Literary Birthday – 22 April – John Waters

Happy Birthday, John Waters, born 22 April 1946.

John Waters Quotes

  1. We need to make books cool again. If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t fuck them.
  2. My idea of an interesting person is someone who is quite proud of their seemingly abnormal life and turns their disadvantage into a career.
  3. To me, beauty is looks you can never forget. A face should jolt, not soothe.
  4. You should never read just for ‘enjoyment’. Read to make yourself smarter! Less judgemental. More apt to understand your friends’ insane behaviour, or better yet, your own. Pick “hard books.” Ones you have to concentrate on while reading. And for god’s sake, don’t let me ever hear you say, ‘I can’t read fiction. I only have time for the truth.’ Fiction is the truth, fool! Ever hear of ‘literature’? That means fiction, too, stupid.
  5. Life is nothing if you’re not obsessed.
  6. It wasn’t until I started reading and found books they wouldn’t let us read in school that I discovered you could be insane and happy and have a good life without being like everybody else.
  7. You have to remember that it is impossible to commit a crime while reading a book.
  8. I’m always amazed at friends who say they try to read at night in bed but always end up falling asleep. I have the opposite problem. If a book is good I can’t go to sleep, and stay up way past my bedtime, hooked on the writing.
  9. True success is figuring out your life and career so you never have to be around jerks.
  10. Collect books, even if you don’t plan on reading them right away. Nothing is more important than an unread library.
  11. With humans it’s abortion, but with chickens it’s an omelette!
  12. Just because something ‘happens’, because it is ‘true’, because the ‘facts’ are correct, does not ensure that it is the truth.
  13. Being rich is not about how much money you have or how many homes you own; it’s the freedom to buy any book you want without looking at the price and wondering if you can afford it.

John Waters is an American film director, screenwriter, actor, stand-up comedian, journalist, visual artist, and art collector. He is the author of Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across AmericaRole Models, and Crackpot: The Obsessions of John Waters.

Source for photograph: PEN American Center, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 22nd April 2015