Within our culture every school has a swimming pool. We lived on the coast. People swam in the surf. It's a very sporty nation and at that particular time anyone who had an artistic bent was very much an outsider. So if you liked reading or ideas or playing the piano then your dad viewed you as a sissy basically.
When I was eight years old I got a dummy for Christmas and started teaching myself. I got books and records and sat in front of the bathroom mirror practising. I did my first show in the third grade and just kept going there was no reason to quit.
For a long time all I wanted for Christmas were books about outdoor survival. I was convinced that the woods were calling me. I camped a lot I took classes. At 18 I told myself if I don't live in the woods by myself by the time I'm 25 I have failed.
The difference between people who believe they have books inside of them and those who actually write books is sheer cussed persistence - the ability to make yourself work at your craft every day - the belief even in the face of obstacles that you've got something worth saying.
Americans like fat books and thin women.
Something about glamour interested me. All my schoolbooks had drawings of women on terraces with a cocktail and a cigarette.
Books give not wisdom where none was before. But where some is there reading makes it more.
Books should to one of these fours ends conduce for wisdom piety delight or use.
But I do think it's important to remember that writers do not have a monopoly of wisdom on their books. They can be wrong about their own books they can often learn about their own books.
Books are the ever burning lamps of accumulated wisdom.
Who knows for what we live and struggle and die? Wise men write many books in words too hard to understand. But this the purpose of our lives the end of all our struggle is beyond all human wisdom.
All the information you could want is constantly streaming at you like a runaway truck - books newspaper stories Web sites apps how-to videos this article you're reading even entire magazines devoted to single subjects like charcuterie or wedding cakes or pickles.
I took every chance I could to meet with U.S. soldiers. I talked with them and read the books they gave me about the war. I decided I needed to return to my country and join with them - active duty soldiers and Vietnam Veterans in particular - to try and end the war.
The real war will never get in the books.
Books and all forms of writing are terror to those who wish to suppress the truth.
I always market research my books before I hand them in by showing them to five or six close friends who I trust to be honest with me so they are very heavily re-written already.
Ideas are only lethal if you suppress and don't discuss them. Ignorance is not bliss it's stupid. Banning books shows you don't trust your kids to think and you don't trust yourself to be able to talk to them.
We must go beyond textbooks go out into the bypaths and untrodden depths of the wilderness and travel and explore and tell the world the glories of our journey.
The more you travel the better you get at it. It sounds silly but with experience you learn how to pack the right way. I remember one of my first trips abroad travelling around Europe by rail fresh out of high school. I brought all these books with me and a paint set. I really had too much stuff so I've learnt to be more economical.
Travel teaches as much as books.
Before we had the kids my husband and I were traveling a lot and working and really enjoying our lives and each other. We both love the theater and books and travel and so we were really having a lot of fun.
Travel books are by and large boring. They lodge uncomfortably between fact fiction and autobiography.
Mark Twain was a great traveler and he wrote three or four great travel books. I wouldn't say that I'm a travel novelist but rather a novelist who travels - and who uses travel as a background for finding stories of places.
In books lies the soul of the whole past time.
I am a big defender of 'Harry Potter ' and I think any book that gets kids to read are books that we should cherish we should be thankful for them.
The distinction has blurred between young adult and adult books. Some of the teen books have become more sophisticated.
The technology that threatens to kill off books as we know them - the 'physical book ' a new phrase in our language - is also making the physical book capable of being more beautiful than books have been since the middle ages.
We're competing with everything: the beach the mall bookstores. Libraries are in a transition right now caught between two forces the old ways and technology. Libraries are under a lot of pressure to provide both.
The reason is that till date in spite of advances in information technology and strategies of information the written word in the form of books still remains one of humanity's most enduring legacies.
All of the books in the world contain no more information than is broadcast as video in a single large American city in a single year. Not all bits have equal value.
When I was a child I used to read books by Gerald Durrell who founded Jersey Zoo. He had a job collecting animals for zoos and for a long time that is what I wanted to do. Later when I was a teenager I had a fantastic English teacher called Mrs. Stafford. Her enthusiasm made me decide to be a writer.
Then I heard this genius teacher Stella Adler - I recommend you read anything you might find about her and if you have anyone interested in theatre you get them one of her books.
Writing became an obsessive compulsive habit but I had almost no money so I thought about being an urban firefighter and having lots of free time in which to write or becoming an English teacher and thinking about books and writers on a daily basis. That swayed me.
When I was a teacher teachers would come into my classroom and admire my desk on which lay nothing whatever whereas theirs were heaped with papers and books.