Who said: "To make a library it takes two volumes and a fire. Two volumes and a fire, and interest. The interest alone will do if logs are few."

BookBrowse's Favorite Quotes

To make a library
It takes two volumes
And a fire.
Two volumes and a fire,
And interest.
The interest alone will do
If logs are few.

- Carolyn Wells (The Rest of My Life)

American poet and author Carolyn Wells (1862-1942) penned more than 170 books including an autobiography, The Rest of My Life. After leaving school she worked as a librarian in her hometown of Rahway, New York for twelve years until becoming sufficiently successful as a writer that she was able to resign to focus on her literary career. She started out writing poetry, humor and children's books, but soon gravitated towards mysteries, producing a great many, including more than 60 books in the Fleming Stone Detective series.

Today, she is probably best known for her limericks and humorous poems, such as:

The Tutor
A tutor who tooted a flute
Tried to teach two young tooters to toot.
Said the two to the tutor:
"Is it harder to toot, or
To tutor two tooters to toot?"


The Arch Armadillo
There once was an arch Armadillo
Who built him a hut 'neath a willow;
He hadn't a bed
So he rested his head
On a young Porcupine for a pillow.


The Happy Hyena
There once was a happy Hyena
Who played on an old concertina.
He dressed very well,
And in his lapel
He carelessly stuck a verbena.


The Musical Carp
There once was a corpulent carp
Who wanted to play on a harp,
But to his chagrin
So short was his fin
That he couldn't reach up to C sharp.


The Smiling Shark
There was an old Shark with a smile
So broad you could see it a mile.
He said to his friends,
As he sewed up the ends,
"It was really too wide for the style."


A Bicycle Built for Two

There was an ambitious young eel
Who determined to ride on a wheel;
But try as he might,
He couldn't ride right,
In spite of his ardor and zeal.

If he sat on the saddle to ride
His tail only pedalled one side;
And I'm sure you'll admit
That an eel couldn't sit
On a bicycle saddle astride.

Or if he hung over the top,
He could go, but he never could stop;
For of course it is clear
He had no way to steer,
And under the wheel he would flop.

His neighbor, observing the fun,
Said, "I think that the thing can be done,
If you'll listen to me,
You'll quickly agree
That two heads are better than one.

"And this is my project, old chap,
Around our two waists I will wrap
This beautiful belt
Of bottle-green felt
And fasten it firm with a strap."

This done, with a dignified mien
The two squirmed up on the machine,
And rode gayly away,
Or at least, so they say,
Who witnessed the wonderful scene.

More Quotes

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

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Paradise, Nevada
    Paradise, Nevada
    by Dario Diofebi
    In Dario Diofebi's novel Paradise, Nevada, the neon allure of Las Vegas is pulled back to reveal ...
  • Book Jacket: Things We Lost to the Water
    Things We Lost to the Water
    by Eric Nguyen
    Spanning over 30 years, Eric Nguyen's debut novel Things We Lost to the Water is epic in scope but ...
  • Book Jacket: The Final Revival of Opal & Nev
    The Final Revival of Opal & Nev
    by Dawnie Walton
    Within the general arc of many well-established and chronicled historical events is oral history's ...
  • Book Jacket: Monkey Boy
    Monkey Boy
    by Francisco Goldman
    Francisco Goldman's Monkey Boy exists in the liminal space between memoir and fiction. Like Goldman ...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Book of Lost Names
by Kristin Harmel
A heartrending novel of survival, inspired by an astonishing true story from World War II.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Morningside Heights
    by Joshua Henkin

    A tender and big-hearted novel about love in the face of loss, from the award-winning author of The World Without You.

Win This Book!
Win Together We Will Go

Together We Will Go
by J. Michael Straczynski

A novel as much about the will to live as the choice to end it.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

C T T Chase

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 the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.