Earth, which always made me think, yes, the world would be better off without it.
Class is entirely intangible, and the way it affects things isn’t subject to scientific analysis, and it’s not supposed to be real but it’s pervasive and powerful. See; just like magic.
magic can make things happen before you do it. It can make things have happened.
You can’t do magic with books unless they’re very special copies.
I’m so glad I have my own copy. I can read them again and again. I can read them again and again on trains, all my life, and every time I do I’ll remember today and it will connect up. (Is that magic?)
Magic isn’t inherently evil. But it does seem to be terribly bad for people.
You can almost always find chains of coincidence to disprove magic. That’s because it doesn’t happen the way it does in books. It makes those chains of coincidence. That’s what it is.
One of the things I’ve always liked about science fiction is the way it makes you think about things, and look at things from angles you’d never have thought about before.
I will laugh about this one day, I told myself. I will laugh about it with people so clever and sophisticated I can’t imagine them properly now.
You couldn’t get worse food, or food more detached from nature, if you tried. If you have an apple, you’re connected to an apple tree. If you have a dish of set custard and half a glace cherry you’re not connected to anything.
In a science fiction novel, the world is a character, and often the most important character.In a mainstream novel, the world is implicitly our world, and the characters are the world.
She felt her strong young body that she had never appreciated when she had it, constantly worrying that she didn’t meet standards of beauty and not understanding how standards of health were so much more important.
There’s a way that money is freedom, but it isn’t money, it’s that money stands for having a choice.
what’s real within the story is real within the story
The thing with dying, well, with death really, is that there’s a difference between being someone who knows they can really die at any time and someone who doesn’t.
In the end, I sold my soul.” he had said, and Abby had replied “That wasn’t the end.
I found myself being helped down to the car. That sort of help is actually a hindrance. If you ever see someone with a walking stick, that stick, and their arm, are actually a leg.
I hate those Socratic dialogues where everything gets drawn out at the pace of an excessively logical snail.
In reality, while we aim for excellence, we’re always living on somebody’s dunghill.
Interlibrary loans are a wonder of the world and a glory of civilization.
The worst of anything she could do to me would be to make me like her. That’s why I ran away.
Libraries really are wonderful. They’re better than bookshops, even. I mean bookshops make a profit on selling you books, but libraries just sit there lending you books quietly out of the goodness of their hearts.
They could take the money from building enough nukes to kill all the Russians in the world and give it to libraries. What good does an independent nuclear deterrent do Britain, compared to the good of libraries?