Overheard at the Library: Inspiring Quotes

We overhear a lot in the public library, but I’m not at liberty to repeat it . I know. Too bad for you. Sometimes it’s pretty juicy. BUT I will tell you something even secret-y-er. I’ll tell you what the staff at the Traverse Area District Library is hearing…in our heads.

I’ll wait while your exploded mind pieces itself back together.

I’m going to tell you what our favorite quotes are! When you’re surrounded by words all day, some get stuck in your head! Sometimes it’s the Mentos theme song, but sometimes it’s something wise or cheerful or comforting.

I’ll tell you our favorites, then you tell me yours, k? K!


First off, we like Thoreau. He’s always floating around our heads. Melanie remembers “Methinks my own soul must be a bright invisible green.” Aah, that’s nice.

Michelle likes the book As Easy As Falling Off the Face of the Earth by Lynne Rae Perkins, where a character references Thoreau’s famous drummer quote (“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer”). The next line in Perkins’ book reads, ‘Well, Del marches to the beat of, like, I don’t know, a harmonica or something”. Michelle says that line always makes her laugh and that marching to her own harmonica has become a code phrase for her.

Anyway, speaking of Ryan Gosling, Brice‘s favorite quote is “I’d mate for life…One day at a time.” Brice says, “The line is spoken by Denys Finch Hatton from Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen (portrayed by Robert Redford in the film version), I love the honesty that comes across in this line when he discusses marriage with his lover, Karin Blixen.

Not surprisingly, a lot of us liked quotes that give us strength in times of trouble (If you’re interested in what times of trouble look like for a librarian, check out Librarian Problems). Matt likes “No. Try not. Do, or not. There is no try” from Jedi Master Yoda in Star Wars Episode V.

Linda remembers that “Perhaps the distant part of the sky always seems clearest, so that we will always strive to reach it.” from the television series Rurouni Kenshin because it reminds her to continue onward and eventually reach the sun.

Ben thinks “Don’t dream it, be it” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show is inspirational. And he didn’t tell me so, but I’m pretty sure he says it into the mirror every morning.

And I KNOW Mary M. says this into the mirror: Her favorite quote is “Party on Garth” from Wayne’s World. “Need I say more?” Mary asks. “Live! This isn’t a dress rehearsal.”

We are also non-conformists! Duh! We’ve all read too many books to know that the you don’t win in the end if you don’t march to your own harmonica:

Tony faces challenges with this quote from Lord of the Rings: Return of the King: “Forth! Fear no darkness! Arise! Arise, Riders of Théoden! Spears shall be shaken, shields shall be splintered! A sword day…a red day, ere the sun rises! Ride now! Ride now! Ride! Ride for ruin and the world’s ending! Death! Death! Death! Forth, Eorlingas!” Tony says, “When seemingly insurmountable odds and certain defeat, they decide to fight anyway. Because what else are they going to do? Let evil triumph unopposed?”

Anita likes this quote from  Winnie the Pooh because she has non-conformist ( Wobbly) spelling: “Because my spelling is Wobbly. It’s good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places.”

Christopher quotes another Christopher-Christopher McDougall who wrote Natural Born Heroes: “An outlaw outlook calls on every citizen to create, not conform; to decide what is right and wrong and act on it- not just baa along with the rest of the herd.”

So to recap, if you were to get inside the heads of our staff, you would see that we’re upbeat non-conformist Transcendentalists who have it bad for Gosling. Sound about right, guys?

Ok, deal’s a deal. What’s your favorite book or movie quote? Do we have it in the library?

Featured Image: Our featured image is a Flickr image from Claire Sambrook.





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