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The world was hers for the reading.
“The world was hers for the reading.”
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

“Look at everything always as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time: Thus is your time on earth filled with glory.”
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Betty  Smith
“I know that's what people say-- you'll get over it. I'd say it, too. But I know it's not true. Oh, youll be happy again, never fear. But you won't forget. Every time you fall in love it will be because something in the man reminds you of him.”
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Betty  Smith
“Dear God," she prayed, "let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me be hungry...have too much to eat. Let me be ragged or well dressed. Let me be sincere - be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost.”
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

“From that time on, the world was hers for the reading. She would never be lonely again, never miss the lack of intimate friends. Books became her friends and there was one for every mood. There was poetry for quiet companionship. There was adventure when she tired of quiet hours. There would be love stories when she came into adolescence and when she wanted to feel a closeness to someone she could read a biography. On that day when she first knew she could read, she made a vow to read one book a day as long as she lived.”
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Betty  Smith
“People always think that happiness is a faraway thing," thought Francie, "something complicated and hard to get. Yet, what little things can make it up; a place of shelter when it rains - a cup of strong hot coffee when you're blue; for a man, a cigarette for contentment; a book to read when you're alone - just to be with someone you love. Those things make happiness.”
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Betty  Smith
“She had become accustomed to being lonely. She was used to walking alone and to being considered 'different.' She did not suffer too much.”
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Betty  Smith
“She was made up of more, too. She was the books she read in the library. She was the flower in the brown bowl. Part of her life was made from the tree growing rankly in the yard. She was the bitter quarrels she had with her brother whom she loved dearly. She was Katie's secret, despairing weeping. She was the shame of her father stumbling home drunk. She was all of these things and of something more...It was what God or whatever is His equivalent puts into each soul that is given life - the one different thing such as that which makes no two fingerprints on the face of the earth alike.”
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Betty  Smith
“Oh, magic hour, when a child first knows she can read printed words.”
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Betty  Smith
“Look at everything always as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time: Thus is your time on earth filled with glory.”
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Betty  Smith
“I hate all those flirty-birty games that women make up. Life's too short. If you ever find a man you love, don't waste time hanging your head and simpering. Go right up to him and say, 'I love you. How about getting married?”
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Betty  Smith
“Who wants to die? Everything struggles to live. Look at that tree growing up there out of that grating. It gets no sun, and water only when it rains. It's growing out of sour earth. And it's strong because its hard struggle to live is making it strong. My children will be strong that way.”
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Betty  Smith
“Because," explained Mary Rommely simply, "the child must have a valuable thing which is called imagination. The child must have a secret world in which live things that never were. It is necessary that she believe. She must start out by believing in things not of this world. Then when the world becomes too ugly for living in, the child can reach back and live in her imagination. I, myself, even in this day and at my age, have great need of recalling the miraculous lives of the Saints and the great miracles that have come to pass on earth. Only by having these things in my mind can I live beyond what I have to live for.”
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Betty  Smith
“Sometimes I think it's better to suffer bitter unhappiness and to fight and to scream out, and even to suffer that terrible pain, than to just be... safe. At least she knows she's living.”
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Betty  Smith
“Forgiveness is a gift of high value. Yet its cost is nothing.”
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Betty  Smith
“If there was only one tree like that in the world, you would think it was beautiful. But because there are so many, you just can't see how beautiful it really is.”
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Betty  Smith
“I need someone. I need to hold somebody close. And I need more than this holding. I need someone to understand how I feel at a time like now. And the understanding must be part of the holding.”
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Betty  Smith
“It's come at last", she thought, "the time when you can no longer stand between your children and heartache.”
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Betty  Smith
“Let me be something every minute of every hour of my life...And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost.”
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Betty  Smith
“And always, there was the magic of learning things.”
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn


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