Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A collection of thoughts and quotations by Alain de Bottom on books, education, life, love, relationships, travel, disappointment and resilience.

100 Quotes By Alain De Bottom, The Author Of Essays In Love

Famous As: Author
Born On: December 20, 1969
Born In: Zürich, Switzerland
Founder / Co Founder: Global Asset Management
Alain de Bottom is a Swiss born English writer, essayist, novelist, and television presenter, best known for his works such as ‘The Architecture of Happiness’, ‘Status Anxiety’, and ‘The Consolations of Philosophy’. Alain debuted as a writer at the age of 23 with ‘Essays in Love’, which focused on the idea and complications of love and became a best-seller. ‘How Proust Can Change Your Life’ is one of the non-fiction works published by Alain. Alain’s book ‘The Architecture of Happiness’, described the reflection of personality traits on Modernist and vernacular architecture. Alain co-founded an educational and cultural institution ‘The School of Life’ in 2008 in London. His books ‘Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion’ and ‘How to Think More About Sex’ were also well-received by the readers. In 2013, he published ‘Art as Therapy’ that was followed by ‘The News: A User’s Manual’ in 2014. Alain published his latest book ‘The Course of Love’ in 2016. His writings, essays, work and quotations provide insights about love, life, relationships and education system. We have excerpted his quotes and sayings from his writings, interviews, essays and life. Here is a collection of thoughts, sayings and quotes by the sought-after novelist on marriage, happiness, travel and life.

Most of what makes a book 'good' is that we are reading it at the right moment for us.

Alain de Botton

One rarely falls in love without being as much attracted to what is interestingly wrong with someone as what is objectively healthy.

Alain de Botton

The moment we cry in a film is not when things are sad but when they turn out to be more beautiful than we expected them to be.

Alain de Botton

Intimacy is the capacity to be rather weird with someone - and finding that that's ok with them.

Alain de Botton

One of the best protections against disappointment is to have a lot going on.

Alain de Botton

We are all more intelligent than we are capable, and awareness of the insanity of love has never saved anyone from the disease.

Alain de Botton

To one's enemies: "I hate myself more than you ever could.

Alain de Botton

It is in books, poems, paintings which often give us the confidence to take seriously feelings in ourselves that we might otherwise never have thought to acknowledge.

Alain de Botton

Not being understood may be taken as a sign that there is much in one to understand.

Alain de Botton

There is no such thing as work-life balance. Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life.

Alain de Botton

What we seek, at the deepest level, is inwardly to resemble, rather than physically to possess, the objects and places that touch us through their beauty.

Alain de Botton

It was no longer her absence that wounded me, but my growing indifference to it. Forgetting, however calming, was also a reminder of infidelity to what I had at one time held so dear.

Alain de Botton

People only get really interesting when they start to rattle the bars of their cages.

Alain de Botton

A good half of the art of living is resilience.

Alain de Botton

Booksellers are the most valuable destination for the lonely, given the numbers of books written because authors couldn't find anyone to talk to.

Alain de Botton

You normally have to be bashed about a bit by life to see the point of daffodils, sunsets and uneventful nice days.

Alain de Botton

Never too late to learn some embarrassingly basic, stupidly obvious things about oneself.

Alain de Botton

The largest part of what we call 'personality' is determined by how we've opted to defend ourselves against anxiety and sadness".

Alain de Botton

The difference between hope and despair is a different way of telling stories from the same facts.

Alain de Botton

Anyone who isn't embarrassed of who they were last year probably isn't learning enough.

Alain de Botton

The pleasure we derive from journeys is perhaps dependent more on the mindset with which we travel than on the destination we travel to.

Alain de Botton

Do you love me enough that I may be weak with you? Everyone loves strength, but do you love me for my weakness? That is the real test.

Alain de Botton

Must being in love always mean being in pain?

Alain de Botton

Everyone returns us to a different sense of ourselves, for we become a little of who they think we are.

Alain de Botton

The only people we can think of as normal are those we don't yet know very well.

Alain de Botton

Feeling lost, crazy and desperate belongs to a good life as much as optimism, certainty and reason.

Alain de Botton

We don't really learn anything properly until there is a problem, until we are in pain, until something fails to go as we had hoped ... We suffer, therefore we think.

Alain de Botton

Bitterness: anger that forgot where it came from.

Alain de Botton

There's a whole category of people who miss out by not allowing themselves to be weird enough.

Alain de Botton

It is perhaps when our lives are at their most problematic that we are likely to be most receptive to beautiful things.

Alain de Botton

Don't despair: despair suggests you are in total control and know what is coming. You don't - surrender to events with hope.

Alain de Botton

You have to be quite heavily invested in someone to do them the honour of telling them you're annoyed with them.

Alain de Botton

One kind of good book should leave you asking: how did the author know that about me?

Alain de Botton

Cynics are - beneath it all - only idealists with awkwardly high standards.

Alain de Botton

Forgiveness requires a sense that bad behaviour is a sign of suffering rather than malice.

Alain de Botton

A dominant impulse on encountering beauty is to wish to hold on to it, to possess it and give it weight in one’s life. There is an urge to say, ‘I was here, I saw this and it mattered to me.

Alain de Botton

Anxiety is the handmaiden of contemporary ambition.

Alain de Botton

What is a snob? A snob is anybody who takes a small part of you and uses that to come to a complete vision of who you are. That is snobbery.

Alain de Botton

The finest proof of our loyalty toward one another was our monstrous disloyalties towards everyone else.

Alain de Botton

One's doing well if age improves even slightly one's capacity to hold on to that vital truism: "This too shall pass.

Alain de Botton

It is perhaps sad books that best console us when we are sad, and to lonely service stations that we should drive when there is no one for us to hold or love.

Alain de Botton

There is a longing for a return to a time without the need for choices, free of the regret at the inevitable loss that all choice (however wonderful) has entailed.

Alain de Botton

There may be significant things to learn about people by looking at what annoys them most.

Alain de Botton

Travel agents would be wiser to ask us what we hope to change about our lives rather than simply where we wish to go.

Alain de Botton

The telephone becomes an instrument of torture in the demonic hands of a beloved who doesn't call.

Alain de Botton

Being content is perhaps no less easy than playing the violin well: and requires no less practice.

Alain de Botton

The best cure for one's bad tendencies is to see them in action in another person.

Alain de Botton

The longing for destiny is nowhere stronger than in our romantic life.

Alain de Botton

What kills us isn't one big thing, but thousands of tiny obligations we can't turn down for fear of disappointing others.

Alain de Botton

Good sex isn’t just fun, it keeps us sane and happy. Having sex with someone makes us feel wanted, alive and potent

Alain de Botton

Writing a book has about it some of the anxiety of telling a joke and having to wait several years to know whether or not it was funny.

Alain de Botton

It's hard loving those who don't much like themselves: "If you're so great, why would you think I'm so great.

Alain de Botton

We wanted to test each other's capacity for survival: only if we had tried in vain to destroy one another would we know we were safe.

Alain de Botton

We are continuously challenged to discover new works of culture—and, in the process, we don’t allow any one of them to assume a weight in our minds.

Alain de Botton

A 'good job' can be both practically attractive while still not good enough to devote your entire life to.

Alain de Botton

Intuition is unconscious accumulated experience informing judgement in real time.

Alain de Botton

Instead of bringing back 1600 plants, we might return from our journeys with a collection of small unfted but life-enhancing thoughts.

Alain de Botton

Dreams reveal we never quite get 'over' anything: it's all still in there somewhere.

Alain de Botton

If one felt successful, there'd be so little incentive to be successful.

Alain de Botton

Love is an incurable disease. In love, there is permanent suffering. Those who love and those who are happy are not the same.

Alain de Botton

Maturity: knowing where you're crazy, trying to warn others of the fact and striving to keep yourself under control.

Alain de Botton

As adults, we try to develop the character traits that would have rescued our parents.

Alain de Botton

The desire for high status is never stronger than in situations where "ordinary" life fails to answer a median need for dignity and comfort.

Alain de Botton

The mind does most of its best thinking when we aren't there. The answers are there in the morning.

Alain de Botton

Those who divorce aren't necessarily the most unhappy, just those neatly able to believe their misery is caused by one other person.

Alain de Botton

We used to build temples, and museums are about as close as secular society dares to go in facing up to the idea that a good building can change your life (and a bad one ruin it).

Alain de Botton

The lesson? To respond to the unexpected and hurtful behavior of others with something more than a wipe of the glasses, to see it as a chance to expand our understanding.

Alain de Botton

Only as we mature does affection begin to depend on achievement.

Alain de Botton

We read the weird tales in newspapers to crowd out the even weirder stuff inside us.

Alain de Botton

To look at the paper is to raise a seashell to one's ear and to be overwhelmed by the roar of humanity.

Alain de Botton

A notorious inability to express emotions makes human beings the only animals capable of suicide.

Alain de Botton

Distress at losing an object can be as much a frustration at the intellectual mystery of the disappearance as about the loss itself.

Alain de Botton

The price we have paid for expecting to be so much more than our ancestors is a perpetual anxiety that we are far from being all we might be.

Alain de Botton

The sole cause of a man's unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room.

Alain de Botton

It seems that most of us could benefit from a brush with a near-fatal disaster to help us recognise the important things that we are too defeated or embittered to recognise from day to day.

Alain de Botton

Getting to the top has an unfortunate tendency to persuade people that the system is OK after all.

Alain de Botton

Despite the best efforts of critics and the hopes of authors, our tastes in books are probably as inherent & unbudgeable as those in food.

Alain de Botton

Journeys are the midwives of thought. Few places are more conducive to internal conversations than moving planes, ships or trains.

Alain de Botton

Paying tax should be framed as a glorious civic duty worthy of gratitude - not a punishment for making money.

Alain de Botton

Most victories are, in the best way, acts of revenge.

Alain de Botton

At the heart of every frustration lies a basic structure: the collision of a wish with an unyielding reality.

Alain de Botton

In a secularising world, art has replaced religion as a touchstone of our reverence and devotion.

Alain de Botton

Politics is so difficult, it's generally only people who aren't quite up to the task who feel convinced they are.

Alain de Botton

It is in dialogue with pain that many beautiful things acquire their value.

Alain de Botton

When two people part, it is the one who is not in love who makes the tender speeches.

Alain de Botton

Though it may feel otherwise, enjoying life is no more dangerous than apprehending it with continuous anxiety and gloom.

Alain de Botton

A world where a majority had imbibed the lessons implicit within tragic art would be one in which the consequences of our failures would necessarily cease to weigh upon us so heavily.

Alain de Botton

Beauty is a promise of happiness.

Alain de Botton

And I wondered, with mounting anxiety, What am I supposed to do here? What am I supposed to think?

Alain de Botton

There is a devilishly direct relationship between the significance of an idea and how nervous we become at the prospect of having to think about it.

Alain de Botton

…it seems we may best be able to inhabit a place where we are not faced with the additional challenge of having to be there.” (p.23)

Alain de Botton

The materialistic view of happiness of our age starkly revealed in our understanding of the word "luxury.

Alain de Botton

To appreciate life's small moments, it helps to have a sense the whole can never be made perfect.

Alain de Botton

It is surely significant that the adults who feature in children's books are rarely, if ever, Regional Sales Managers or Building Services Engineers.

Alain de Botton

Most of our childhood is stored not in photos, but in certain biscuits, lights of day, smells, textures of carpet.

Alain de Botton

Not everything which happens to us occurs with reference to something about us.

Alain de Botton

An urgent wish is no guarantor of a sound solution.

Alain de Botton

It is according to how we are able to answer the question of what we do (normally the first enquiry we will have to field in any new acquaintance) that the quality of our reception is likely to be decided.

Alain de Botton

The feeling one has no time to get anything done provides the pressure that guarantees one does get some things done.

Alain de Botton

When Proust urges us to evaluate the world properly, he repeatedly reminds us of the value of modest scenes.

Alain de Botton