Norton Juster Quotes

Image, I know one thing for certain; it is much harder to tell

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I know one thing for certain; it is much harder to tell whether you are lost than whether you were lost, for, on many occasions, where you are going is exactly where you are. On the other hand, if you often find that where you've been is not at all where you should have gone, and, since it's much more difficult to find your way back from someplace you've never left, I suggest you go there immediately and then decide.

Norton Juster

Image, How can you see something that isn’t there?” yawned the Humbug, who

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How can you see something that isn't there?" yawned the Humbug, who wasn't fully awake yet. "Sometimes, it's much simpler than seeing things that are,"he said. "For instance, 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." "Then where is Reality?" barked Tock. "Right here,"cried Alec, waving his arms.

Norton Juster

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Image, Why, did you know that if a beaver two feet long with

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Why, did you know that if a beaver two feet long with a tail a foot and a half long can build a dam twelve feet high and six feet wide in two days, all you would need to build Boulder Dam is a beaver sixty-eight feet long with a fifty-one-foot tail?" "Where would you find a beaver that big?" grumbled the Humbug as his pencil point snapped. "I'm sure I don't know," he replied, "but if you did, you'd certainly know what to do with him.

Norton Juster

Image, Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or

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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.

Norton Juster

Image, Would it be possible for me to see something from up there?”

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Would it be possible for me to see something from up there?" asked Milo politely. "You could," said Alec, "but only if you try very hard to look at things as an adult does." Milo tried as hard as he could, and, as he did, his feet floated slowly off the ground until he was standing in the air next to Alex Bings. He looked around very quickly and, an instant later, crashed back down to the earth again. "Interesting, wasn't it?" asked Alex. "Yes, it was," agreed Milo, rubbing his head and dusting himself off, "but I think I'll... Read more »

Norton Juster

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Image, They walked for a while, all silent in their thoughts, until they

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They walked for a while, all silent in their thoughts, until they reached the car and Alec drew a fine telescope from his shirt and handed it to Milo. "Carry this with you on your journey," he said softly, "for there is much worth noticing that often escapes the eye. Through it you can see everything from the tender moss in a sidewalk crack to the glow of the farthest star — and, most important of all, you can see things as they really are, not just as they seem to be. It's my gift to you.

Norton Juster

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Image, No one paid any attention to how things looked, and as they

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No one paid any attention to how things looked, and as they moved faster and faster everything grew uglier and dirtier, and as everything grew uglier and dirtier they moved faster and faster, and at last a very strange thing began to happen. Because nobody cared, the city slowly began to disappear. Day by day the buildings grew fainter and fainter, and the streets faded away, until at last it was entirely invisible. There was nothing to see at all.

Norton Juster

Image, In this box are all the words I know…Most of them

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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.

Norton Juster

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Image, But why do only unimportant things?” asked Milo, who suddenly remembered how

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But why do only unimportant things?" asked Milo, who suddenly remembered how much time he spent each day doing them. "Think of all the trouble it saves," the man explained, and his face looked as if he'd be grinning an evil grin--if he could grin at all. "If you only do the easy and useless jobs, you'll never have to worry about the important ones which are so difficult. You just won't have the time. For there's always something to do to keep you from what you really should be doing, and if it weren't for that dreadful magic staff,... Read more »

Norton Juster

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Image, Does everyone grow the way you do?” puffed Milo when he had

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Does everyone grow the way you do?" puffed Milo when he had caught up. "Almost everyone," replied Alec, and then he stopped a moment and thought. "Now and then, though, someone does begin to grow differently. Instead of down, his feet grow up towards the sky. But we do our best to discourage awkward things like that." "What happens to them?" insisted Milo. "Oddly enough, they often grow ten times the size of everyone else," said Alec thoughtfully, "and I've heard that they walk among the stars." And with that he skipped off once again toward the waiting woods.

Norton Juster

Image, Whatever we learn has a purpose and whatever we do affects everything

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Whatever we learn has a purpose and whatever we do affects everything and everyone else, if even in the tiniest way. Why, when a housefly flaps his wings, a breeze goes round the world; when a speck of dust falls to the ground, the entire planet weighs a little more; and when you stamp your foot, the earth moves slightly off its course. Whenever you laugh, gladness spreads like the ripples in the pond; and whenever you're sad, no one anywhere can be really happy. And it's much the same thing with knowledge, for whenever you learn something new, the... Read more »

Norton Juster