Friday, July 2, 2010

Quoting in the Book

'Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners'. - Emily Post

I have an A4-size spiral bound hardcover notebook that sits on my bookshelf among my books. A pen hangs in its spiral binding, ready for a quote inscription. When I'm reading a book and want to remember a passage I write it in this notebook. It can be a piece of poetry (even though poetry's not my favourite thing, sometimes the bits are good). I write the date too which is quite helpful and interesting.

'I have never had anything to do with the kind of fashion that is influenced by the press or identified with the spirit of the season. My clients come for me, they come back each season for my spirit'. - Georgio Armani

Everyone once in a while I have a flick through this notebook and are newly re-inspired. The kind of quotes which might be lost if noted down on a piece of paper because they are so small, these are the quotes this book houses. And reading through them they give me a sense of what is me.

'What if you gave someone a gift, and they neglected to thank you for it - would you be likely to give them another? Life is the same way. In order to attract more of the blessings that life has to offer, you must truly appreciate what you already have'. - Ralph Marston

I'm sure to others they would mean almost nothing, but that's the beauty of the personal notebook. You don't have to explain why you enjoy a certain collection of words.

'It is true that some manifestations of the slow philosophy do not fit every budget. But most do. Spending more time with friends and family costs nothing. Nor does cooking, walking, meditating, making love, reading or eating dinner at the table instead of in front of the television. Simply resisting the urge to hurry is free'. - 'Slow' by Carl Honore

What I like most about gathering passages that speak to me all in one place, is that even though they can seem quite disparate, reading through them at a later date I can see the common thread that links them all.


  1. Fiona, I have a book of quotations, too. Someone on FC must've mentioned the idea years and years ago, because I think that's where my inspiration came from. But seriously, I think that must've been at least 8 or 9 years ago ... !

    My favorite of your quotes here is about the Slow Movement. It speaks so much to being fully present, being "in the moment." Ever since starting a regular yoga practice, I'm obsessed with it.

  2. This is a great idea and a wonderful way to remember those meaningful passages once you've finished a book. Especially a library book that is returned.

  3. I sometimes copy down words or passages that speak to me when I reading. I note them down in different places and eventually lose track of them. Having one book for this is a wonderful idea because you can revisit those wonderful words and they can encourage you over and over. Must get myself a nice book specifically for that.

  4. Love this! I write quotes and phrases I love. Also words that I want to use more. All of it goes in my daybook. I think it may have been me who wrote on FC about keeping a quote/phrase/word notebook and to keep it nearby when reading a book. I've been on FC since the beginning and I've spoken about it many times. I was so touched to see this post.


  5. LB, I have you to thank for attending my first yoga class on Thursday.

    Stephanie, yes, library books are where a lot of my passages have come from. Lines from movies too so I can remember them.

    Jackie, you will have fun shopping for a nice notebook, or you can cover a perfunctory one with pretty paper.

    Emily, the name 'daybook' is delightful. Much nicer than quote book. Words you want to use in the future is something I've never thought of but is a fantastic idea. Your blog looks charming and I look forward to coming back for a proper read.

  6. I'm really delighted to hear that you're trying yoga. It's awkward and funny the first few times, but the way it just wrings out your joints, spine, internal organs, and MIND is just beyond!!! My 13-year-old son just discovered yoga as well, and we take about four classes a week together.

    Never in my life have I looked forward to exercise, but I swear, every time I lie down on my mat before class starts, I think, "Oh ... I am so happy to be here right now."

    Yoga is so special that I forget it's exercise.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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