I want to start off this blog post by saying something profound. Something like how reading has always been a huge part of my life and how I am nothing without it. And although that’s true to a large extent, I’ve come to learn that I am something without reading, but reading is what makes me a better person. It makes me realize the wrongs I’ve done and to acknowledge them. It makes me look at perspectives especially because acknowledging that there are so many of them in the world helps me understand the world and the people around me better. So there. That was my profound introduction to a blog post that has been in the works for a long time.
This segues neatly into what I want to say about quotes. As a reader, writer, introvert, and awkward resident of the world, I have a lot of thoughts. But more often than not – as writers will agree with me – words fail us. Yes, the irony is not lost on us. The reader part of us, however, reads quotes in books and turns to our writer side and mocks it, saying, “See, THAT’S what it is! You couldn’t write that!” And we agree. We couldn’t. Because sometimes, people who you have never met put your feelings into words in a much better manner than you could ever have. And that’s what makes this series of blog posts so special for me.
If you’ve been following me on social media, you’ll know that I make notes while I read. And while I make notes, I also write down quotes from each book that impacts me. I have 4 books so far (flip-through video coming soon, so make sure to subscribe), filled with quotes from the books I’ve read so far, and I’m about to start a fifth. So for this series of blog posts – which is going to be a long, ongoing one – I flipped through them and chose some of my favorite book quotes of all time to share with you. There’s going to be a lot, so buckle up.
Along with the quotes, however, are also going to be explanations about why I loved the quotes, as was asked by my followers on Instagram. It’s going to open up my heart and some old wounds in the process, this, but ah, I can feel the catharsis coming! But here I go, taking you on this journey and giving you a glimpse into my life through a series of my favorite quotes. Let’s go!
This is the book that I started off my quote book journey with. A story that brings a lump to my throat years after having read it, The Fault in Our Stars is close to my heart because it was probably my first foray into YA literature. I probably knew but didn’t realize that literature could be witty and funny while being impactful, and this book turned everything I knew on its head. Which is why, I have so many quotes from this book inaugurating my quote books.
I’ve chosen three quotes here, each of which either bring a smile to my face or causes me to become lost in thought.
“There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.”
Hazel Grace says this to Gus, in a bid to stop him from getting so worried about not leaving a mark on the world or of humans melting into oblivion. The no-nonsense attitude and the rational argument she had to Gus’s ‘I’m worried for the future of humanity’ had me in splits. I mean, I AM worried for the future of humanity but to be a dreamer’s worry, and not a realist’s worry is a completely different thing. LIVE, you human, although that seems like a cruel thing to say, in hindsight.
“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. And then there are books like An Imperial Affliction, which you can’t tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal.”
This quote tops my favorite book quotes of all time list! Before I was a reviewer, I always craved to find people who loved the same things I did, to be able to discuss books, to gush about the good ones, to rant about the bad ones, and if they didn’t love them, at least they would understand why I did. And I did find them. So many, too! So you’ll see why I LOVE this quote so much – because I found myself in it.
Ever since I became a reviewer, a Booktuber, especially, I’ve been able to gush about the books I love. And that evangelical zeal never dies away. If you’ve watched me rave about The Midnight Library and Fierce Fairytales, you’ll know that I would do anything for those books. And I truly believed that everybody MUST read those books and then and only then will the world start spinning rightly again. But a few people ended up not liking them and now, I’m at the second part of the quote: books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal. (P.S. Right now, I feel this way about a language that I’m learning. But I’m a couple of steps closer to speaking it in public, so that’s something, I guess. :D)
“You die in the middle of life, in the middle of a sentence.”
There wasn’t any particular incident that made me relate to it. But I’ve always thought of death as an event from which the people left behind cannot emerge. Because one day, you’re laughing and crying and talking with someone and the next, they are no longer there. How does one fill that void? It was such a sad thing for me to digest because that usually took me to places that I didn’t want to go. I don’t want to go there when I don’t have to!
