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20 Of The Best Mark Twain Quotes

20 Of The Best Mark Twain Quotes

Held at the end of June and the beginning of July in Mark Twain’s boyhood home in Hannibal, Missouri, the annual National Tom Sawyer Days honor Twain’s most famous creation, Tom Sawyer from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The 4th of July celebrations include a National Fence Painting Competition, frog-jump contest, carnival rides, and a firework display over the Mississippi River. To celebrate Tom Sawyer Days, here are 20 of the best Mark Twain quotes about writing, reading, books, life, and snark. Happy Fourth of July!

1. “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.”

2. “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”

3. “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”

4. “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”

5. “Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”

Photo: Laura Gilchrist via

6. “Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”

7. “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).”

8. “Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.”

9. “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.”

10. “′Classic′ – a book which people praise and don’t read.”

11. “I did not attend his funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.”

12. “The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”

13. “Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.”

14. “God created war so that Americans would learn geography.”

15. “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

Photo: Terry Ballard via

16. “In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.”

17. “Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”

18. “Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”

19. “I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn’t know.”

20. “But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?”

Related: 5 Facts About Mark Twain In Paris and 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Mark Twain


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