Alain De Botton
Writer; most recently of 'Religion for Atheists'.
When stuck for conversation with a writer whose books drag, increasingly acceptable is the observation: 'I love to follow you on twitter.'
At a party where I know no one, my one hope scampers with the genius: 'I shouldn't be selfish, I mustn't monopolise you any further.'
The terror of the B list-er trapped by a C list-er at an A list party.
When someone never asks you any questions about your life, the issue tends to be, not a lack of interest per se, but a fear of envy.
Writing: a field where the personal consequences of mediocrity are far more serious than in banking or law.
At the core of ethics: a command that one try to imagine what it might be like to be someone else.
Experience of pain seems to foster a love of plants. The young, the carefree, the in-love rarely garden.
A good present is something you wouldn't have been able to get yourself. In childhood, toys. As an adult, sympathy, forgiveness, attention.
Authors write things down in the hope, thereafter, to have to think about them a bit less.
Artistic risk: to work through the complexity so thoroughly that half the audience think you're telling them what they already know.
We get lazy in adult relationships because our earliest care givers tended to hide the work they put into their love of us.
Aging: an increase in the number of times a particular shot is deemed 'a bad picture', till it becomes the new base line.
Much of life is about correctly determining whom and what we should be giving up on.
The end logic of our relationship to computers: sincerely asking the search engine 'what should I do with the rest of my life?'
Once life shows you its truly dark side, you're ready to take moments of simple fun far more seriously.
You set to work on a new book chiefly to try to make up for the flaws and omissions of the last one.
It can take only a few perceptive things someone says for them to win a surprisingly tenacious place in one's heart.
A long interview on Swiss TV about Religion for Atheists: http://t.co/lsza5jRXux
Love your children reliably and they'll outgrow you. Ignore them, and they'll be obsessed with you for life.
One of the finest protections against disappointment is to have a lot going on.