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One must be a wise reader to quote wisely and well. But by necessity, by proclivity, and by delight, we all quote. In fact, it is as difficult to appropriate the thoughts of others as it is to invent. Old and new make the warp and woof of every moment. There is no thread that is not a twist of these two strands.

Those were the words of Amos Bronson Alcott (da niente) and Ralph Waldo Emerson (crescendo to al niente).

I realize that by allowing those words to prelude this article, I’ve set a standard that I cannot possibly live up to. Luckily I have no such intent. Instead, I want to open your eyes to three very different ways of salvaging the most inspiring quotations.

But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living … for the price of wisdom is above rubies. – Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, graphic novel).

Quoteland – Scavenge The Directories for Inspiring Quotations

Best known, and most generally used, are those quote directories – sites like Quoteland and ThinkExist. They’re huge databases full of inspiring quotations, tagged and stored by the masses under category and author. Whether you’re searching for quotes on a particular topic, or from a certain figure, the idea is obvious; you generally know what you’re looking for.


Screen shot 2010-01-04 at 19.54.03

Of course, you can also spawn a random quote, or view ‘quote of the week’ – for those interested, you can even receive it as a newsletter.

More interesting perhaps are the discussion groups. On these forum groups, you can retrieve the origin of quotes, or engage into scholarly discussions on the meaning of life, the universe and everything in it (42).

Saikat wrote an article last year on these quotation databases, reviewing an additional 10 Websites for a Daily Fix of Sayings & Quotations 10 Websites For A Daily Fix Of Sayings & Quotations 10 Websites For A Daily Fix Of Sayings & Quotations Read More – check it out!

[NO LONGER WORKS] QuoteStumbler – Try Your Luck

When you’re not looking for any quote in particular, you can keep hitting the ‘random quote’ button. But even that gets boring after a while. If you want a new approach on summoning those semi-random inspiring quotations, try your luck with QuoteStumbler.


Instead of pressing any button, you can select highlighted keywords. These won’t refer you to any ‘directory’, but will spawn another random quote that mentions the same keyword. You can keep pressing ‘time’, and see what you’re facing this time, or you can let your curiosity lead you to always new kinds of quotations.

Still got your mind set on a certain quote? You can find a search form in the top-right corner (but try to ignore it anyway).

Flickr Pools – A Typographical Slideshow

I’ve seen lots of visually inspiring quotation art through StumbleUpon, and I began to wonder where it was all gathered. With a little look around Flickr, I found exactly what I was looking for; Group Pools with thousands of typographical quotations – an inspiring mix of amateur work and professional photography.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, take a look at the screenshots below. Instead of plain text, people use quotes to create art with typesetting, photography and paintings.

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Although most of these quotations stem from figures in history and literacy, you’ll also encounter a considerable amount of amateur quotations – ordinary people who’ve got greatly inspiring things on their mind. More than anything, flicking through inspiring quotations groups is an exciting experience. You never know what’s coming next.

Besides the general Quotes Pool, you should also take a look at Quote Art, and Wisdom Quotes. (ranked according to decreasing size).

Where do you find your inspiration? Let us know about your favorite sources of quotations and sayings in the comments section below.

Image Credit : Day 175 (from quotes pool) by Jewdar

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  1. Shrew
    January 6, 2010 at 5:25 pm
  2. infamous
    January 6, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Thanks Martin

  3. Martin
    January 5, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    You should checkout, one of my favorite sources for quotes. The quotes are accompanied by some truly beautiful and evocative photographs.