I’ve always loved quotes. When I was younger I would highlight lines and passages I loved in books (sacrilege I know) and now I highlight the shit out of my ebooks. I swear some of them are just books of neon pink highlights by the time I’m finished. I love to just search for keywords and browse through quotes on sites like Goodreads. Goodreads also has a section in the book pages for quotes from said book, when I read the book blurb I almost always read the quotes from the book as well. I like giving myself a little sneaky peak and getting a feel for the ‘voice’ or tone of the book. A lot of the time when I do this I will pick books based on the quotes.
Like many people who review books when I am writing a review for a book I loved I will use quotes from it. I could of course, never use all the ones that I’ve highlighted, if I were to do that with some of the books I’ve read I’d just be copying out the book itself. But I love knowing that all my quotes are there. All available on my iPad or Kindle to peruse when I wish.
The real beauty of quotes and the reason I love them so much is that the ones that are favourites are the ones that sing to you. They are the ones that make you stop and think, the ones that will transport you to another time or place, they will bring people from your life to the forefront, they will hurt your heart and inspire you to be better. Quotes can be poetry for the soul.
For the tagline of this blog I found myself looking for quotes about reading and books. Obviously there are thousands as authors are bound to reference it at some stage and picking just one was not an easy task. In my quest to find the one I settled on I highlighted about fifty and I only looked at about a quarter of what was available. Of those fifty I tried to pick my top fifteen. It actually ended up being more stressful than I imagined and I already want to add more but I fear it would get out of hand and I would never stop.
1. “The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours”
2. “Everything in the world exists in order to end up as a book.”
3. “It’s not that I don’t like people. It’s just that when I’m in the company of others – even my nearest and dearest – there always comes a moment when I’d rather be reading a book.”
4. “You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.”
5. “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
6. “I spent my life folded between the pages of books. In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.”
7. “The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.”
8. “A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.”
9. “Books are a uniquely portable magic.”
10. “Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”
11. “Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction. No, read in order to live.”
12. “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”
13. “To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.”
W. Somerset Maugham
14. “You get a little moody sometimes but I think that’s because you like to read. People that like to read are always a little fucked up.”
15. “Reading was my escape and my comfort, my consolation, my stimulant of choice: reading for the pure pleasure of it, for the beautiful stillness that surrounds you when you hear an author’s words reverberating in your head.”