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 I dig old books.

 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Nostalgia


Forgotten days of long ago,
I wonder where you are!
And if perchance we'll meet again
On some far-distant star!
~George Elliston, "Forgotten Days," Everyday Poems, 1921

What is the charm that makes old things so sweet? ~Sarah Doudney, "Between the Lights," c.1875

The pleasure of nostalgia is never without its companion, loneliness. ~Isuna Hasekura, Spice & Wolf, Vol. 1, 2006, translated by Paul Starr

We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it... ~George Eliot

Ah, nostalgia! We live our lives in the glare of the sun and recall them in the glow of the moon. ~Robert Brault,

Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson: you find the present tense, but the past perfect! ~Owens Lee Pomeroy

If you're yearning for the good old days, just turn off the air conditioning. ~Griff Niblack, in Indianapolis News, as quoted by The Reader's Digest, 1991

People seem to get nostalgic about a lot of things they weren't so crazy about the first time around. ~Author unknown

The joys of years, the snows of years,
      Are piling into drifts;
And yet how oft a breath of spring
      Divides the past in rifts!
We pause, and through the fissures see
      The visions long, long past;
Ourselves as children on some knee
      Where love has bound us fast...
We fain, but years drift on and on
      Nor ever backward turn;
'Tis only in our heart of hearts
      These lights of memory burn.
~Sara L. Vickers Oberholtzer, "Through the Fissures," Come for Arbutus, and Other Wild Bloom, 1882

An old family photo — this still moment in time, this moment when there was still time. ~Robert Brault,

Nothing's more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory. ~Franklin P. Jones, in Your Life, as quoted by The Reader's Digest, 1953

The nip of a nerve in neuralgia,
The torture that tingles a tooth,
Are naught when compared with nostalgia
Which claims for its prey age and youth...
~Wilbur D. Nesbit, "What Might Have Been: If Mr. Algernon Charles Swinburne had Written This Little Pig Went to Market," 1908

Nostalgia is less a recollection of the past than of a future we once dreamed of. ~Robert Brault,

We all have in our hearts a secret place where we keep, free from the contact of the world, our sweetest remembrances. ~J. De Finod

In every man's heart there is a secret nerve that answers to the vibrations of beauty. I can imagine no more fascinating privilege than to be allowed to ransack the desks of a thousand American business men, men supposed to be hard-headed, absorbed in brisk commerce. Somewhere in each desk one would find some hidden betrayal of that man's private worship. It might be some old newspaper clipping, perhaps a poem that had once touched him, for even the humblest poets are stout partisans of reality. It might be a photograph of children playing in the surf, or a little box of fishhooks, or a soiled old timetable of some queer backwoods railroad or primitive steamer service that had once carried him into his land of heart's desire. ~Christopher Morley (1890–1957), "A Slice of Sunlight," Travels in Philadelphia, 1920

Time has lost all meaning in that nightmare alley of the Western world known as the American mind. We wallow in nostalgia but manage to get it all wrong. True nostalgia is an ephemeral composition of disjointed memories — a tremulous attraction here, a perfect Christmas tree there, the smell of October in some forgotten year — but American-style nostalgia is about as ephemeral as copyrighted déjà vu. ~Florence King, "Déjà Views," Reflections in a Jaundiced Eye, 1989

It's curious the way we get nostalgic for some hoped-for thing that never happened, as if something that never happened were in the past. ~Robert Brault,

Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days. ~Doug Larson, United Feature Syndicate, as quoted by The Reader's Digest, 1985

"The good old days" never existed. Today is as good as or better than any of them. In every age "the good old days" were a myth. No one ever thought they were good at the time. For every age has consisted of crises that seemed intolerable to the people who lived through them... ~Brooks Atkinson, Once Around the Sun, 1951

"Father," I cry, "the old must still be nearer;
Stifle my love, or give me back the past!
Give me the fair old earth, whose paths are dearer
Than all Thy shining streets, and mansions vast."
~Sarah Doudney, "Between the Lights," c.1875

      "You must love this place very much," said Miss Fenn... "So many homes are like twenty others. But this is unique, and you seem to know every cranny of it. I dare say you could never love another home so well."
      "Oh, I carry it with me," said Deronda... "To most men their early home is no more than a memory of their early years... The image is never marred. There's no disappointment in memory, and one's exaggerations are always on the good side." ~George Eliot

Nostalgia is a process by which dreams become memories without ever coming true. ~Robert Brault,

Nostalgia for what we have lost is more bearable than nostalgia for what we have never had, for the first involves knowledge and pleasure, the second only ignorance and pain. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

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