Elizabeth McCracken Elizabeth McCracken > Quotes


Elizabeth McCracken quotes (showing 1-30 of 50)

“I had never wanted to be one of those girls in love with boys who would not have me. Unrequited love - plain desperate aboveboard boy-chasing - turned you into a salesperson, and what you were selling was something he didn't want, couldn't use, would never miss. Unrequited love was deciding to be useless, and I could never abide uselessness.

Neither could James. He understood. In such situations, you do one of two things - you either walk away and deny yourself, or you do sneaky things to get what you need. You attend weddings, you go for walks. You say, yes. Yes, you're my best friend, too.”
Elizabeth McCracken, The Giant's House
“Grief lasts longer than sympathy, which is one of the tragedies of the grieving.”
Elizabeth McCracken
tags: grief
“Books remember all the things you cannot contain.”
Elizabeth McCracken, The Giant's House
tags: books
“but you can't spend your whole life hoping people will ask you the right questions. you must learn to love and answer the questions they already ask.”
Elizabeth McCracken, The Giant's House: A Romance
“People think librarians are unromantic, unimaginative. This is not true. We are people whose dreams run in particular ways. Ask a mountain climber what he feels when he sees a mountain; a lion tamer what goes through his mind when he meets a new lion; a doctor confronted with a beautiful malfunctioning body. The idea of a library full of books, the books full of knowledge, fills me with fear and love and courage and endless wonder.”
Elizabeth McCracken, The Giant's House
“truthfully, this is the fabric of all my fantasies: love shown not by a kiss or a wild look or a careful hand but by a willingness for research. i don’t dream of someone who understands me immediately, who seems to have known me my entire life, who says, i know me too. i want someone keen to learn my own strange organization, amazed at what’s revealed; someone who asks, and then what, and then what?”
Elizabeth McCracken, The Giant's House: A Romance
“Library books were, I suddenly realized, promiscuous, ready to lie down in the arms of anyone who asked. Not like bookstore books, which married their purchasers, or were brokered for marriages to others.”
Elizabeth McCracken, The Giant's House
tags: books
“Books are a bad family - there are those you love, and those you are indifferent to; idiots and mad cousins who you would banish except others enjoy their company; wrongheaded but fascinating eccentrics and dreamy geniuses; orphaned grandchildren; and endless brothers-in-law simply taking up space who you wish you could send straight to hell. Except you can't, for the most part. You must house them and make them comfortable and worry about them when they go on trips and there is never enough room.”
Elizabeth McCracken, The Giant's House
tags: books
“As for me, I believe that if there's a God - and I am as neutral on the subject as is possible - then the most basic proof of His existence is black humor. What else explains it, that odd, reliable comfort that billows up at the worst moments, like a beautiful sunset woven out of the smoke over a bombed city.”
Elizabeth McCracken, An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination
“And while I was not an admirer of people in the specific, I liked them in the abstract. It is only the execution of the idea that disappoints.”
Elizabeth McCracken, The Giant's House
“This is why you need everyone you know after a disaster, because there is not one right response. It's what paralyzes people around the grief-stricken, of course, the idea that there are right things to say and wrong things and it's better to say nothing than something clumsy.”
Elizabeth McCracken, An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination
“Despite popular theories, I believe people fall in love based not on good looks or fate but on knowledge. Either they are amazed by something a beloved knows that they themselves do not know; or they discover a common rare knowledge; or they can supply knowledge to someone who's lacking. Hasn't everyone found a strange ignorance in someone beguiling? . . .Nowadays, trendy librarians, wanting to be important, say, Knowledge is power. I know better. Knowledge is love.
Elizabeth McCracken, The Giant's House
“My father was right: you could make anybody amazing just by insisting they were.”
Elizabeth McCracken, Here's Your Hat What's Your Hurry
“I got that familiar mania - there is information somewhere here, and I can find it, I have to. A good librarian is not so different from a prospector, her whole brain a divining rod. She walks to books and stands and wonders: here? Is the answer here? The same blind faith in finding, even when hopeless. If someone caught me when I was in the throes of tracking something elusive, I would have told them: but it's out there. I can feel it.”
Elizabeth McCracken
“Fire is a speed reader, which is why the ignorant burn books: fire races through pages, takes care of all the knowledge, and never bores you with a summary.”
Elizabeth McCracken, The Giant's House
tags: books
“For us what was killing was how nothing had changed. We'd been waiting to be transformed, and now here we were, back in our old life.”
Elizabeth McCracken, An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination
“I didn't know what it was I was feeling. Then I realized it was seeing someone and knowing immediately that you love him.”
Elizabeth McCracken, An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination
“but a library is a gorgeous language that you will never speak fluently.”
Elizabeth McCracken, The Giant's House: A Romance
“The cure for unhappiness is happiness,
I don't care what anyone says.”
Elizabeth McCracken, Niagara Falls All Over Again
“It's a happy life and someone is missing.”
Elizabeth McCracken
“The idea of a library full of books, the books full of knowledge, fills me with fear and love and courage and endless wonder.”
Elizabeth McCracken
“You cannot fly into your own arms.”
Elizabeth McCracken
“For some people, history is simply what your wife looks good standing in front of. It’s what’s cast in bronze, or framed in sepia tones, or acted out with wax dummies and period furniture. It takes place in glass bubbles filled with water and chunks of plastic snow; it’s stamped on souvenir pencils and summarized in reprint newspapers. History nowadays is recorded in memorabilia. If you can’t purchase a shopping bag that alludes to something, people won’t believe it ever happened.”
Elizabeth McCracken, The Giant's House
“My memories are not books. They are only stories that I have been over so many times in my head that I don't know from one day to the next what's remembered and what's made up. Like when you memorize a poem, and for one small unimportant part you supply your own words. The meaning's the same, the meter's identical. When you read the actual version you can never get it into your head that it's right and you're wrong.”
Elizabeth McCracken, The Giant's House
“Other people's happiness is always a fascinating bore. It sucks the oxygen out of the room; you're left gasping, greedy, amazed by a deficit in yourself you hadn't ever noticed.”
Elizabeth McCracken, The Giant's House
“Single people eat sadly--they cobble together things left from shopping trips based on dreams of all the meals they'd fix for themselves, all the ways they'd treat themselves to something grand; those dreams, for me, died by the next day and, despite my best hopes, I wanted only canned hash and apples.”
Elizabeth McCracken, The Giant's House
“I learned that there are books and there are readers; given even the worst of circumstances, they get together. In the privacy of their own homes or on park benches or on public buses, in the corner of the reference room, at the end of an aisle of fiction, in the middle of the alphabet, they club up and conspire.”
Elizabeth McCracken
“But you cannot fly away from people who have flown away from you; you cannot fly into your own arms.”
Elizabeth McCracken, The Giant's House
“For some people, history is simply what your wife looks good standing in front of. It's what's cast in bronze, or framed in sepia tones, or acted out with wax dummies and period furniture. It takes place in glass bubbles filled with water and chunks of plastic snow; it's stamped on souvenir pencils and summarized in reprint newspapers. History nowadays is recorded in memorabilia. If you can't purchase a shopping bag that alludes to something, people won't believe it ever happened.”
Elizabeth McCracken
“No one has asked me a question yet, but I will not shut up.”
Elizabeth McCracken, The Giant's House

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The Giant's House The Giant's House
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