The Quotable Runner: Great Moments of Running Wisdom, Inspiration, Wrongheadedness, and Humor. I first bought this book in 1998, and it was written/compiled by Mark Will-Weber. He was one of of the few coaches to actively try to recruit me when I was interviewing at schools.
There are almost 300 pages of quotes divided into 21 different sections ranging from beginning to run to marathons to training. It is a quick read, as everything in it is bite-sized. It can be picked up and glanced through, or it can be read cover to cover in an afternoon or less.
The book is like a small history lesson, talking about great figures in the sport’s history, complete with a bio on everybody who is quoted or talked about in the back of the book.
I have frequently quoted people that were in the book during races. In at least half of my marathons, I have repeated Frank Shorter’s remark to Kenny Moore at the 16 mile mark:
Why couldn’t Pheidippides have died here?
Each section includes a short introduction and then 10 to 20 pages of quotes. The book comes in a nice small square package that stands out on a bookshelf. One of the few complaints that I have is that not everything in the book is something I would want to repeat to somebody that I was coaching or training with. There are some quotes that are a bit long winded, or which describe a person but do not really lend themselves to anything worthwhile other than to say you know a little more about the person being quoted and the person being quoted on. It is still enjoyable to read, though. I will leave it on my nightstand if I have nothing else to look at in the evening, so that I can have something to go through for 10 or 15 minutes before turning in.