Who said: "I like a thin book because it will steady a table..."

BookBrowse's Favorite Quotes

"I like a thin book because it will steady a table,
a leather volume because it will strop a razor,
and a heavy book because it can be thrown at a cat."

— Mark Twain


Mark TwainMark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens on November 30, 1835 in Florida, Missouri. He was apprenticed to a printer at the age of 13 and later worked for his older brother Orion, who established a local newspaper, the Hannibal Journal.

In 1857 he was commissioned to write a series of comic travel letters but gave up after writing five letters to become a steamboat captain instead. He received his pilot's license at the age of 23. He piloted boats for two years until the Civil War brought a temporary halt to steamboat traffic.

After volunteering in the Confederate army for a few months, in 1861 he began working for the 'Territorial Enterprise' in Virginia City. He wrote a humorous travel letter and signed it Mark Twain (mark twain is a boatman's call indicating that the water is only two fathoms deep, which is the minimum for safe navigation); he continued to use this pseudonym for the next 50 years.

In 1864 he took a job as a reporter in San Francisco and wrote the book that first made him famous, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. From then on he traveled the world writing accounts of his travels for newspapers on both coasts. He died in April 1910.

More Quotes

This quote & biography originally ran in an issue of BookBrowse's membership magazine. Full Membership Features & Benefits.

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Art of the Wasted Day
    The Art of the Wasted Day
    by Patricia Hampl
    Patricia Hampl wants you to know that daydreaming is not a waste of a day. Nor is spending time ...
  • Book Jacket: Circe
    Circe
    by Madeline Miller
    Towards the end of Madeline Miller's novel Circe, the titular nymph is questioned by her son ...
  • Book Jacket: All the Names They Used for God
    All the Names They Used for God
    by Anjali Sachdeva
    Pre-publication press has already compared Anjali Sachdeva to Kelly Link and other genre-blending ...
  • Book Jacket: Look Alive Out There
    Look Alive Out There
    by Sloane Crosley
    After a brief (and thoroughly enjoyable) foray into fiction (with her 2015 novel The Clasp), Sloane ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner

A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Other People's Houses
    by Abbi Waxman

    A hilarious and poignant novel about four families and the affair that changes everything.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Leavers

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

One of the most anticipated books of 2017--now in paperback!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T E H N Clothes

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.