March is National Reading Month! As a former school librarian, I would often celebrate this month with my students through a variety of activities – read-ins, book-related games, and a literary March Madness!
While I am still working in a school (different school), I don’t have the opportunity to celebrate National Reading Month to the extent that I used to. Instead, I would like to share with you some of my all-time favorite quotes from some of my favorite books.
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
I only recently read The Alchemist and absolutely adored it. It’s a short read – it only took me a few hours to read – and as soon as I finished it, I wanted to open it back up and read it again. It very much feels like The Little Prince all grown up.
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
Summer 2017 was one of the hardest summers of my life. I had made the decision to move out of state and therefore had to say goodbye to my coworkers, students, and the friends that had turned into family. This quote echoed in my head every time I had to say good-bye. Despite the difficulty of saying goodbye, how lucky I was that I had so many people I loved and who loved me! I treasured my last moments with all those people. After I moved, I spent a lot of time going through pictures and creating scrapbook pages to cope with missing them. During this process, another Winnie quote came to mind – “We didn’t realize we were making memories. We just knew we were having fun.”
“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
For me, The Little Prince is forever associated with lazy afternoons at Hume Lake, reading it aloud to my high school girls during our free time. For the five of us, this story will always be attached to that impromptu daily storytime – time that is exemplified by that quote. For this reason, this book has a special place in all our hearts. When the Netflix movie came out, they all came over to my house and we watched it together.
The Little Prince is an adorable – and surprisingly philosophical – children’s book. It is another book that I could read and re-read to no end.
“’But now,’ says the Once-ler, ‘now that you’re here, the word of the Lorax seems perfectly clear. UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.'” – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
The Lorax vacillates between #1 and #2 for my favorite Dr. Seuss book. When I taught middle school, every year we would take our 6th graders to “Science Camp” for a week in the Angeles National Forest. Every year we’d go on an all-day hike that was ended with reading this story to the students.
Obviously, the book has an environmental aim, but this quote can be applied to life in a larger sense. I would always try to impress upon my students that nothing in their life is going to get better unless they care enough to do something about it, and sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference.
“But on you will go though the weather be foul. On you will go though your enemies prowl. On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl. Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak.” – Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
Oh, The Places You’ll Go always fights with The Lorax for my favorite Seuss book. Yes, it’s very cliched, but I think it’s a cliche for a reason. It’s gold. It’s the perfect book to read when you’re feeling a little down or a little lost. It lifts you up without downplaying the hard times. It presents life’s struggles as something that everyone has to go through. They’re just part of life, and there’s no reason to be afraid of them.
“You must never feel badly about making mistakes…as long as you take the trouble to learn from them. For you often learn more by being wrong for the right reasons than you do by being right for the wrong reasons.” – Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth
Everyone makes mistakes – there’s no getting around it. When you do make a mistake, there’s no reason to get defensive or try and justify it. Own it. “Oops…my bad.” “I’m sorry, my mistake.” People respect people who admit when they’re wrong and try to correct it, and everyone can spot a person who’s trying to hide their mistakes or cast blame on someone/something other than themselves.
But above all, learn from your mistakes.