The Phantom Tollbooth was required reading for my son’s literature class.
My son enjoys reading. Yet, I feared he wouldn’t enjoy required reading. I decided to read the books too. This way we could talk about them and keep him motivated. The latter wasn’t necessary because he devoured the stories.
I’d never heard of The Phantom Tollbooth before this. But I loved it. It is loaded with twists on language and memorable quotes. FoxJr and I continue to joke about it a year later.
It’s about a boy, Milo, who was bored one day and ends up traveling to a fantasy world that is filled with metaphor. The plot itself wasn’t the greatest but the metaphors make you think, and make it a worthwhile book.
Here are some of my favorites lines from the book:
- Milo, “I never knew words could be so confusing.” The watchdog replies, “Only when you use a lot to say a little.”
- Expect everything and the unexpected never happens.
- If the answer is right who cares if the question is wrong.
- Whenever you learn something new the whole world becomes a little richer.
- If something is there, you can only see it with your eyes open, but if it isn’t there, you can see it just as well with your eyes closed. That’s why imaginary things are often easier to see than real ones.
- So many things are possible just as long as you don’t know they’re impossible.
- Time is a gift, given to you, given to give you the time you need, the time you need to have the time of your life.
- The only thing you can do easily is be wrong, and that’s hardly worth the effort.
- Everybody is so terribly sensitive about the things they know best.
- You must never feel badly about making mistakes, as long as you take the trouble to learn from them. For you often learn more by being wrong for the right reasons than you do by being right for the wrong reasons.
- Just because you have a choice, it doesn’t mean that any of them ‘has’ to be right.
- There are no wrong roads to anywhere.
- What you learn today, for no reason at all, will help you discover all the wonderful secrets of tomorrow.
And my favorite of them all…
- You can swim all day in the sea of knowledge and still come out completely dry. Most people do.
At least one of these might resonate with you. Hopefully one will make you chuckle because it is so obvious.
The obvious are sometimes the hardest to see.