Book Quotes

This is just a disorganized collection of books which I felt had some quotes worth sharing and reflecting on.  This is primarily just intended as a quick reference for me, family and friends but if anyone else finds it useful, that’s great.

I will continually add to this page and may even organize it one day.
If you would like to contribute, comment below.


Books on Money & Finance here

NOTE* Some of these books will contradict one another (example “The Millionaire Next Door” and “The 4 Hour Work Week”) yet I find value in both.  Can conflicting view points both be useful and even correct? 

He who is good with a hammer tends to view everything as a nail

Variation of Maslow’s Hammer

– “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.

– “To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

– “Give a young boy a hammer, and he will treat everything as a nail.

Law Of The Instrument

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, and It’s All Small Stuff

Written and read by Richard Carlson

“Ask yourself the question, Will this matter a year from now?”

Richard Carlson

“Ask yourself the question, “Will this matter a year from now?”… . .  “Is this situation really as important as I’m making it out to be?” Once in a great while it may be-but a vast majority of the time, it simply isn’t.

“Mistake… thinking that life should be fair, or that someday it will be. It’s not and it won’t.“

“When we don’t recognize or admit that life isn’t fair, we tend to feel pity for others and ourselves.  Pity, of course, is a self defeating emotion that does nothing for anyone, except make everyone feel worse than they already do.”

“As long as you think more is better, you’ll never be satisfied.”

“We live our lives as if they were one big emergency! We often rush around looking busy, trying to solve problems, but in reality, we are often compounding them.”

“True happiness comes not when we get rid of all of our problems, but when we change our relationship to them, when we see our problems as a potential source of awakening, opportunities to practice, and to learn.”

How to Win Friends & Influence People

By Dale Carnegie, read by Andrew MacMillan

“Be wiser than other people if you can; but do not tell them so.”

Lord Chesterfield

“As Lord Chesterfield said to his son: Be wiser than other people if you can; but do not tell them so.” 

“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures bristling with prejudice and motivated by pride and vanity.”

“A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still”

“about 15 percent of one’s financial success is due to one’s technical knowledge and about 85 percent is due to skill in human engineering—to personality and the ability to lead people.” 

“I have enough trouble overcoming my own limitations without fretting over the fact that God has not seen fit to distribute evenly the gift of intelligence.”

John Wanamaker

Any fool can criticize, complain, and condemn—and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.”

“Once I did bad and that I heard ever.  Twice I did good and I heard never”

“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” 

Abe Lincoln

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

Written and read by Stephen R. Covey

Summary of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Top Tier Summaries, read by Erik Vestal

“You can’t talk your way out of a problem you behaved your way into”

Stephen Covey

“But until a person can say deeply and honestly, “I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday,” that person cannot say, “I choose otherwise.”

“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.”

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” 

“…a ruthless pursuit of short term profit at the expense of long term gain.
Running as close as possible to the edge is the most efficient manner to manufacture until it isn’t.”

The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Rich

Thomas J. Stanley & William D Danko, read by Cotter Smith

“One of the reasons that millionaires are economically successful is that they think differently.” 

The Millionaire Next Door

“Wealth is more often the result of a lifestyle of hard work, perseverance, planning, and, most of all, self-discipline.” 

“Be tough … life is. In other words, there is no promise of a rose garden.” 

“it matters less how much more you make than what you do with what you already have.” 

“The advertising industry and Hollywood have done a wonderful job conditioning us to believe that wealth and hyperconsumption go hand in hand.” 

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

By Timothy Ferriss, read by Ray Porter

“It is impossible to have perfect and complete information at any given time to make a decision”

— Herbert A. Simon, Nobel Prize recipient

“Most information is time-consuming, negative, irrelevant to your goals, and outside of your influence.”

Tim Ferriss

“A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention”

Herbert A. Simon

“In an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.”

“What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.” 

tim Ferriss

“Learn to be difficult when it counts.” 

Tim Ferriss

“Learn to be difficult when it counts. In school as in life, having a reputation for being assertive will help you receive preferential treatment without having to beg or fight for it every time.” 

“Am I being productive, or just active?
Am I inventing things to do, to avoid the important?
Focus on demonstrating results instead of showing dedication.”

“Less Is Not Laziness… our culture tends to reward personal sacrifice instead of personal productivity”

“Less Is Not Laziness” Doing less meaningless work, so that you can focus on things of greater personal importance, is NOT laziness. This is hard for most to accept, because our culture tends to reward personal sacrifice instead of personal productivity.” 

