Top Ten Tuesday is a book blog meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Every Tuesday, a different top-ten-themed post is uploaded, and this week’s prompt is bookish quotes!
This was super hard for me, as I don’t keep a list of my favorite quotes. Sometimes I’ll highlight them in the book itself, but I normally don’t do that unless I have multiple copies (one to keep clean and one to make notes in). So I just had to think back and remember which books, or specific lines from books, really resonated with me and go from there!
Some of these quotes are my favorites just by themselves, but a few of them were chosen for the meaning behind them. Particularly the Faulkner one. And some probably won’t make sense unless you’ve read the book and are familiar with the language, but I love it.
With that said, let’s dive right into my top ten bookish quotes!
✨ The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it. ✨
— J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Just a nice little “believe in yourself and your abilities” positivity.
💭 Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real? 💭
— J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
I love this quote, so much, especially as someone who’s dealt with a lot of anxiety and depression. Many people are a little less quick to judge nowadays, but there’s still a lot of stigma around mental illnesses, largely due to the fact that they’re not visible ailments. I know this quote isn’t directly related to mental illness, but it’s a good quote to remember when interacting with someone struggling with a mental illness.
🔆 I was benevolent and good; misery made me a fiend. Make me happy, and I shall again be virtuous. 🔆
— Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
It was way hard to pick just one quote from this novel. I just love Frankenstein so much, you guys. And it’s so sad how he could have been so much different if not for the way that society (and his creator) treated him. Poor baby.
🌀 But I’m crazy. I swear to God I am. 🌀
— J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
I honestly can’t tell you why I like this quote so much. It’s just one of those lines that stuck out to me for some reason!
👹 “Oh, monsters are scared,” said Lettie. “That’s why they’re monsters.” 👹
— Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane
This is such a beautiful and nostalgic book. I highly recommend reading it, even if you’re not a Neil Gaiman fan. Maybe this one will change your mind!
🎵 Then, brothers it came. Oh, bliss, bliss and heaven. I lay all nagoy to the ceiling, my gulliver on my rookers on the pillow, glazzies closed, rot open in bliss, slooshying the sluice of lovely sounds. Oh, it was gorgeousness and gorgeosity made flesh. The trombones crunched redgold under my bed, and behind my gulliver the trumpets threewise silverflamed, and there by the door the timps rolling through my guts and out again crunched like candy thunder. Oh, it was wonder of wonders. And then, a bird of like rarest spun heavenmetal, or like silvery wine flowing in a spaceship, gravity all nonsense now, came the violin solo above all the other strings, and those strings were like a cage of silk around my bed. Then flute and oboe bored, like worms of like platinum, into the thick toffee gold and silver. I was in such bliss, my brothers. 🎵
— Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
It seems like people either love or hate this book, but I’m definitely in the former category. I’ve mentioned before that I love dystopian novels, and this is one of my favorite bits from one of my favorite dystopian novels. I just love the language, and though it probably sounds like nonsense if you haven’t read this book, it makes a lot more sense once you’re familiar with the language. (Basically, the main character is just lying on his bed listening to classical music and getting super into it).
🌟 But in the end it’s only a passing thing, this shadow; even darkness must pass. 🌟
— J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
I could list so many wonderful quotes from these novels, but alas, this is not a “top ten Lord of the Rings quotes” post.
🐟 My mother is a fish. 🐟
— William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying
Read by itself, this is a weird quote, yes. But take the context of the rest of the novel into consideration, and it’s such a sad, sad line. A boy’s mother has just died, and the family has to travel to a town miles and miles away with her rotting corpse in tow. The boy is too young to fully understand the death of his mother, so he ends up comparing her to a dead fish he saw earlier on. His understanding of death is so lacking that the two become confused with one another, and there you have “my mother is a fish.”
I despise Faulkner, but I love this book.
🔥 Nobody listens anymore. I can’t talk to the walls because they’re yelling at me. I can’t talk to my wife; she listens to the walls. I just want someone to hear what I have to say. And maybe if I talk long enough it’ll make sense. 🔥
— Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
Have you guys read this book??? It’s so, so good. Did you hear about the new HBO adaptation that’s in production?
🌑 On the moon we spoke a soft, liquid tongue, and sang in the starlight, looking down on the dead dried world. 🌑
— Shirley Jackson, We Have Always Lived in the Castle
The language in Shirley Jackson novels is just incredible and beautiful, but Merricat’s voice in this one is just perfect. Such a great novel with so many great lines.