Ray Bradbury Quotes

76 of the best book quotes from Ray Bradbury
“No one has time any more for anyone else.”
“But time to think? If you’re not driving a hundred miles an hour, at a clip where you can’t think of anything else but the danger, then you’re playing some game or sitting in some room where you can’t argue with the four wall televisor. Why? The televisor is ‘real.’ It is immediate, it has dimension. It tells you what to think and blasts it in. It must be, right. It seems so right. It rushes you on so quickly to its own conclusions your mind hasn’t time to protest, ‘What nonsense!‘”
“We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?”
“Stuff your eyes with as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic that any dream made or paid for in factories.”
“I don’t talk things...I talk the meaning of things. I sit here and know I’m alive.”
“They say you retain knowledge even when you’re sleeping, if someone whispers in your ear.”
“Cram them full of noncombustible data, chock them so...full of ‘facts’ they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion without moving. And they’ll be happy, because facts of that sort don’t change. Don’t give them any slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with. That way lies melancholy.”
“We stand against the small tide of those who want to make everyone unhappy with conflicting theory and thought.”
“Nobody listens any more. I can’t talk to the walls because they’re yelling at me. I can’t talk to my wife; she listens to the walls. I just want someone to hear what I have to say. And maybe if I talk long enough, it’ll make sense. And I want you to teach me to understand what I read.”
“Remember, the firemen are rarely necessary. The public itself stopped reading of its own accord.”
“If you don’t want a house built, hide the nails and wood. If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none.”
“Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them at all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.”
“A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it. Take the shot from the weapon.”
“We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at least one which makes the heart run over.”
“That’s the good part of dying; when you’ve nothing to lose, you run any risk you want.”
“We’re going to meet a lot of lonely people in the next week and the next month and the next year. And when they ask us what we’re doing, you can say, We’re remembering. That’s where we’ll win out in the long run.”
“I’m antisocial, they say. I don’t mix. It’s so strange. I’m very social indeed. It all depends on what you mean by social, doesn’t it?”
″‘Bet I know something else you don’t. There’s dew on the grass in the morning.’ He suddenly couldn’t remember if he had known this or not, and it made him quite irritable. ‘And if you look’ — she nodded at the sky — ‘there’s a man on the moon.’ He hadn’t looked for a long time.”
“Is it true, the world works hard and we play? Is that why we’re hated so much?”
“When I was a boy my grandfather died....He was part of us and when he died, all the actions stopped dead and there was no one to do them just the way he did. He was individual. He was an important man. I’ve never gotten over his death. Often I think, what wonderful carvings never came to birth because he died. How many jokes are missing from the world, and how many homing pigeons untouched by his hands. He shaped the world. He did things to the world. The world was bankrupted of ten million fine actions the night he passed on.”
“And I thought about books. And for the first time I realized that a man was behind each one of the books.”
“There must be something in books, things we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.”
“Come on now, we’re going to go build a mirror factory first and put out nothing but mirrors for the next year and take a long look in them.”
“It took some man a lifetime maybe to put some of his thoughts down, looking around at the world and life, and then I came along in two minutes and boom! it’s all over.”
“We’ll pass the books on to our children, by word of mouth, and let our children wait, in turn, on the other people. A lot will be lost that way, of course. But you can’t make people listen. They have to come round in their own time, wondering what happened and why the world blew up under them. It can’t last.”
“You know what I hate most of all, Will? Not being able to run anymore, like you.”
“Really knowing is good. Not knowing, or refusing to know, is bad, or amoral, at least. You can’t act if you don’t know.”
“There are times when we’re all autumn people.”
“Jim, Will thought, we’re still pals, smell things nobody else smells, hear things no one else hears, got the same blood, run the same way. Now, this first time ever, you’re sneaking out! Ditching me!”
“Sometimes the man who looks happiest in town, with the biggest smile, is the one carrying the biggest load of sin. There are smiles and smiles; learn to tell the dark variety from the light.”
“Both boys felt a shadow bulk the drive between houses, both flung up their windows, both poked their heads out, both dropped their jaws in surprise at this friendly, this always exquisite timing, this delightful pantomime of intuition, of apprehension, their tandem teamwork over the years.”
“Watching the boys vanish away, Charles Halloway suppressed a sudden urge to run with them, make the pack. He knew what the wind was doing to them, where it was taking them, to all the secret places that were never so secret again in life.”
“So there they go, Jim running slower to stay with Will, Will running faster to stay with Jim, Jim breaking two windows in a haunted house because Will’s along, Will breaking one window instead of none, because Jim’s watching. God, how we get our fingers in each other’s clay. That’s friendship, each playing the potter to see what shape we can make of the other.”
“So now Jim was the kite, the wild twine cut, and whatever wisdom was his taking him away from Will who could only run, earthbound, after one so high and dark silent and suddenly strange.”
“You wouldn’t let me come alone. You’re always going to be around, aren’t you, Will? To protect me?”
“Changing size doesn’t change the brain. If I made you twenty-five tomorrow, Jim, your thoughts would still be boy thoughts, and it’d show! Or if they turned me into a boy of ten this instant, my brain would still be fifty and that boy would act funnier and older and weirder than any boy ever.”
“Dad winked at Will. Will winked back. They stood now, a boy with corn-colored hair and a man with moon-white hair, a boy with a summer-apple, a man with a winter-apple face. Dad, Dad, thought Will, why, why, he looks…like me in a smashed mirror!”
“They stood entranced with the delicious cold bumps on their necks and the suddenly stiffened small hairs quilled up over their scalps.”
“He wanted to be near and not near them, he saw them close, he saw them far. Suddenly they were awfully small in too large a room in too big a town and much too huge a world.”
“I know Dad’s in there, but is it Dad? I mean, what if they came, changed him, made him bad, promised him something they can’t give but he thinks they can.”
“Part of that show looks just great. But the old saying really applies: you can’t get something for nothing.”
“You’ll live and get hurt.”
“First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys. Not that all months aren’t rare. But there be bad and good, as the pirates say. Take September, a bad month: school begins. Consider August, a good month, school hasn’t begun yet. July, well, July’s really fine: there’s no chance in the world for school.”
“Oh, Dad, I don’t care how old you are, ever! I don’t care what, I don’t care anything! Oh, Dad . . . I love you!”
“Both touched toward fourteen; it almost trembled in their hands. And that was the October week when they grew up overnight, and were never so young any more.”
“When you are very old and gone childish-small again, with childish ways and childish yens and, in need of feeding, make a wish for the old teacher nurse, the dumb yet wise companion, send for me. I will come back. We shall inhabit the nursery again, never fear.”
“Whatever you do, don’t die. Your children will never forgive you.... So your mother ran away to death. And after that, how could you trust anyone.”
“Let’s get out of the sun. This is a little too real. But I don’t see anything wrong.”
“I sensed only that you had spoiled your children more than most. And now you’re letting them down in some way.”
“Peter looked at his shoes. He never looked at his father any more, nor at his mother.”
“They walked down the hall of their soundproofed Happylife Home, which had cost them thirty thousand dollars installed, this house which clothed and fed and rocked them to sleep and played and sang and was good to them.”
“You’ve let this room and this house replace you and your wife in your children’s affections. This room is their mother and father, far more important in their lives than their real parents.”
“It seemed that, at a distance, for the past month, he had heard lions roaring, and smelled their strong odor seeping as far away as his study door. But, being busy, he had paid it no attention.”
“He knew the principle of the room exactly. You sent out your thoughts. Whatever you thought would appear.”
“We Earth Men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things.”
“That’s how it was now. A storm gathered, yet the sky was clear. Lightning was expected, yet there was no cloud.”
″ base, science is no more than an investigation of a miracle we can never explain, and art is an interpretation of that miracle.”
“Space travel has again made children of us all.”
“Once they had liked painting pictures with chemical fire, swimming in the canals in the seasons when the wine trees filled them with green liquors, and talking into the dawn together by the blue phosphorous portraits in the speaking room.”
“Time was a film run backward. Suns fled and ten million moons fled after them.”
“Then I went in and shot the televisor, that insidious beast, that Medusa, which freezes a billion people to stone every night, staring fixedly, that Siren which called and sang and promised so much and gave, after all, so little, but myself always going back, going back, hoping and waiting”
“Keep your silly, feminine dreams to yourself!”
“Feel,” said Driscoll, his hands and arms out loosely. “Remember how you used to run when you were a kid, and how the wind felt. Like feathers on your arms. You ran and thought any minute you’d fly, but you never quite did.”
“Then the telephone rang like a spoiled brat. I shoved it down the Insinkerator. I must state here and now I have nothing whatever against the Insinkerator; it was an innocent bystander. I feel sorry for it now, a practical device indeed, which never said a word, purred like a sleepy lion most of the time, and digested our leftovers. I’ll have it restored.”
″‘That song. That fine and beautiful song.’ She closed her eyes and hummed, but it was not the song. ‘I’ve forgotten it. And, somehow, I don’t want to forget it. It’s something I want always to remember.‘”
“Hers was simply not a pew-shaped spine.”
“The nightmare of living was begun.”
“Did you ever read that story about the man who traveled to the future and found everyone there insane? Everyone. But since they were all insane they didn’t know they were all insane. They all acted alike and so they thought themselves normal. And since our hero was the only sane one among them, he was abnormal; therefore, he was the insane one. To them, at least. Yes, Mr. Douglas, insanity is relative. It depends on who has who locked in what cage.”
“My heart stopped talking because it didn’t want to talk anymore for a while.”
“Now, with the message sent, the words said, she wanted to call them back, to censor, to rearrange them, to make a prettier sentence, a fairer explanation of her soul.”
“Dad read the stereo-newspapers inserted into the special hat you put on your head and which turned the microscopic page in front of the magnifying lens if you blinked three times in succession.”
“Don’t see so much, Chris, your mind is too big for your body.’ I got a war on between a mind that wants things my body can’t give it.”
“That’s life for you,” said McDunn. “Someone always waiting for someone who never comes home. Always someone loving some thing more than that thing loves them. And after a while you want to destroy whatever that thing is, so it can’t hurt you no more.”
“How many times has my mother said, ‘Don’t eat so much, Chris, your eyes are bigger than your stomach?’” “A million times.” “Two million. Well, paraphrase it, Ralph. Change it to ‘Don’t see so much, Chris, your mind is too big for your body.’ I got a war on between a mind that wants things my body can’t give it.”
“The Murderer”
“I’ll make a voice that is like an empty bed beside you all night long, and like an empty house when you open the door, and like the trees in autumn with no leaves. A sound like the birds flying south, crying, and a sound like November wind and the sea on the hard, cold shore. I’ll make a sound that’s so alone that no one can miss it, that whoever hears it will weep in their souls, and to all who hear it in the distant towns. I’ll make me a sound and an apparatus and they’ll call it a Fog Horn and whoever hears it will know the sadness of eternity and the briefness of life.”

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