The Quote Garden
 “I dig old books.”
 Est. 1998


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Terri the Word Harvester   Site Info & FAQ

digging up quotes since 1986
online since 1998 

  Q: What is The Quote Garden?
Short A: Lots of free quotes! Browse by topic, or search.
Long A: This is my personal, lifelong collection of quotations categorized into over 500 subjects, which I share with the world in hopes of providing inspiration, motivation, laughter, food for thought, emotions and memories, and to offer the beauty and love of words to all. Here you will find unique categories and lots of vintage quotes from 19th century literature.
Quote A: “I have spent hours, days, weeks, in searching among books which are rare, and not easily read, so that to those who have not time, nor inclination to search for themselves, I may reveal hidden delights and buried joys.... In my study I have learnt much; it is a labour of love, and ungrudgingly I give it to the world.” ~Helen Rose Anne Milman Crofton, 1903

  Q: Are all the quotes verified?
Short A: No, there are likely some mistakes — please tell me if you find one.
Long A: The quotations on this site are from various sources, including many submitted by visitors and some I collected when I was just a naïve junior-high-school kid with a pencil and notebook, and not all have been verified for original source so wordings and attributions may be wrong. Reporting of errors is greatly appreciated! Please see “How do I contact you?” below. I know that youth and inexperience are no‑good excuses; however, I am slowly but surely correcting as much as I can, as well as noting any context issues. A lifetime of collecting is going to take some time to update, but I will get there. I humbly thank you for your patience and understanding. No one is as anxious as I am to get to a 100% accurate site, for sure!
Quote A:  “The problem with internet quotes is that you cannot always depend on their accuracy.” ~Benjamin Franklin, 1791

  Q: What are the rules for using the quotes?
Short A: Sorry, there is not a good short answer for this one. Quote with respect, use your best judgment, and read the long answer.
Long A:  The main goal of this site is to share my personal collection of quotations with the world, so of course, please feel free to use a few but with the following cautions in mind.
      My creative work of compiling and categorizing the quotes is copyrighted. Please feel free to take a few quotes for personal use but do not take large portions or entire sections of the site for the purpose of republishing elsewhere. is an original compilation encompassing more than 30 years of very long hours, sleepless nights, hard work, blood, sweat, tears, heart, soul, ink, and lost youth.
      If you are planning to use a quote in a publication, commercial product, etc., you may need to request permission from the author or publishing company or do further research on the accuracy and origin of the quote. Unfortunately, I am unable to help with decisions and questions on permissions as I am not an expert on copyright laws. It is possible, however, on some of the quotations that I may have more detailed information on the source or author in my notes, so feel free to contact me if you need assistance on that part and I will be glad to help if I can.
      I do not have authority to grant permission on behalf of other authors. Many thousands of the quotes on my site I asked permission to use and when doing so was given approval for posting specifically on and sometimes with various conditions, such as a hyperlink or copyright symbol. This is one of the reasons I am unable to allow my collection to be used elsewhere, such as a quotation database for mobile apps or other sites.
      I am also unable to grant permission to translate the quotes, as this would need to be routed through the authors or publishing houses as well.
      If you use quotes from my garden and would like to credit the site, feel free to do so — it is appreciated but certainly not required.
      For the full, official, legal terms of use and conditions (the “my lawyers made me do it” section), click here.
Quote A: “I have gathered a posie of other men’s flowers and nothing but the thread which binds them is my own.” ~Michel de Montaigne (1533–1592)

  Q: Can you answer my copyright questions?
Short A:  Sorry, I cannot provide advice or answer questions on copyright issues.
Quote A: “Is stolen copyright a copywrong?” ~Anonymous

  Q: How do I report an error?
Short A:  Please email me, see “How do I contact you?” below.
Quote A:  “It is very easy to forgive others their mistakes; it takes more grit to forgive them for having witnessed your own.” ~Jessamyn West, c.1964

  Q: Is this site appropriate for all ages?
Short A:  No.
Long A:  Opinions differ on what is appropriate for various ages, but please be warned that there are a few quotes, categories, and possibly advertisements on this site containing language or themes that some may find offensive for any age or inappropriate for younger audiences.
Quote A:  “The fact is that censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion.” ~Henry Steele Commager, c.1953

