Alain de Botton 1

I was foreign and Jewish, with a funny name, and was very small and hated sport, a real problem at an English prep school. So the way to get round it was to become the school joker, which I did quite effectively – I was always fooling around to make the people who would otherwise dump me in the loo laugh.
Alain de Botton

I feel that the great challenge of our time is the communication of ideas.
Alain de Botton

I’m also interested in the modern suggestion that you can have a combination of love and sex in a marriage – which no previous society has ever believed.
Alain de Botton

It’s clear to me that there is no good reason for many philosophy books to sound as complicated as they do.
Alain de Botton

Kant and Hegel are interesting thinkers. But I am happy to insist that they are also terrible writers.
Alain de Botton

I am not a foodie, thank goodness. I will eat pretty much anything. A lot of my friends are getting incredibly fussy about food and I see it as a bit of an affliction.
Alain de Botton

Work is a way of bringing order to chaos, and there’s a basic satisfaction in seeing that we are able to make something a little more coherent by the end of the day.
Alain de Botton

I love the idea of a university as away from capitalist values, where people can do things that don’t immediately have to pay their way. It’s like a monastery in a way, and that beautiful refuge has been destroyed by dogma about what this stuff is for.
Alain de Botton

I waste most of the day, then finally start to write around 3 P.M., totally disgusted with myself for my wasteful nature.
Alain de Botton

I’ve had my successes and failures. I know many academics in my field loathe me. I’ve come to loathe them back, as it seems only polite to do so. But at heart it’s absurd; we should band together against the big common enemies.
Alain de Botton

In Britain, because I live here, I can also run into problems of envy and competition. But all this is just in a day’s work for a writer. You can’t put stuff out there without someone calling you a complete fool. Oh, well.
Alain de Botton

All tours are filled with humiliation. My publisher once hired a private jet to fly me to a venue where 1,000 people were waiting. It almost bankrupted him.
Alain de Botton

Never, ever become a writer. It’s a nightmare.
Alain de Botton

My writing always came out of a very personal place, out of an attempt to stay sane.
Alain de Botton

I went to church and couldn’t swallow it. The music was nice but I don’t belong there.
Alain de Botton

When work is not going well, it’s useful to remember that our identities stretch beyond what is on the business card, that we were people long before we became workers – and will continue to be human once we have put our tools down forever.
Alain de Botton

Many moments in religion seem attractive to me even though I can’t believe in any of it.
Alain de Botton

When I see someone like Richard Dawkins, I see my father. I grew up with that. I’m basically the child of Richard Dawkins.
Alain de Botton

Social media has lots of benefits, but compared to Christianity, it tends to group people by interests. Religion puts you with people who have nothing in common except that you’re human.
Alain de Botton

I know a lot about writing, but I don’t know much about how other industries work. I’ve tried to use my naivety to my advantage.
Alain de Botton

I keep a picture of my beloved children close by. Also, water and plenty of pads and pens.
Alain de Botton

I always feel that I am writing for somebody who is bright but impatient. Someone who doesn’t have unlimited time. That is my sense of the reader. So I have got to get to the point.
Alain de Botton

My father paid for my education; then he made it clear that I was on my own.
Alain de Botton

Booksellers are the most valuable destination for the lonely, given the numbers of books that were written because authors couldn’t find anyone to talk to.
Alain de Botton

Virtue is its own reward. We only invented concepts like heaven and hell to describe how we feel. We don’t feel good doing bad and it’s nice to help someone.
Alain de Botton

There are people who say, ‘Oh this guy is quite thick.’ I think the reason is that, increasingly, I don’t mind being simple in terms of literary expression. Others say, ‘No, no, no. He went to Cambridge. He got a good degree. He must be Einstein.’
Alain de Botton

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