Top Ten Favorite Book Quotes

I write in my books. I've confessed this many times before, I know, but it's relevant here (yet again) as I argue that this writing does, in fact, serve a purpose. I highlight, I comment, and I underline. And the underlines form a collection of some of my favorite book quotes of all time. Though the list is ever-evolving (#3 just made the cut last week, after all), here's where it stands at the moment (in no particular order):

1) "People tend to complicate their own lives, as if living weren't already complicated enough." - Carlos Ruis Zafon, The Shadow of the Wind 

2) "It would be so much better if we could share our insecurity, if we could all venture inside ourselves and realize that green beans and vitamin C, however much they nurture us, cannot save lives, or sustain our souls." - Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog

3) "We cast a shadow on something wherever we stand, and it is no good moving from place to place to save things; because the shadow always follows. Choose a place where you won't do harm - yes, choose a place where you won't do very much harm, and stand in it for all you are worth, facing the sunshine." - E. M. Forster, A Room with a View

4) "Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead." - F. Scott Fitgerald, The Great Gatsby

5) "That odd capacity for destitution, as if by nature we ought to have so much more than nature gives us. As if we are shockingly unclothed when we lack the complacencies of ordinary life. In destitution, even of feeling or purpose, a human being is more hauntingly human and vulnerable to kindnesses because there is the sense that things should be otherwise, and then the thought of what is wanting and what alleviation would be, and how the soul could be put at ease, restored. At home. But the soul finds its own home if ever it has a home at all." - Marilynne Robinson, Home

6) "Everybody has a story. It's like families. You might not know who they are, might have lost them, but they exist all the same. You might drift apart or you might turn your back on them, but you can't say you haven't got them. Same goes for stories." - Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

7) "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live." - J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

8) "The thing about Tolkien, about The Lord of the Rings, is that it's perfect. It's this whole world, this whole process of immersion, this journey. It's not, I'm pretty sure, actually true, but that makes it more amazing, that someone could make it all up. Reading it changes everything." - Jo Walton, Among Others

9) "Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering." - Nicole Krauss, A History of Love

10) "But life isn't hard to manage when you've nothing to lose." - Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms


  1. Great quotes! Also love that quoted Carlos Ruiz Zafon--so many great quotes in the world to pick just ten!

  2. Lovely quotes. I especially like the Gatsby one. I sort of wish I wrote in books. Not enough to actually do it, but I like having the ability to highlight on my Kindle and I get annoyed when I don't have that with my paper books.

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