“Most collectors collect tangibles. As a quotation collector, I collect wisdom, life, invisible beauty, souls alive in ink . . . I swim across a sea of quotes, splashing in the words and riding the waves of wisdom. ” ~Terri Guillemets
Like, Terri Guillemets, I also collect quotations. I have filled up 33 formerly blank hardback books with thousands of hand written quotes that I have found over the past 20+ years. Most of my quotes have come from my own reading of original works, however some have come from books of collected quotations.
I like quote books. I’ve read many dozens of them. Here are a few things that I have observed about quotation books.
* There is a lot of inspiration in this world, but you have to wade through a lot of drivel and nonsense to get to it.
* Most of the quotations I read in English language quote books come from white men, but this leaves out the majority of the world’s wisdom. The wonderful wisdom from the world’s women is mostly neglected and ignored, or is in some cases credited to men. The awesome wisdom of Native Americans, Africans, South Americans and other Hispanics, Asians, Arabs, African-Americans, and so many other people groups; is also pretty much left out of our English language quote books.
* Men who forcibly held men, women, and children in life-long bondage; who kept people from learning how to read and write, who prevented people from marrying, who made people work their entire life without any pay or compensation and had them whipped on their bare back if they refused, who “sold” people away from their families — the men who did those horribly wicked things are frequently quoted in English language quote books; even though the way they treated other human beings makes a mockery of the wisdom they professed. I wonder why they are so frequently quoted?
* Another group of people are surprisingly left out of our English language quotation books — the writers of the books of the Bible. I very seldom see a quote by any of these people: Paul of Tarsus, John the Beloved, Ruth, Matthew, Hosea, Moses, David, Solomon, Luke, Ester, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Obadiah, or Ezekiel. I wonder why those folks are left out?
“I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognizable wiser than oneself.” –Marlene Dietrich