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Augustine Birrell

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An ordinary man can...surround himself with two thousand books..and thenceforward have at least one place in the world in which it is possible to be happy.

 
Augustine Birrell

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I disregard the proportions, the measures, the tempo of the ordinary world. I refuse to live in the ordinary world as ordinary women. To enter ordinary relationships. I want ecstasy. I am a neurotic — in the sense that I live in my world. I will not adjust myself to the world. I am adjusted to myself.

 
Anais Nin
 

I've read the books. God is not a moderate. There's no place in the books where God says, "You know, when you get to the New World and you develop your three branches of government and you have a civil society, you can just jettison all the barbarism I recommended in the first books."

 
Sam Harris
 

I think Barack knew that he had God-given talents that were extraordinary. He knows exactly how smart he is. [...] He knows how perceptive he is. He knows what a good reader of people he is. And he knows that he has the ability — the extraordinary, uncanny ability — to take a thousand different perspectives, digest them and make sense out of them, and I think that he has never really been challenged intellectually. [...] So, what I sensed in him was not just a restless spirit but somebody with such extraordinary talents that had to be really taxed in order for him to be happy. [...] He’s been bored to death his whole life. He’s just too talented to do what ordinary people do. He would never be satisfied with what ordinary people do.

 
Barack Obama
 

The question we writers are asked most often, the favorite question, is: Why do you write? I write because I have an innate need to write. I write because I can’t do normal work as other people do. I write because I want to read books like the ones I write. I write because I am angry at everyone. I write because I love sitting in a room all day writing. I write because I can partake of real life only by changing it. I write because I want others, the whole world, to know what sort of life we lived, and continue to live, in Istanbul, in Turkey. I write because I love the smell of paper, pen, and ink. I write because I believe in literature, in the art of the novel, more than I believe in anything else. I write because it is a habit, a passion. I write because I am afraid of being forgotten. I write because I like the glory and interest that writing brings. I write to be alone. Perhaps I write because I hope to understand why I am so very, very angry at everyone. I write because I like to be read. I write because once I have begun a novel, an essay, a page I want to finish it. I write because everyone expects me to write. I write because I have a childish belief in the immortality of libraries, and in the way my books sit on the shelf. I write because it is exciting to turn all life’s beauties and riches into words. I write not to tell a story but to compose a story. I write because I wish to escape from the foreboding that there is a place I must go but—as in a dream—can’t quite get to. I write because I have never managed to be happy. I write to be happy.

 
Orhan Pamuk
 

A book read by a thousand different people is a thousand different books. (p177)

 
Andrei Tarkovsky
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