Some favorite lines from some favorite books

I've been on a bit of a Terry Pratchett kick lately, and since I don't really have money for new books, I've been reading some of my favorite of his books I've already read.  And, since camera phones are a thing now, I've been taking photos of my favorite chunks. I chose these for a bigger reason than just 'I like them.'  These are lines that I remember, on a deep level.  Lines I've referred back to, or wanted to refer back to, outside the books.

The Truth

The Truth (2000) is about the invention of the newspaper in Ankh-Morpork (The largest city, and most frequent setting, in Discworld, where most of Prachett's books are set) -- its major themes include racism, privilege, and the role of the press in a free society.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world.  There are those who, when presented with a glass that is exactly half full, say: this glass is half full.  And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. "The world _belongs,_ however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me?  Excuse _me? This_ is my glass?  I don't _think_ so.  _My_ glass was full! _And_ it was a bigger glass!  Who's been pinching my beer? "And at the other end of the bar the world is full of the other type of person, who has a broken glass, or a glass that has been carelessly knocked over (usually by one of the people calling for a larger glass), or who had no glass at all, because he was at the back of the crowd and had failed to catch the barman's eye." The Truth, by Terry Pratchett

"The Watch probably wouldn't like him going in there, but William felt in his bones that you couldn't run a city on the basis of what the Watch liked.  The Watch would probably like it if everyone spent their time indoors, with their hands on the table where people could see them." The Truth, by Terry Pratchett

"'I'm sure we can pull together, sir.' "Lord Vetinari raised his eyebrows.  'Oh, I do hope not, I really do hope not.  Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny.  Free men pull in all kinds of directions.'" The Truth, by Terry Pratchett


Jingo (1997) is about a brewing war between Ankh-Morpork and Klatch, a middle-eastern-themed continent across a small ocean, over an island that appeared overnight in the middle of that ocean.  Its major themes include the distinction between war and crime, politics, racism and xenophobia, and (obviously) jingoism.

"After all,  you couldn't plan for every eventuality, because that would involve knowing what was going to happen, and if you _knew_ what was going to happen, you could probably see to it that it didn't, or at least happened to someone else.  So the Patrician never planned.  Plans often got in the way." Jingo, by Terry Pratchett

(That one doesn't have much to do with the themes I wanted to raise, but it's one of my favorite quotes about the Patrician, Lord Vetinari, who is neck-in-neck with Moist von Lipwig for my favorite Pratchett character, with a fair distance between them and #3.)


"And _then_ he realized why he was thinking like this. "It was because he wanted there to be conspirators.  It was much better to imagine men in some smoky room somewhere, made mad and cynical by privilege and power, plotting over the brandy.  You had to cling to this sort of image, because if you didn't then you might have to face the fact that bad things happened because ordinary people, the kind who brushed the dog and told their children bedtime stories, were capable of then going out and doing horrible things to other ordinary people.  It was so much easier to blame it on Them.  It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us.  If it was Them, then nothing was anyone's fault.  If it was Us, what did that make Me?  After all, I'm one of Us.  I must be.  I've certainly never thought of myself as one of Them.  _No one_ ever thinks of themselves as one of Them.  We're always one of Us.  It's Them that do the bad things." Jingo, by Terry Pratchett

"71-hour Ahmed was not _super_stitious.  He _was_ substitious, which put him in a minority among humans.  He didn't believe in the things that everyone believed in but which nonetheless weren't true.  He believed instead in the things that were true in which no one else believed.  There are many such substitions, ranging from 'It'll get better if you don't pick at it' all the way up to 'Sometimes things just happen.'" Jingo, by Terry Pratchett

Going Postal

I don't have any photos for this one yet.  Going Postal is the book I just started reading, again.  It's my favorite book, but I haven't read it in a long time because I lent out all five of my copies, and none of them have been returned yet.  I bought a new one a few days ago.  It's about a con man, put in charge of Ankh-Morpork's long-defunct post office.  I'm sure I will have quite a few photographs coming out of it.