“Don’t save it all for the end. There is every reason not to.”

“Perfection is not when there’s no more to add but when there is no more to take away.”


It is vain to do with more what can be done with less

William of Ockham, Ockham’s razor (also spelled: Occam)

“E is for for elimination . One does not accumulate but eliminate.  It is not a daily increase but daily decrease.  The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.”

Bruce Lee

“By working faithfully eight hours a day, you may eventually get to be a boss and work twelve hours a day.”

Robert Frost

“There’s no difference between a pessimist who says, “Oh, it’s hopeless, so don’t bother doing anything,” and an optimist who says, “Don’t bother doing anything, it’s going to turn out fine anyway.” Either way, nothing happens.”

Yvon Chouinard

“Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you.” 

“Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way.” 

“Sentences should have but one possible interpretation and should be suitable for a second grade reading level.”

Tim Ferriss

Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money – That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!

By Robert T. Kiyosaki, read by Tim Wheeler

“Failure inspires winners. Failure defeats losers.”

Robert Kiyosaki

When you come to the boundaries of what you know, it is time to make some mistakes.

Robert Kiyosaki

“A person can be highly educated, professionally successful, and financially illiterate.”

Robert Kiyosaki

Most people fail to realize that in life, it’s not how much money you make, it’s how much money you keep.

Robert Kiyosaki

‘You must know the difference between an asset and a liability and buy assets.  If you want to be rich this is all you need to know.”

Robert Kiyosaki

“Rich people acquire assets. The poor and middle class acquire liabilities that they think are assets.”

Robert Kiyosaki

“Learn to use your emotions to think, not think with your emotions”

Robert Kiyosaki

“There is always risk, so learn to manage risk instead of avoiding it.”

Robert Kiyosaki

Who Moved My Cheese?: An A-Mazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life

By Spencer Johnson & Kenneth Blanchard, read by Tony Roberts

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” 

Spencer Johnson

“What you are afraid of is never as bad as what you imagine. The fear you let build up in your mind is worse than the situation that actually exists.” “When you stop being afraid you feel good”

“See what you’re doing wrong, laugh at it, change and do better.”

“It all depends on what you choose to believe.” 

Spencer Johnson

“Sometimes, Hem, things change and they are never the same again. This looks like one of those times. That’s life! Life moves on. And so should we” 

“While in the past we may have wanted loyal employees, today we need flexible people who are not possessive about “the way things are done around here.” 


I recommend and quote from this book reluctantly and with warning.  It’s listed here not as an endorsement of all the behavior and practices taught in this book but rather as a tool to help understand and spot some of these practices.  Similar to learning how to cheat at poker, not to do it yourself but to help spot it, to reduce your chance of becoming victimized.

Many of the principles are immoral and should be learned from but not practiced.  Some of the principles are not immoral and there are some really good quotes, fables and historical references.  It’s probably best if this book is only read by those in a rational state of mind with critical thinking skills and preferably after reading “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” and “How to Win Friends and Influence People”.

The 48 Laws of Power

Robert Greene, narrated by Richard Poe

If you are going to get the audiobook, I recommend this exact version narrated by Richard Poe because it’s the least sinister sounding narration. Seriously, some of versions are super creepy and have me concerned for society after having listened for only a short time!

Short (somewhat upbeat) animated overview
Full [in 210 mins] animated video

“You choose to let things bother you.”

Robert Green

“You can just as easily choose not to notice the irritating offender, to consider the matter trivial and unworthy of your interest. That is the powerful move. What you do not react to cannot drag you down in a futile engagement. Your pride is not involved. The best lesson you can teach an irritating gnat is to consign it to oblivion by ignoring it.”

“When you meet a swordsman, draw your sword: Do not recite poetry to one who is not a poet.” 

“Any man who tries to be good all the time is bound to come to ruin among the great number who are not good.” 

“The truth is generally seen, rarely heard.”

Baltasar Gracián

“Why do you work hard?”

Wait, is this book about Mathematics or History? Either way, don’t read if you’re easily offended or don’t like the nation of what you’ve been taught challenged.

A History of Pi

By Petr Beckmann, read by Stephen R. Thorne

“Technology has afforded the intellectual the greatest insult, he no longer understands it”

Centuries old quote

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