Thursday, 20 January 2011

My Green Book of Quotes


Carin, from A Little Bookish got me thinking about quotes in one of her coffee chats a couple of weeks ago. When I am reading, I rarely stop to think of quotes or to write them down, but this time it’s going to be different. Why? Because half an hour ago I decided that I was going to write them down in my little green book of quotes.

To mark the beginning of My Green Book of Quotes I thought I’d share one with you. I’d noted this one down a while ago and only just lately come across it.


It was a usual midday university scene, but as I sat watching it with renewed attention, I became aware of something. In his or her own way, every one I saw before me looked happy. Whether they were really happy or just looked happy, I couldn’t tell. But they did look happy on this pleasant afternoon in late September, and because of that I felt a kind of loneliness new to me, as if I were the only one who was not truly part of the scene.

- Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood, p. 103)

 [I wrote happiness instead of loneliness which I only just noticed typing it out!]

I used to keep a hand written record of my books and things in an A4 sized notebook, but I’ve transferred that to Goodreads. This blog is another way I have to remind myself of my reading journey. Yet, it occurred to me – even though I have my Ereader… how much I miss something hand written, something accessible whenever, where ever and real. My hand writing isn’t so good but maybe in many years time I will appreciate looking through a book of quotes and seeing what I felt was relevant at the time, or what marked something out in me as important or interesting.

I have never been one to keep a personal diary, what would it consist of? I got up, I did exactly the same as I did yesterday: nothing special or out of the ordinary. However, I have always thought that things like these – quotes, book reviews, reading records… are still a sort of personal journal or diary of sorts because how it reflects on you at the time.

Does anyone else keep a hand written record of what they read, or anything like that. In this digital age, everything seems to get done on a computer screen – even reading!

I didn’t read the same things ten years ago as I do today, and in ten years from now, who knows what I’ll be reading? With each experience in life, will my reading change – will certain passages mean more or less to me as they did then? Can I track my life through books and quotes? My kind of internal journal as it were – from my subconscious.


  1. I have started keeping track of the quotes that hit me. I write them down in a notebook and I also have a spreadsheet where I keep track of them. I'm also not a diary writer and quotes are reflective of where I am in life (they've been so dreary of late on my FB page...I need to start coming up with different quotes!).

    I'm tweeting this. I like your post! :)

  2. I do that at times, with books. But I have to admit that once I started keeping track, there were so many to write down! So it really all depends on how much time I give myself with a book.

  3. I've been keeping track of quotes that strike me since I was in high school. I don't write down that many of them -- more some years than others -- but they do provide a really good record of what I was reading when. And as well, reading them over often reminds me of where I was when I wrote that quote down, and why it was so important to me then. It's like keeping a diary without actually writing down my secrets where someone can find them. :p



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