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Bill Bryson's Quotes

Bill Bryson profile photo

Born: 1951-12-08
Profession: Writer
Nation: American
Biography of Bill Bryson

See the gallery for quotes by Bill Bryson. You can to use those 7 images of quotes as a desktop wallpapers.
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More than 300 million people in the world speak English and the rest, it sometimes seems, try to.

Tags: Sometimes, Speak, Try

Much as I resented having to grow up in Des Moines, it gave me a real appreciation for every place in the world that's not Des Moines.

Tags: Grow, Place, Real

My first rule of consumerism is never to buy anything you can't make your children carry.

Tags: Carry, Children, Rule

Scientists tend to be unappreciated in the world at large, but you can hardly overstate the importance of the work they do.

Tags: Importance, Large, Work

The whole of the global economy is based on supplying the cravings of two per cent of the world's population.

Tags: Based, Economy, Whole

There is the odd exception, like Albert Einstein, but as a breed, scientists tend not be very good at presenting themselves.

Tags: Good, Odd, Themselves

When you tell an Iowan a joke, you can see a kind of race going on between his brain and his expression.

Tags: Between, Brain, Tell

You don't need a science degree to understand about science. You just need to think about it.

Tags: Degree, Science, Understand

You may find that your parents are the most delightful people, but you don't want to live with them.

Tags: Delightful, May, Parents

All the things that are part of your heritage make you British - that makes this country what it is. It's part of your history. And here, unlike America, it's still living history.

Tags: America, Country, History

Although I was always very happy in Britain, I never stopped thinking of America as home, in the fundamental sense of the term. It was where I came from, what I really understood, the base against which all else was measured.

Tags: Happy, Home, Thinking

An awful lot of England is slowly eroding, in ways that I find really distressing, and an awful lot of it is the hedgerows... We're reaching the point where a lot of the English countryside looks just like Iowa - just kind of open space.

Tags: Open, Point, Space

Book tours are really kind of fun. You get to stay in nice hotels, you are driven everywhere in big silver cars, you are treated as if you are much more important than you are, you can eat steak three times a day at someone else's expense, and you get to talk endlessly about yourself for weeks at a stretch.

Tags: Fun, Nice, Yourself

Britain still has the most reliably beautiful countryside of anywhere in the world. I would hate to be part of the generation that allowed that to be lost.

Tags: Beautiful, Hate, Lost

Coming back to your native land after an absence of many years is a surprisingly unsettling business, a little like waking from a long coma. Time, you discover, has wrought changes that leave you feeling mildly foolish and out of touch.

Tags: Business, Feeling, Time

Have you ever seen Glenn Beck in operation? It is the most terrifying thing. It's so bad that you think he's going to announce in a minute that it's all a great con. He makes Sarah Palin look reasonable and steady.

Tags: Bad, Great, Makes

I always tell people there's only one trick to writing: You have to write something that people are willing to pay money to read. It doesn't have to be very good, necessarily, but somebody, somewhere, has got to be willing to pay money for it.

Tags: Good, Money, Writing

I don't know whether I'm misanthropic. It seems to me I'm constantly disappointed. I'm very easily disappointed. Disappointed in the things that people do; disappointed in the things that people construct. I want things to be better all the time.

Tags: Seems, Time, Whether

I don't plan to write another science book, but I don't plan not to. I do enjoy writing histories, and taking subjects that are generally dull and trying to make them interesting.

Tags: Book, Science, Writing

I hadn't realized quite how extraordinary Charles Lindbergh's achievement was in flying the Atlantic alone. He had never flown over open water before, but he flew straight to Dingle Bay in Ireland and then on to Paris, exactly as planned.

Tags: Alone, Quite, Water

I have made a career of bumbling around places, stumbling on landmarks and generally being quite haphazard and shambolic about the way I go about things.

Tags: Career, Places, Quite

I often feel I'm a disappointment to people because they expect me to be the guy in the books. When I sit next to someone at a dinner party I can see they expect me to be quick and witty, and I'm not at all.

Tags: Next, Often, Someone

I once joked in a book that there are three things you can't do in life. You can't beat the phone company, you can't make a waiter see you until he is ready to see you, and you can't go home again.

Tags: Book, Home, Life

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Much more quotes by Bill Bryson below the page.

I would make a genuinely terrible guide. I can't remember things. I would get half way through telling a story or explaining something and I would get distracted. Oh, and I have absolutely no sense of direction at all.

Tags: Remember, Sense, Story

I'm not a natural story-teller. Put a keyboard in front of me and I'm fine, but stand me up in front of an audience and I'm actually quite shy and reserved.

Tags: Actually, Put, Stand

I've been writing all these books that have been largely autobiographical and yet, really, they don't tell you anything about me. I just use my life story as a kind of device on which to hang comic observations. It's not my interest or instinct to tell the world anything pertinent about myself or my family.

Tags: Family, Life, Writing

If you drive to, say, Shenandoah National Park, or the Great Smoky Mountains, you'll get some appreciation for the scale and beauty of the outdoors. When you walk into it, then you see it in a completely different way. You discover it in a much slower, more majestic sort of way.

