Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thursday Thirteen 355: The Phantom Tollbooth

I have been reading The Phantom Tollbooth this week, an amazing middle grade book that adults will love as much as children. Here are thirteen of my favorite lines or passages from this wonderful book.

1. Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven't the answer to a question you've been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you're alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.

2. The only thing you can do easily is be wrong, and that's hardly worth the effort.

3. 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.

4. Whether or not you find your own way, you're bound to find some way. If you happen to find my way, please return it, as it was lost years ago. I imagine by now it's quite rusty.

5. You can swim all day in the Sea of Knowledge and still come out completely dry.

6. If something is there, you can only see it with your eyes open, but if it isn't there, you can see it just as well with your eyes closed. That's why imaginary things are often easier to see than real ones.

7. Just because you have a choice, it doesn't mean that any of them 'has' to be right.

8. In this box are all the words I know…Most of them you will never need, some you will use constantly, but with them you may ask all the questions which have never been answered and answer all the questions which have never been asked. All the great books of the past and all the ones yet to come are made with these words. With them there is no obstacle you cannot overcome. All you must learn to do is to use them well and in the right places.

9. Since you got here by not thinking, it seems reasonable to expect that, in order to get out, you must start thinking.

10. We never choose which words to use, for as long as they mean what they mean to mean, we don't care if they make sense or nonsense.

11. "I never knew words could be so confusing," Milo said to Tock as he bent down to scratch the dog's ear.
"Only when you use a lot to say a little," answered Tock.
Milo thought this was quite the wisest thing he'd heard all day.

12. You can get in a lot of trouble mixing up words or just not knowing how to spell them. If we ever get out of here, I'm going to make sure to learn all about them.

13. [P]eople use as many words as they can and think themselves very wise for doing so. For always remember that while it is wrong to use too few, it is often far worse to use too many.

LINKING TO: Thursday Thirteen


Alice Audrey said...

It reminds me of the original Winnie the Pooh.

Jennifer Leeland said...

"I never knew words could be so confusing," Milo said to Tock as he bent down to scratch the dog's ear.
"Only when you use a lot to say a little," answered Tock.
I think that's the wisest thing I've heard all day too. LOL! Great TT.

Paige Tyler said...

Sounds great!


My TT is at

Heather said...

Alice: I hadn't thought about that, but perhaps Juster was influenced by Milne.

Jennifer: If only politicians would take that to heart, eh? ☺

Paige: It is indeed a great book. Lots of common sense wisdom in these pages.

colleen said...

I hope they get out! The premise sounds intriguing and the quotes are excellent.

Mia Celeste said...

This was one of my favorite books growing up! Thanks for the blast from my past.

Heather said...

Colleen: Hey, it's a kids book -- of course it has a happy ending. Methinks you need to find a copy to read with your grandsons. ;-)

Heather said...

Mia: Happy to provide the stroll down Memory Lane. ☺

Jodi said...

I have never read this book! I found your other comments, and marked them as not spam, so hopefully any future ones show up! Have a great Thursday!

Heather said...

Jodi: Thank you for visiting, and for taking the time to fish me out of the spam folder - I appreciate it. ☺

CountryDew said...

I think the Sea of Knowledge comment is my favorite. It's quite true. It reminds me of how my mother always told me I had a lot of book sense but no common sense. I don't think she was right about that, but maybe.

Heather said...

Anita: LOL...There is some truth in that statement, in more than one way. Some people who have book sense but no common sense or sense of humor are also rather "dry." :-D

Alice Audrey said...

It wouldn't surprise me.

Heather said...

Nope. ☺