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All Quotes by author - Michael Dirda
" Adventurous reading allows one to escape a little from the provincialities of one's home culture and the blinders of one's narrow self. "
" A job should bring enough for a worker and family to live on, but after that, self-realization, the exercise of one's gifts and talents, is what truly matters. "
" Any man's death diminishes us, but when an artist passes away, we lose not just an island but an entire archipelago. "
" A personal library is a reflection of who you are and who you want to be, of what you value and what you desire, of how much you know and how much more you'd like to know. "
" A reviewer's lot is not always an easy one. I can remember flogging myself to finish Harold Brodkey's 'The Runaway Soul' despite the novel's consummate, unmitigated tedium. "
" At 17, I traveled to Mexico in a lemon yellow Mustang and saved money by bunking down in cheap, cockroach-infested flophouses. In my early 20s, I went on to thumb rides through Europe, readily sleeping in train stations, my backpack as a pillow. Once I even hunkered down for a night on a sidewalk grate - for warmth - in Paris. "
" At any given moment, I've always assumed that nearly everyone around me was smarter than I was, more naturally gifted, quicker-witted, and probably capable of understanding Heidegger and Derrida. "
" At the age of 14, I ran away from home for four days and hitchhiked around western Pennsylvania and southern Ohio. "
" Back in the 1950s and '60s, J. M. Barrie's 'Peter Pan' - starring Mary Martin and Cyril Ritchard - was regularly aired on network television during the Christmas season. I must have seen it four or five times and remember, in particular, Ritchard's gloriously camp interpretation of Captain Hook. "
" Basically, I think that most people either make too much money or not enough money. The jobs that are essential and important pay too little, and those that are essentially managerial pay far too much. "
" Because of Kipling, I've sometimes wondered about keeping a mongoose about the house. But given the cobra population in Silver Spring, Maryland - zero, when last I checked - we hardly need a Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. "
" Books can be a source of solace, but I see them mainly as a source of pleasure, personal as well as esthetic. "
" Books don't only furnish a room: they also make the best holiday gifts. "
" Born in 1910, Wilfrid Thesiger spent his childhood in Ethiopia, or Abyssinia, as it was then called, where his father was an important and much-admired British official. "
" Carl Barks was born in Merrill, Oregon, in 1901, grew up in a farming family, and eventually held a number of blue-collar jobs. He knew what it was to be poor and to work hard for a living. "
" Close friends, or those in my pay, sometimes call me a literary polymath, while others say that I'm just a shallow dilettante, superficial and breezy, with a faux-naif style. "
" Critics for established venues are vetted by editors; they usually demonstrate a certain objectivity; and they come with known backgrounds and specialized knowledge. "
" Deep in my cortex, the year is divided into reading seasons. The period from mid-October to Christmas, for instance, is 'ghost story' time, while Jane Austen and P. G. Wodehouse pretty much own April and May. "
" Digital texts are all well and good, but books on shelves are a presence in your life. As such, they become a part of your day-to-day existence, reminding you, chastising you, calling to you. Plus, book collecting is, hands down, the greatest pastime in the world. "
" Every summer, I regret that I didn't become a college teacher. Such a sweet life! With all that vacation time! You'll never get me to believe that being a tenured professor at a good college is anything but Heaven on earth. "
" Fiction is a house with many stately mansions, but also one in which it is wise, at least sometimes, to swing from the chandeliers. "
" For even the ordinary well-read person, the French Enlightenment is largely restricted to the three big-name philosophes: Diderot, Rousseau, Voltaire. "
" For me, the two weeks between Christmas and Twelfth Night have come to be reserved for desultory reading. The pressure of the holiday is over, the weather outside is frightful, there are lots of leftovers to munch on, vacation hours are being used up. "
" For those of us with an inward turn of mind, which is another name for melancholy introspection, the beginning of a new year inevitably leads to thoughts about both the future and the past. "
" For years, I meant to read 'Arabian Sands', Wilfred Thesiger's account of two punishing camel journeys during the late 1940s across Southern Arabia's Empty Quarter. Now that I have, I can sheepishly join the chorus of those who revere the book as one of the half dozen greatest works of modern English travel writing. "
" From the late 19th to the early 20th century, the December issue of almost any general-interest magazine regularly featured a holiday horror or two. "
" Halloween isn't the only time for ghosts and ghost stories. In Victorian Britain, spooky winter's tales were part of the Christmas season, often told after dinner, over port or coffee. "
" I am something of an aficionado of thrift stores. In my youth, I regularly searched their shelves for old books. "
" I didn't work for any newspapers in college, never worked for any newspaper before 'The Washington Post'. "
" I don't like gross monetary inequities. I firmly believe that the wrong people and the wrong professions are being rewarded, and rewarded absurdly, and that the hardest work the obscenely rich do is ensuring that they preserve their privileges, status symbols, and bloated bank accounts. "
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