Posted by: Rob | March 11, 2009

Words of Wisdom

I will unashamedly admit that I read Louis L’Amour.  A lot of Louis L’Amour.  In fact I own paperback copies of probably more than half of his titles.

Sure, it’s cheesy.  Sure, it’s formula fiction.

But for some quick escape reading, there’s not much else I’d prefer.

I recently signed a copy of “Reilly’s Luck” out of the library via our Bookmobile.  I’d never this title before and so I set to it.

L’Amour has always given me bits of wisdom here and there, but in this story I found quite a bit of uncommonly good wisdom.

Here, for your Wednesday reading pleasure, are a few of my favourites:

“Always give yourself an edge, boy.  You may never need it, but it saves a lot of worry.  Learn to depend on yourself, and if you expect nothing from anybody else you will never be disappointed.”

“Remember this, son.  You are all you have.  Learn…learn everything you can, then you will always know a little more than they think you know.  Most people in this world are out to take you.  It isn’t always their fault, but it is the way they live.  If you know that, and make allowances for it, you won’t go far wrong.”

“I have always liked the feel of a good book.  It’s like a gun.  When a man opens a book or fires a gun he has no idea what the effect will be, or how far the shot will travel.”

“…most people are sadly, weakly human.  Don’t ever forget that.  All but a few mean to be honest, but sometimes their ambition, their greed, or their need for more money will lead them into error.”


  1. never read him, but love the wisdom there… especially the ‘don’t count on anyone for nuthin’ and you’ll never be disappointed’ line. but you’ll also have to carry your own heavy stuff…

    • “Carry your own heavy stuff…” That’s one of the primary principles central to L’Amour’s theme. It probably was present in most of the individualistic American’s who “tamed” the western frontier. Be hard pressed to find it amongst many, nowadays, methinks.

  2. Don’t apologize for reading L’Amour! Who made you feel ashamed for that!? Some literary snob, no doubt.

  3. Sounds like a good bloke this Louis. Must look him up in the library sometime, rather than walking past and merely scoffing *tease*

  4. Rob,

    I had never heard of Louis L’Amour until I met Andy. I think he owned every single L’Amour novel. One of the hardest thing I ever did was give them away, at least most of them. I still have a matched set of 20 hard covers.

    I knew there was something that I really liked about you! 😉

    • Aw, shucks Stella.

      I have two of the hard cover matched set. Just didn’t get into collecting the whole set. Louis L’Amour is almost timeless. He died in 1988 and yet unpublished works are still showing up from time to time.

      I also have an old calendar (from the ’90’s) with cover art from his novels. Someday I’ll get them framed.

  5. Good stuff there, Rob. I have probably read some of his stuff. I’m the sort who will read anything at least once. Including the cereal box at breakfast.

  6. Rob, I know for sure I’ve read them since I’ve read them all and enjoyed them immensely. Isn’t that what it’s about, enjoyment?

  7. […] blogging, books | Tags: I Quantrill, Max McCoy | No Comments  I have previously admitted to a fondness for old western novels written by Louis L’Amour.  Although I have read a handful of other authors, I just haven’t found a single writer that […]

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