Tags: Beauty, Great, Walk

If you go out on the Appalachian Trail, you have to bring so much more equipment - a tent, sleeping bag - but if you go hiking in England, or Europe, generally, towns and villages are near enough together at the end of the day you can always go to a nice little inn and have a hot bath and something to drink.

Tags: End, Nice, Together

In order to have quality journalism you need to have a good income stream, and no Internet model has produced a way of generating income that would pay for good-quality investigative journalism.

Tags: Good, Order, Quality

In the countryside, litter doesn't have a friend. It doesn't have anybody who's saying, 'Wait a minute, this is really starting to get out of control.'

Tags: Control, Friend, Saying

Maine is wonderful. It can be very hard. I mean, if you look at the profile maps it doesn't look it, but somehow when you get out there it's really steep and hard.

Tags: Hard, Mean, Wonderful

One of the brilliant things about Britain is the way you've managed to save old things but to keep using them - that they've not just become museums the way they do in the United States.

Tags: Become, Keep, Old

Open your refrigerator door, and you summon forth more light than the total amount enjoyed by most households in the 18th century. The world at night, for much of history, was a very dark place indeed.

Tags: Dark, History, Night

Personally, I've never been attracted to danger. It's not my sort of thing. I am more attracted to pubs and cafes. The known, safe and comfortable world.

Tags: Danger, Known, Safe

The real problem you get with humour is that you only have so many kinds of jokes within you, and you mine that vein a lot. This isn't just common to me; it's anybody who's funny.

Tags: Funny, Problem, Real

There'd never been a more advantageous time to be a criminal in America than during the 13 years of Prohibition. At a stroke, the American government closed down the fifth largest industry in the United States - alcohol production - and just handed it to criminals - a pretty remarkable thing to do.

Tags: Government, Pretty, Time

We forget just how painfully dim the world was before electricity. A candle, a good candle, provides barely a hundredth of the illumination of a single 100 watt light bulb.

Tags: Forget, Good, Single

Where I grew up, in Des Moines, Iowa, there is hardly any downtown economic activity now. Everybody shops in malls - you don't find a sense of community in malls.

Tags: Community, Everybody, Sense

I have long known that it is part of God's plan for me to spend a little time with each of the most stupid people on earth.

Tags: God, Stupid, Time

There are only three things that can kill a farmer: lightning, rolling over in a tractor, and old age.

Tags: Age, Old, Three

I had always thought that once you grew up you could do anything you wanted - stay up all night or eat ice-cream straight out of the container.

Tags: Night, Thought, Wanted

The remarkable position in which we find ourselves is that we don't actually know what we actually know.

Tags: Actually, Ourselves, Position

Boston's freeway system is insane. It was clearly designed by a person who had spent his childhood crashing toy trains.

Tags: Childhood, Insane, System

There are things you just can't do in life. You can't beat the phone company, you can't make a waiter see you until he's ready to see you, and you can't go home again.

Tags: Again, Home, Life

A world without newspapers or a world where the newspapers are purely electronic and you read them on a screen is not a very appealing world.

Tags: Electronic, Newspapers, Read

America is a great disappointment to me. As I said in one of my books, other societies create civilisations; we build shopping malls.

Tags: America, Great, Said

America is a very seductive place in terms of lifestyle and comfort, but it wasn't for me.

Tags: America, Lifestyle, Place

Anyone who has read my books will know that I don't tend to use guides when I am travelling. It's not a pride thing, but it is certainly a fact.

Tags: Fact, Pride, Read

Des Moines is like your typical American city; it's just these concentric circles of malls, built outward from the city.

Tags: American, Circles, City

England was full of words I'd never heard before - streaky bacon, short back and sides, Belisha beacon, serviettes, high tea, ice-cream cornet.

Tags: High, Short, Words

I can't fix the world. If you want to make a difference in life, you have to direct your energies in a focused way.

Tags: Difference, Focused, Life

I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to.

Tags: Somebody

I come from Des Moines. Someone had to.

Tags: Someone

I don't want to go and start trying to make jokes in places like India, Tanzania or Iraq. Afghanistan is not a funny place.

Tags: Funny, Place, Trying

I see litter as part of a long continuum of anti-social behaviour.

Tags: Behaviour, Continuum, Litter

I still enjoy traveling a lot. I mean, it amazes me that I still get excited in hotel rooms just to see what kind of shampoo they've left me.

Tags: Enjoy, Left, Mean

I understand cricket - what's going on, the scoring - but I can't understand why.

Tags: Cricket, Understand, Why

I'm definitely an American, because I grew up here. But I've lived very happily in Britain.

Tags: American, Here, Lived

I'm not funny in person. I mean I'm really not. I'm one of those people who always screw up anecdotes.

Tags: Funny, Mean, Screw

I've been wanting to do a book about baseball for the longest time, and nobody will let me do it. It's the one thing from America I really miss.

Tags: Baseball, Book, Time

I've never quite understood that feeling: that you arrive in a strange place, yet you want to have nothing but familiar experiences.

Tags: Feeling, Place, Strange

In a funny way, nothing makes you feel more like a native of your own country than to live where nearly everyone is not.

Tags: Country, Everyone, Funny

It is unthinkable to have a British countryside that doesn't have actual functioning farmers riding tractors, cows in fields, things like that.

Tags: Actual, British, Farmers