  Q: Do you agree with all the quotes?
Short A:  No.
Long A:  I do agree with many of them. However, some do not coincide with my personal viewpoints, but I still like them because they are beautifully worded or they make a good point or give me an occasional well‑needed jab to my own beliefs. In some instances, I’ll post a quote for its historical value, for example to show how far we have come over the years regarding social issues. Even though I don’t agree with all of it, every quotation here has some reason (and sometimes that reason may be that I was 13 at the time and my immature brain liked it, unknowing that my later forty‑something brain would wonder what the heck I was thinking). And my collection has become so large, some of the quotes I’ve not even reviewed since I was a teenager. The deciding factor is whether the words do something for me — do they make me laugh or think or learn or feel‽ Do they make me giddy and glow with appreciation for the magnificent art of language‽
Quote A:  “Almost every wise saying has an opposite one, no less wise, to balance it...” ~George Santayana, 1906

  Q: May I link to your site?
Short A:  Yes.
Long A:  Of course you may link to me! You can use a text link to the homepage or any individual pages, or there are linking images if you prefer. Please note, however, that I do not participate in link exchanges.
Quote A:  “A journey of a thousand sites begins with a single click.” ~Author Unknown

  Q: Will you link to my site?
Short A:  Probably not.
Long A:  I do not participate in link exchanges. The few links I do have on my site are to my favorite quotation sites and some in acknowledgment of those who have helped me. If you are the author of a quote on my site and would like me to link your attribution to your website, please email me. See “How do I contact you?” below. (A note to broken link hounds: no need to send dead links you found on my site; I don't link back for that and I would've caught it soon enough anyway as I use a link checker myself. Nice try, though.)
Quote A:  “One of the Internet’s strengths is its ability to help consumers find the right needle in a digital haystack of data.” ~Jared Sandberg, 1998

  Q: Can I advertise on your site?
Short A:  Yes, using Google AdWords.
Long A:  Yes, thanks! Advertising is essential in helping me pay to keep the site running. Currently I can only accept advertising through Google AdWords. Use an existing account or sign up at You can have your ads on this site and other sites within minutes.
Quote A:  “Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does.” ~Author unknown, c.1917

  Q: Will you consider using our advertising company?
Short A:  Sorry, not at this time.
Quote A:  “No, no, it cannot be... I am heartily sorry... to you do I decline... and answer, thanks.” ~William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well and Comedy of Errors mash‑up quote

  Q: Can I send my business proposal or buy your site?
Short A:  No, thank you. At this time, I don't do article collaborations, host third party content, participate in affiliate programs, place infographics, widgets, or paid links, nor am I interested in selling the site.
Quote A:  “The business you have broached here cannot be... Truly, however... I thank you all.” ~William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra & King Lear mash‑up quote

  Q: Will you evaluate my writing, website, book, etc?
Short A:  Sorry, no.
Long A:  At this time I cannot critique, review, evaluate, or give my feedback on writings, websites, other quote sites, books, etc — personal or commercial. Apologies, but there simply isn’t enough time for me to keep up with such requests. Thanks for understanding.
Quote A:  “[S]leep deprivation is an illegal torture method outlawed by the Geneva Convention and international courts, but most of us do it to ourselves.” ~Ryan Hurd, 2014

  Q: Can I submit a quote?
Short A:  No.
Long A:  I’m very sorry, but I had to stop accepting quotation submissions. Unfortunately, there just aren’t enough hours in the day (or even the night) for me to keep up with this.
Quote A:  “As the bus slowed down at a crowded bus stop, the Pakistani bus conductor leaned from the platform and called out, ‘Six only!’ The bus stopped. He counted on six passengers, rang the bell, and then, as the bus moved off, called to those left behind: ‘So sorry, plenty of room in my heart — but the bus is full.’” ~The Friendship Book of Francis Gay, 1977

  Q: What is your citation information?
Short A:
Long A:  Below is the website information for citations, if you need it for a works cited list or bibliography. Please keep in mind that some quotes on this site have not been verified. It’s always best in scholarly writing to quote from the original source whenever possible. As much as I’d love for it to be handier in this respect, The Quote Garden is meant to be casual enjoyment for word lovers, not an academic reference.
    - Author, editor name:  Terri Guillemets
    - Website title:  The Quote Garden
    - Original date of publication:  1998 March 18th
    - Date of most recent update:  see bottom of each page
    - URL:
    - Print version:  none
    - Sponsor:  none
    - Author affiliation:  none
    - Publisher:  self-published
    - Place of publication:  Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Quote A: “Ultimately, the citers themselves are cited, and research in some sense consists of working back through the footnotes, probing back to ever more distant generations of scholars. A chain is thus built up that links the living and the dead in a theoretically infinite series...” ~Bruce Lincoln, 1977

