Forgive, I hope you won't be upset, but when I was a boy I used to look up and see you behind your desk, so near but far away, and, how can I say this, I used to think that you were Mrs. God, and that the library was a whole world, and that no matter what part of the world or what people or thing I wanted to see and read, you'd find and give it to me.
--Ray Bradbury, Quicker Than The Eye
Every time you take a step, even when you don't want to. . . . When it hurts, when it means you rub chins with death, or even if it means dying, that's good. Anything that moves ahead, wins. No chess game was ever won by the player who sat for a lifetime thinking over his next move.
--Ray Bradbury, Farewell Summer
Sometimes the man who looks happiest in town, with the biggest smile, is the one carrying the biggest load of sin. There are smiles & smiles; learn to tell the dark variety from the light. The seal-barker, the laugh-shouter, half the time he's covering up. He's had his fun & he's guilty. And all men do love sin, Will, oh how they love it, never doubt, in all shapes, sizes, colors & smells. Times come when troughs, not tables, suit appetites. Hear a man too loudly praising others & look to wonder if he didn't just get up from the sty. On the other hand, that unhappy, pale, put-upon man walking by, who looks all guilt & sin, why, often that's your good man with a capital G, Will. For being good is a fearful occupation; men strain at it & sometimes break in two. I've known a few. You work twice as hard to be a farmer as to be his hog. I suppose it's thinking about trying to be good makes the crack run up the wall one night. A man with high standards, too, the least hair falls on him sometimes wilts his spine. He can't let himself alone, won't let himself off the hook if he falls just a breath from grace.
--Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes
“Why is it," he said, one time, at the subway entrance, "I feel I've known you so many years?"
"Because I like you," she said, "and I don't want anything from you.”
--Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
“Tom," said Douglas, "just promise me one thing, okay?"
"It's a promise. What?"
"You may be my brother and maybe I hate you sometimes, but stick around, all right?"
"You mean you'll let me follow you and the older guys when you go on hikes?"
"Well . . . sure . . . even that. What I mean is, don't go away, huh? Don't let any cars run over you or fall of a cliff."
"I should say not! Whatta you think I am, anyway?"
"'Cause if worst comes to worst, and both of us are real old--say forty or forty-five some day-- we can own a gold mine out West and sit there smoking corn silk and growing bears."
"Growing beards! Boy!"
"Like I say, you stick around and don't let nothing happen."
"You can depend on me," said Tom.
"It's not you I worry about," said Douglas. "It's the way God runs the world."
Tom thought about this for a moment.
"He's all right, Doug," said Tom. "He tries.”
--Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine