I am a notorious pack rat.
When I was little, this showed up in several collections I would keep running at all times: I would always save popsicle sticks and yogurt containers. (Rinsed. Usually.) As well as any bits of string, scraps of fabric, interesting paper, or stickers I could find.
I haven't grown out of this urge to save things, even when I don't know what I'm saving them for. From what horrible circumstance would a glass bottle collection save me? I have no idea.
Even in the reading of books, I squirrel things away, lining the literary nest of my brain. With what?
Quotes. I've filled two decently large blank books with quotations! The second of these I finished recently, and flipping through it is like flipping through the years of my post-college reading.
I love quotes. Love them. I save them because they're clever or intriguing. Ironic or lovely. Or because they are stunning mini-poems, and reading them takes my breath away. (Leif Enger and Peter S. Beagle got their own, separate, miniature quotebooks--there were too many astonishing lines for my main book!)
Reading them over is a wonderfully luxurious feast of brilliance.
I mean, how could I ever let go of these?
Thou dost snore distinctly; / There's meaning in thy snores. -- Shakespeare
For every life situation there is a fitting quote from the hand of Shakespeare. -- J.V. Hart
The world is not a prison house, but a kind of spiritual kindergarten where bewildered infants are trying to spell God with the wrong blocks. -- E.A. Robinson
Some mornings, when you get up, the day is so narrow you can hardly squeeze in. -- Charles Schulz
I am a product of long corridors, empty sunlit rooms, upstairs indoor silences, attics explored in solitude, distant noises of gurgling cisterns and pipes, and the noise of wind under the tiles. Also, of endless books. -- C.S. Lewis
She wrestled with her better self, and finally succeeded in bringing it to the surface by the scruff of its neck. -- P.G. Wodehouse
My idea of hell is a very large party in a cold room. -- Stella Gibbons
Balloon travel is best, particularly between home and school. -- William Pene du Bois
A large nose betokens a large heart. -- Edmond Rostand
As long as there are postman, life will have zest. -- William James
Ah... just rereading them! I could do it for hours, browsing this collection, poking at different phrases... And maybe if I read them often enough, some of their cleverness will spill over to me.