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  • Donald E. Hester

Flowers of Wisdom: The Joy of Collecting Quotes

Do you love collecting quotes from your favorite books, movies, or people? I certainly do! There's something magical about discovering a phrase that resonates with you, that captures a deep truth or feeling, and that you can carry with you as a reminder or inspiration. If you're a serious collector of quotes like me or just enjoy stumbling upon them every now and then, there's no shortage of wise and witty words to inspire you.

  • "I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognized wiser than oneself." - Marlene Dietrich

  • "I quote others only in order to better express myself." - Michel de Montaigne

  • "A short saying often contains much wisdom." - Sophocles

  • "I never memorize quotes; I collect them. I choose them when I want to be reminded of the insights of a great thinker." - Gretchen Rubin

One of the benefits of collecting quotes is that you can revisit them whenever you need a boost of inspiration or wisdom. Whether you're feeling stuck, lost, or discouraged, a well-chosen quote can help you gain perspective, motivation, and comfort.

So, how do I collect and organize my favorite quotes from Tolkien and other sources? I like to use Microsoft OneNote, a digital notebook that allows you to create sections, pages, and subpages for different topics or projects. I have a section called "Quotes" where I keep a running list of quotes that I come across in my reading or browsing. Each quote has its own page, where I copy and paste the text, along with the source and any relevant notes or thoughts. I also use tags to categorize the quotes by theme or author, so that I can easily find them later.

By the way, I should mention that I tag all my posts that have quotes with the word "florilegium." This is a term that I learned a while ago, which refers to a collection of literary excerpts or quotations from different sources. It's a fitting word to describe my quote collection, as it embodies the idea of gathering diverse blooms of wisdom and beauty into a single bouquet. It's also a nod to the rich history of quote collecting, which dates back to ancient times and has been practiced by many cultures and scholars throughout the ages. So, if you see the word "florilegium" in my tags, you'll know that it's a signpost to a treasure trove of quotes from countless sources.


A florilegium is a Latin word that means "a gathering of flowers." In a literary context, it refers to a collection or anthology of writings, often consisting of excerpts from various authors or sources. The term was commonly used in medieval and Renaissance times to describe a compilation of texts, especially those related to a particular topic or theme, such as love, nature, or morality. Florilegia were often used as educational or devotional tools, providing readers with a broad range of perspectives and ideas on a given subject. Today, the term is sometimes used more broadly to refer to any collection of diverse materials or quotations.

The term "anthology" comes from the Ancient Greek word "anthologia," which literally means "flower-gathering." This word is derived from "anthologeō," which means "I gather flowers," and combines "anthos," meaning "flower," with "legō," meaning "I gather, pick up, collect." In Greek culture, flowers were considered to symbolize the finer sentiments that only poetry could express, and thus anthologiai were collections of small Greek poems and epigrams.

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