Best quotes by E. B. White

E. B. White

E. B. White

Versatile Writer & Author of Beloved Classics

E. B. White was a distinguished American writer and essayist, born on July 11, 1899. He is renowned for his contributions to both children's literature and adult essays, showcasing his versatile and engaging writing style.

White's classic children's books, such as "Charlotte's Web" (1952) and "Stuart Little" (1945), have captured the hearts of generations with their timeless stories and relatable characters.

His essays, many of which were published in The New Yorker, demonstrate his wit, wisdom, and keen observations about life, nature, and society.

All quotes by E. B. White:

I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.

Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.

Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.

A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people - people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.

Life is like writing with a pen. You can cross out your past but you can't erase it.

Trust me, Wilbur. People are very gullible. They'll believe anything they see in print.

The world is full of people who have never, since childhood, met an open doorway with an open mind.

Being the owner of Dachshunds, to me a book on dog discipline becomes a volume of inspired humor. Every sentence is a riot. Some day, if I ever get a chance, I shall write a book, or warning, on the character and temperament of the Dachshund and why he can't be trained and shouldn't be. I would rather train a striped zebra to balance an Indian club than induce a Dachshund to heed my slightest command. When I address Fred I never have to raise either my voice or my hopes. He even disobeys me when I instruct him in something he wants to do.

One of the most time-consuming things is to have an enemy.

Use the smallest word that does the job.

Anyone who writes down to children is simply wasting his time. You have to write up, not down. Children are demanding. They are the most attentive, curious, eager, observant, sensitive, quick, and generally congenial readers on earth.... Children are game for anything. I throw them hard words and they backhand them across the net.

I have one share in corporate Earth, and I am nervous about the management.

Reading is the work of the alert mind, is demanding, and under ideal conditions produces finally a sort of ecstasy.

A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word to paper.

The best writing is rewriting.

Make the work interesting and the discipline will take care of itself.

Every morning I awake torn between a desire to save the world and an inclination to savor it. This makes it hard to plan the day. But if we forget to savor the world, what possible reason do we have for saving it? In a way, the savoring must come first.

Nauseous. Nauseated. The first means "sickening to contemplate"; the second means "sick at the stomach." Do not, therefore, say "I feel nauseous," unless you are sure you have that effect on others.

I am always humbled by the infite ingenuity of the Lord, who can make a red barn cast a blue shadow.

You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what's a life, anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die. A spider's life can't help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone's life can stand a little of that.

Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day.

Before the seed there comes the thought of bloom.

It's hard to know when to respond to the seductiveness of the world and when to respond to its challenge. If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between the desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.

Why did you do all this for me?' he asked. 'I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you.' 'You have been my friend,' replied Charlotte. 'That in itself is a tremendous thing.

Habitually creative people are prepared to be lucky.

Semi-colons only prove that the author has been to college.

To achieve style, begin by affecting none.

I admire anybody who has the guts to write anything at all.

I am pessimistic about the human race because it is too ingenious for its own good. Our approach to nature is to beat it into submission. We would stand a better chance of survival if we accommodated ourselves to this planet and viewed it appreciatively instead of skeptically and dictatorially.

Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time.

A despot doesn't fear eloquent writers preaching freedom- he fears a drunken poet who may crack a joke that will take hold.

Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people-- people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.

A writer should concern himself with whatever absorbs his fancy, stirs his heart, and unlimbers his typewriter. ... A writer has the duty to be good, not lousy: true, not false; lively, not dull; accurate, not full of error. He should tend to lift people up, not lower them down.

A writer's style reveals something of his spirit, his habits, his capacites, his is the Self escaping into the open.

Old age is a special problem for me because I've never been able to shed the mental image I have of myself - a lad of about 19.

All that I hope to say in books, all that I ever hope to say, is that I love the world.

A really companionable and indispensable dog is an accident of nature. You can't get it by breeding for it, and you can't buy it with money. It just happens along.

No one can write decently who is distrustful of the reader's intelligence or whose attitude is patronizing.

The essayist is a self-liberated man, sustained by the childish belief that everything he thinks about, everything that happens to him, is of general interest.

There's no limit to how complicated things can get, on account of one thing always leading to another.

Loneliness is a strange gift.

Safety is all well and good: I prefer freedom.

Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar.

There is nothing harder to estimate than a writer's time, nothing harder to keep track of. There are moments—moments of sustained creation—when his time is fairly valuable; and there are hours and hours when a writer's time isn't worth the paper he is not writing anything on.

Life's meaning has always eluded me and I guess always will. But I love it just the same.

I get up every morning determined to both change the world and to have one hell of a good time. Sometimes, this makes planning the day difficult.

A poet dares be just so clear and no clearer... He unzips the veil from beauty, but does not remove it. A poet utterly clear is a trifle glaring.

An editor is a person who knows more about writing than writers do but who has escaped the terrible desire to write.

Luck is not something you can mention in the presence of self-made men.

Well,” said Stuart, “a misspelled word is an abomination in the sight of everyone.

Television hangs on the questionable theory that whatever happens anywhere should be sensed everywhere. If everyone is going to be able to see everything, in the long run all sights may lose whatever rarity value they once possessed, and it may well turn out that people, being able to see and hear practically everything, will be specially interested in almost nothing.

Most people think of peace as a state of Nothing Bad Happening, or Nothing Much Happening. Yet if peace is to overtake us and make us the gift of serenity and well-being, it will have to be the state of Something Good Happening.

A poem compresses much in a small space and adds music, thus heightening its meaning.

Everything in life is somewhere else, and you get there in a car.

We should all do what, in the long run, gives us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry.

I see nothing in space as promising as the view from a Ferris wheel.

Only a person who is congenially self-centered has the effrontery and the stamina to write essays

Fern was up at daylight, trying to rid the world of injustice. As a result, she now has a pig. A small one to be sure, but nevertheless a pig. It just shows what can happen if a person gets out of bed promptly.

In a man's middle years there is scarcely a part of the body he would hesitate to turn over to the proper authorities.

Writing is one way to go about thinking, and the practice and habit of writing not only drain the mind but supply it, too.

Understanding humor is like dissecting a live frog. It can be done, but the frog tends to die in the process.

Be obscure clearly! Be wild of tongue in a way we can understand.

It is Sunday, mid-morning-Sunday in the living room, Sunday in the kitchen, Sunday in the woodshed, Sunday down the road in the village: I hear the bells, calling me to share God's grace.

There is nothing more likely to start disagreement among people or countries than an agreement.

Mother: It's broccoli, dear. --- Child: I say it's spinach, and I say the hell with it.

I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.

In every queen there's a touch of floozy.

You're terrific as far as I am concerned.

Writing is both mask and unveiling.

When you say something, make sure you have said it. The chances of your having said it are only fair.

I am reminded of the advice of my neighbor. "Never worry about your heart till it stops beating.

If a man is to be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most.

Television will enormously enlarge the eye's range, and, like radio, will advertise the Elsewhere. Together with the tabs, the mags, and the movies, it will insist that we forget the primary and the near in favor of the secondary and the remote.

A schoolchild should be taught grammar—for the same reason that a medical student should study anatomy.

In a free country it is the duty of writers to pay no attention to duty.