  Q: How do I contact you?
Short A:  By email, please read the long answer.
Long A:  I love mail but I get lots of it, so please be sure to glance over the list of questions at the top of this page before contacting me. Due to time constraints (pronounced “lack of sleep”), I don’t reply to messages that are already addressed on this page. I do try my best to answer all mail specifically related to quotations and to existing content on my site. Send to: bookwormwithacupoftea[at]gmail[dot]com.
Quote A:  “Then there’s the joy of getting your desk clean, and knowing that all your letters are answered, and you can see the wood on it again.” ~Lady Bird Johnson (1912–2007)

  Q: What does this quote-related word mean?
Short A:  See the Glossary for more than 500 terms and definitions relating to quotations, quote collecting, books, libraries, literature, language, reading, writing, publishing, words, &c.
Quote A:  “A proverb is a short sentence based on long experience.” ~Miguel de Cervantes (1547–1616)

  Q: How can I learn more about quotations?
Short A:  See the Links page for quotation resources.
Quote A:  “Quotation is more universal and more ancient than one would perhaps believe.” ~James Boswell, 1779

  Q: Who are you?
Short A:  Terri Guillemets
Long A:  I’m a quotation anthologist, an author, and well, I guess you could call me a professional bookworm. I’m the kind of person who gets giddy around old books, card catalogs, and microfiche machines, and in libraries and used bookstores. I’ve been called The Quote Gardener, Bookworm of The Quote Garden, word harvester, literary treasure hunter, quotographer, quotesmith, quote addict, quotation enthusiast, blossoming quotation scholar, vintage bookworm, bookworm with a cup of tea, quotemaster, quotemistress, and a poetic free spirit. But you can just call me Terri. And if you are so inclined you can view my profile here.
Quote A:  “Most collectors collect tangibles. As a quotation collector, I collect wisdom, life, invisible beauty, souls alive in ink.” ~Terri Guillemets, 2004

  Q: How is your name pronounced?
Short A:  TARE-ee, ghee-u-MAY. To hear ‘Guillemets’ pronounced, click here then press "Say It!" and to hear ‘Terri’ click here.
Quote A:  “Studies find top 3 most stressful moments in people’s lives: death, divorce, and properly pronouncing ‘Worcestershire sauce.’” ~Tony Hsieh, 2010

  Q: Are you on Facebook or LinkedIn?
Short A:  No.
Long A:  I am not on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Reddit, or Foursquare, nor do I have an iPhone app or any other mobile apps. And yes, I do realize this places me somewhere in the middle of the Dark Ages. I’m not frequently active on the social sites, but I try to keep up as well as I can. Below are the places you can find me posting on occasion:
    - Blog:
    - Flickr:
    - Instagram:
    - Tumblr:
    - Twitter:
Quote A:  “The Internet is just a world passing around notes in a classroom.” ~Jon Stewart

  Q: Where can I view your writings?
Short A:  Inkpots & Daydreams
Long A:  Thank you so much to all of you who have requested over the years that my writings be available in one place; it is quite flattering. I’ve started a new blog called ‘Inkpots & Daydreams’ where I am posting selected journal entries, poetry, &c. Bear with me, as it will take some time to complete. You can view the progress here:
Quote A:  “In poetry and in eloquence the beautiful and grand must spring from the commonplace.... All that remains for us is to be new while repeating the old, and to be ourselves in becoming the echo of the whole world.” ~Alexandre Vinet (1797–1847)

  Q: What is the history of The Quote Garden?
Short A:  Digging up quotes since 1986, online since 1998.
Long A:  The Quote Garden began in 1986 when I was 13 years old and read The Scarlet Letter for English class. As I was reading, I noticed some sentences that I really liked and wrote them in a spiral notebook as I went along. And that is where my passion for quotations began, with Mr Nathaniel Hawthorne. At that time, I had no idea that this quoting behavior existed outside the realm of junior high school homework or that anyone else had a habit for collecting such things. It was shortly thereafter when I saw the “Quotable Quotes” page in a Reader’s Digest at my grandparents’ house that I realized I wasn’t the only one. From Hester Prynne on, I obsessively wrote down any short excerpts I liked from my readings. In early 1998 I began sharing my collection with the world by starting a site on GeoCities and learning basic HTML. Both the site and my obsession for quotes grew quickly with this new platform for sharing. I started spending nearly all my free time, and quite a bit of time that I should’ve been sleeping, working on the site and reading more and more — a bookworm rooting around in the world’s garden of books to harvest quality quotes — and I fully admit, an occasional weed here and there — from the rich soil of brilliant writers. I sprouted out to my own domain,, in 2001 and continue to this very day maintaining the site by typing every quotation and piece of code from scratch into Notepad, and carrying paper and pen with me everywhere I go in case I see anything quotable! Believe it or not, I have yet to finish placing my entire collection online; there are still thousands of quote-scribbled scraps of paper, torn-edged articles with highlighting, dog-eared old books, etc. scattered all over which I will eventually get around to posting.
Quote A:  “There is a very fine line between ‘hobby’ and ‘mental illness.’” ~Dave Barry, 1998

  Q: What happened to Quotations That Make a Statement?
Short A:  I closed it in 2000.
Long A:  I merged Quotations That Make a Statement along with Quoterrific! into The Quote Garden in May 2000. Just not enough time to keep up with all of it! I’ve added a screen-shot archive of the homepage, along with some other nostalgia in a Picasa web album — if you’d like to take a stroll down memory lane, click here. QTMAS was the first website with an option to display quotations based on a Q&A format (e.g. “What is the purpose of life?” or “Am I in love?”). Visitors could also browse by purpose (“Make me laugh”), as well as by category. I’d like to expand back to all those formats someday.
Quote A:  “Sometimes I feel that life is passing me by, not slowly either, but with ropes of steam and spark-spattered wheels and a hoarse roar of power or terror. It’s passing, yet I’m the one who’s doing all the moving.” ~Martin Amis, 1984

  Q: What happened to Quotable Tattoo?
Short A:  It's closed.
Long A:  Quotable Tattoo, which I began in May 2002, was the first online gallery specifically for tattoos related to quotations and literary themes. I stopped adding new entries May 2010 and have decided to no longer maintain it so that I can focus on quotations. If you're interested in quote tattoos and literary tattoos, head over to Instagram and search for #literarytattoo, #booktattoo, #quotetattoo, and the like. That kind of thing is so popular nowadays.

  Q: Where do you get all these quotes?
Short A:  Anywhere and everywhere!
Long A:  The quotations in my collection are pretty much from everywhere you can think of. I carry pen and paper with me at all times and to every place I go, to capture any quotables. Even at happy hour with friends, my little notepad always sits next to my beer and has a few curled pages from frosty condensation and several entries from lively conversation. Over the past few decades I’ve harvested quotes from: novels, textbooks, movies, television shows, newspapers, magazines, advertisements, friends, family, coworkers, submissions from visitors to the site, songs, XIXth century books of quotation compilations, library books, old books, new books, fortune cookies, personal conversations, online articles, blogs, tweets, food packaging, letters, email messages, poems, sports broadcasts, stand-up comedy, bathroom-wall “philosophy,” speeches, newsletters, and sometimes I even quote myself from my own journals, writings, meditations, and dreams — shameless, ain’t I‽ Whenever I go to someone's home or office — assuming I know that person well enough — I scan the bookshelves, pull out any books that call to me, flip through the pages, and find at least one quote from each. Truly, I tell you, I am obsessed with harvesting words. Occasionally I ask to borrow quotes from other online anthologists as well; these are indicated by an acknowledgement on the page. I also follow Garson O’Toole — a.k.a. The Quote Investigator — sometimes the quotations he researches I don’t have and if I like one, I may “borrow” it — with credit, of course. See my Links page for Mr O’Toole and other quotation resources.
      Several years ago I was out hiking one morning, and while sitting at the top of the mountain at sunrise I heard a gentleman in a nearby group repeat a quote he remembered an old professor using, and I wrote it down straight away. So I even get them from strangers overheard in conversation! It’s a great way to make friends out of strangers, by the way — asking to quote someone.
      Probably the oddest story behind any of my quotation harvests: Many years ago my doctor said something that really struck a chord with me, during an exam, so as soon as she left the room — while I was still in my paper gown — I wrote down what she had said. But then I didn’t get a chance to ask her permission to post it, and the next year when I called for an appointment I found out that she had retired and moved out of state. So I just held onto that piece of paper in my to-be-posted folder. Years later, I came across it and after doing some online research found an address I thought might be hers so I took a chance and mailed a letter. It did turn out to be her, and she wrote back giving me her approval to post the words to my site. I was overjoyed.
      I love picking out brilliant and beautiful words wherever I happen across them. I have a particular fondness for writings from past centuries, especially the 1800s (Romantic, Victorian, Transcendental) — the language they used back then really strikes me. Hence my slogan, “I dig old books.” And now with Google Books it is so much easier and healthier than flipping through the dust and mildew of real books from centuries past! What’s über-exciting to me is to find beautifully written excerpts from old books that aren’t on any other website. I find great joy in reviving these literary gems.
      Starting about 2008, approximately 85% of the quotations I added to the site were new to the Web — meaning zero results from a Google search at time of posting, and as of 2013 nearly all the quotes I post are first-quoted and firsthand. I’ve become more passionate about my quotation collecting hobby with each passing year, and now with more focus than ever on context, accuracy, attributions, and vintage authors I’m convinced that this is meant to fulfill part of my life’s destiny: to revive the words of the past for the generations of the present, and to preserve those amazing words for artists, lovers, readers, and leaders of the future. I’ll ruin myself for it, the neverending pursuit of finding every masterpiece fragment of words worth quoting.
Quote A:  “So our student will flit like a busy bee through the entire garden of literature, light on every blossom, collect a little nectar from each, and carry it to his hive...” ~Desiderius Erasmus (1469–1536)

