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Why I Collect Quotes

Updated on March 25, 2017

I’ve been actively collecting quotes for almost ten years. This practice has evolved considerably over the years, and I currently have an effective system which helps me acquire new quotes. No doubt I’ll continue to refine this system; nonetheless, it helps me in my quest to capture and share the words of others with my family, friends, and readers on HubPages.

My current quote collection contains thousands of quotes I’ve collected from innumerable sources ranging from bumper stickers, books, other people, the internet, and posters. Occasionally I’ll consider limiting my collecting of quotes. For better or worse, this resolution typically falls by the wayside within a day once I start reading an excellent article in The New Yorker full of tempting potential quotes.

In case there isn't candy to share, you can always share quotes.
In case there isn't candy to share, you can always share quotes. | Source

I’m uncertain exactly why I began collecting quotes, yet I am aware of a what is currently motivating me in this area.

I greatly enjoy sharing quotes with family and friends. Most letters I write contain quotes, and often they contain four or more quotes specifically chosen for the person I am writing. My method for selecting quotes includes remember which authors this particular person favors, or if they have a favorite subject or subjects. I’ve several friends who adore canines as much as I do, and naturally I’ve shared quotes about dogs with them. Similarly, I have shared quotes from Ann Voskamp with my sister because I know how much she likes her writing style. I recognize my approach to sharing quotes isn’t fail proof. It’s possible and probable I’m sharing quotes which inspired me with those who find the same words cliché, redundant, or even offensive. It’s an inexact science, yet I find it worth the effort if even one quote out of a hundred I share “hits the mark” and lingers with one of my friends or family members long after they read them.


Not surprisingly, I collect quotes because I want to revisit these words and expressions. I generally try to read books from the library, and the fact I don’t own these volumes is another reason I collect quotes from them. Certain books I’ve found dozens of quotes from, and it’s startling how much I can remember from the entire volume by reading one quote from it.

Which of these writers would you prefer to read a quote from?

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This book is amazing.
This book is amazing. | Source

At times I’ve also found it necessary to share quotes from books with friends to help them see why I was so enraptured over a particular novel or memoir. My friend NPR recommended J.R. Moehringer’s deliciously-written memoir The Tender Bar to me, and, once I had typed up the quotes I found worth copying out of this volume, I emailed a copy of them to him in appreciation.

My love affair with words is one of the main reasons I collect quotes. In fact, I find it almost impossible to resist recording the thoughts of another which express what I’ve always believed or felt but never managed to put into words. In other words, reading their words brings me the comfort of knowing I am not alone in my experiences. The opposite of this is true, and I find myself frequently attracted to quotes I am affronted or disquieted by. It’s a good sign if a quote makes me slightly uncomfortable, and there are many quotes in my collection which have been added for this reason.


I also collect quotes to use for special occasions. This can mean anything from providing a newlywed couple with my favorite quotes about love to finding quotes about children to send to a friend who recently had a baby. Many years ago I sent a quote about grief to a newly widowed woman I knew in college, and I can only hope these words from Po Bronson helped her.

Many people in my life know I collect quotes, and for this reason I have been given quotes in letters, on magnets, and beyond. My friends also aren’t terribly surprised when I rush off to write down the C.S. Lewis quote on a plaque in their bathroom. I’ve been known to gather quotes from bumper stickers, Good Earth original tea bags, and, of course, the internet. I’m drawn to quotes the way young children gravitate toward muddy puddles, and I wonder if I will ever fully escape the gravitational pull they have on me. Perhaps I don’t want to. After all, collecting quotes costs less than collecting shot glasses, thimbles, or Precious Moments figurines. They are also easier and cheaper to share than many other things I could collect.


I’ll close with this story. Last autumn I was recommended a book I didn’t particularly care for. However, the hours I spent reading it weren’t wasted because this book contained many wonderful quotes I immediately added to my collection. What can I say? In 2013 a friend called me a “quotologist,” and I am guilty as charged.


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    • Julie K Henderson profile image

      Julie K Henderson 3 years ago

      Thank you. I am glad you enjoyed the quotes.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      I like the "quotologist" title. You have some great quotes here. I like them too!

    • Julie K Henderson profile image

      Julie K Henderson 3 years ago

      Thank you for your comment. How can I best share love quotes with you? Please let me know the easiest method for you to receive them and I will go find them.

    • Literature Fairy profile image

      Holly Jackson 3 years ago from England, UK.

      It is important to consider the character of a person whom you're quoting, however no one is perfect, and for me its sometimes more about the ideal rather than the person. For example, Gandhi was a great leader, and a champion of the Indian people. I certainly agree with his mantra: "Be the change you want to see in the world." However, he also was an outspoken racist. This was wrong and I don't agree with a lot of views he espoused, but I still quote and aspire to "Be the change." I think it's possible to respect a person and agree with some of their philosophy, whilst understanding that they are only human and therefore not to be followed and agreed with blindly.

      Also Julie I would love some of your love quotes if you don't mind, that would come in really handy! LF x

    • Julie K Henderson profile image

      Julie K Henderson 3 years ago

      Thank you both for your comments. I can't say I set out to make a collection of quotes, yet this evolved naturally based on the sheer number I've collected. Literature Fairy: If you need any love quotes, please let me know. I have several wonderful ones on this subject in my collection. Ron: Thank you for commenting. I also enjoy reading a quote--such as from John Muir--and appreciating the quote within the context of the kind of life this person lived.

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 3 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      You know, I often search out and use quotes, but it never occurred to me to try to build a collection of them. Honestly, I'm not sure what I think of the idea. As I think about it now, I realize that for me appreciation of a quote depends not only on the words themselves, but also on what I think of the life of the person who said it. Well, at least you've given me something to think about.

    • Literature Fairy profile image

      Holly Jackson 3 years ago from England, UK.

      I too am addicted to quotes! One of the reasons my favourite show on t.v is Criminal minds is that they have at least two quotes in every episode! And Catherine is right pinterest is also a treasure trove of quotes! I'm currently searching for and collecting quotes about love for the favours I'm making for my wedding in August, and the one here in your article has gone right on the list! Great, interesting hub, voted up!

      Thanks, LF x

    • Julie K Henderson profile image

      Julie K Henderson 3 years ago

      Thank you for commenting. I'm currently not on Pintrest, though perhaps I would enjoy joining the website eventually. It is definitely worth considering. I look forward to your next hub about quotes.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 3 years ago from Orlando Florida

      I too love quotes although for me it is a new found interest. I love your opening quote about decisions and the universe. I attended a lecture and the speaker used literary quotes to explain the nature of love. That inspired me to write a speech using that technique. Once I started on HubPages, I started doing hubs about quotes. The universe was pointing me to quotes. voted up ++ P.S. Lots of people keep their quote collections on Pinterest.

    • Julie K Henderson profile image

      Julie K Henderson 3 years ago

      You are absolutely correct. Thank you for sharing.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 3 years ago

      A good quote provides a moment of insight that might have otherwise passed you by.

    • Julie K Henderson profile image

      Julie K Henderson 3 years ago

      Thank you. I am glad you approve.

    • profile image

      Aliur 3 years ago

      Great Practice! btw nice article and quotes too. :)


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