  Q: There are lots of quote sites. What makes yours different?
Long A:  There didn’t used to be a lot of quote sites when I first started in the 1990s — there were only a few of us, with a genuine interest in quotations and each with our own focus and personality. As people have realized the ease of copy and paste, the number of quote sites has exploded, especially these past few years. Here is what makes The Quote Garden different:
      1. The most original content of any quotation site on the Web. I write quite a bit of my own content, as well as posting items from friends and family. And these last several years I’ve been dedicated to adding mostly items that aren’t already online. It takes lots of constant, hard work to keep the text fresh. The social web has drastically reduced the amount of time it takes for something to go from uncommon to trite. Once it starts making rounds on the interwebs its unique, shiny coating is quickly rubbed dull and threadbare.
      2. My specialty is finding vintage quotes in forgotten literature and writings from the 1800s.
      3. The Quote Garden was the first website to have a large selection of special occasion quotes — holidays, events, sentiments, current events, social causes, etc.
      4. Dozens of exclusive categories — “first of the Web” — that have since spread far and wide, for example: tooth fairy, Día de los Muertos, cancer support, crayons, screen-free week, best friends, gasoline prices, donate life, drive safely, firefighter appreciation, party invitation, proverbial relations, social anxiety, yearbook, off to college, Administrative Assistant Day, Black Friday, prom, stand-up desks, lean manufacturing, etc.
      5. There’s no fancy database automatically populating pages. I list quotes the old-fashioned way — hand‑picked, in an order that makes sense to me, added one at a time over the years. I like to make it feel more like reading a book rather than picking through random quotes one by one. This is an anthology that I hope feels like reading a special kind of literature — the inspirational mixed with the funny mixed with the thought-provoking: a literary collage of feelings and thoughts.
      6. I am striving for as much accuracy as possible, and I ’fess up to my mistakes. Yes, I have quite a few errors to clean up from my early years of not always verifying sources and wordings, but I am working hard to do that — it will just take some time to get there. And I no longer post new items without spending as many hours as it takes to find the original, if at all possible. It is not uncommon for me to spend days trying to track down information on a single quote or author.
      7. In addition to quotations, there are also many quotation resources to help you find and learn about quotes and quote collecting, as well as links to other quotation sites and related information. You can check this out on the Links page.
      8. I care. Quotation collecting is my biggest passion, other than family, and I’ve been doing it for more than 30 years. This compilation didn’t just magically appear. It has grown slowly to what it is today, beginning in 1986. I have put many thousands of hours of research and hard work and heart and soul and insomnia and eye strain into this collection. The quote sites that can honestly claim the same can be counted on a single hand. I love words. I love old books. I love what I do. I love sharing it with the world. And I will never, ever stop.
Quote A:  “If people copy your work, that’s their karma. No one can copy you — your energy, your essence, your light.” ~Aine Belton, 2014

  Q: What is your privacy policy?
Legal A:  Follow this link to read the privacy policy.

  Q: Geez, is everything quotes with you?
Short A:  Yes!
Quote A:  “Yes.” ~William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew (c.1590), Act II, Scene I, line 260, Katharina to Petruchio

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Last modified 2019 Aug 07 Wed 09:32 PDT

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