A few years ago, one of my father’s closest childhood friends passed away. It was a complete shock to me (I can’t even imagine what it did to my Dad) and it sent me into a low point for a few days. Because Dad and he were almost the same age when Uncle died. And it got me thinking, scared, about the what ifs. And ever since, I’ve been on eggshells with death, even though I’ve seen more than I bargained for. This quote comes back to me every time I think that someone’s death is sudden, because we don’t write our deaths. It can happen any time. You could be doing anything when death decides to take you. And that’s one kind of comfort – that in the end, you don’t have a lot of say in it.
I fell in love with Gerard Butler in the movie adaptation of P.S. I Love You, but I must say that though the book is heartbreaking despite its back-and-forth manner, it was as big of a hit with me as I hoped. I mean, I like it, but it’s not one of my Ahern favorites. For me, her Flawed duology and Roar rank way higher. Yet, there is one quote that stands out for me in this book:
“The airport always gave her a feeling of anticipation in the pit of her stomach as though she was about to do something amazing.”
Because this is exactly how I feel! I love the anticipation of going somewhere, of embarking on an adventure, and the hustle and bustle of people doing the same. And through this, takeoffs. They are my absolute favorite feelings in the whole world. That flutter in the stomach as the plane picks up speed and when it finally becomes airborne? It puts a mile-wide smile on my face as it fills me with excitement. Which is why I love this quote, even though it’s nothing but a description, an observation.
Sharath Komarraju is a wizard with words. In this book, as I mentioned in its review, “the author divides the book into small portions of diaries of the prominent ladies of Hastinapur, as might have told to their confidantes or sakhis in that time and age.”
This particular quote is one that stopped me in my tracks, because how many times have we thought of a promise and how it is called ‘word’ and the power it has over us?
“A word lives but for a moment; once it leaves your lips, it has died. How quaint then, is this idea that something that lives but for a second must bind your actions forever?”
It gives me pause, even years after I read the book and I end up in a loop, thinking of words and promises and sentences and what not.
If I were to be honest, I must tell you that I do not remember much about this book. It came to me at a time when I was cementing my online presence. But I do remember this quote because that was the time when I was wishing that people wouldn’t turn compassion into a competition. And when I read this quote about abuse and people’s reaction to it, it somehow cut a parallel path. The difference, however, was that my thoughts were simmering with anger at throwaway remarks while this quote talked about issues that are much more serious and that have been festering in society for millennia. Here’s the quote:
“If she had to tell her story to anyone, people would chuckle at her. She did not beat you up, she did not throw acid on you, she did not burn you by pouring kerosene on you while you were asleep, they would say. What are you complaining about then? But she was not blowing it out of proportion. Why does it always have to be something physical? Why does someone have to strike you or burn you for people to sympathize with you? Is it because the truth is stark only with a proof? There has to be a mark on the body, a bruise, for someone to sympathize? Otherwise it’s just manipulated and exaggerated sentences?”
I think this was one of the first quotes that registered in my mind, about how it doesn’t have to be physical to be constituted as abuse. Emotional manipulation and abuse chip at a person’s insides, turning them into a husk of a person and leaving them with lifelong mental health issues. The other day, I overheard a man say to his wife, “You talk as if I beat you up every day.” Does that make him an angel? Absolutely not. That’s manipulation and self-aggrandizing behavior on a different level! Okay, this went way off track (or did it?) and I’m going to stop now.
This is probably the first book that I bought because I found the cover beautiful. I mean, it is beautiful but my tastes have changed. Yet, I look back on this book with fondness because this was where I started reading David Nicholls and this eventually led me to one of my favorite books of all time, One Day. The two quotes that I chose from this book are pretty self-explanatory: the first, about the importance of art and what it brings to people; and the second, about grief and regrets. Here they are:
“Why, I wondered, did people seek out portrayals of the very experiences that, in real life, would send them mad with despair? Shouldn’t art be an escape, a laugh, a comfort, a thrill? No, said, Connie, exposure brought understanding. Only by confronting the worst traumas of life could you comprehend them and face them down.”
“Yet there seemed to be no easy correlation between the awful grief I felt at her death and our closeness or lack of it – in life, and it occurred to me that perhaps grief is as much regret for what we have never had as sorrow for what we have lost.”
Sometimes, you have to let the quotes speak for themselves, although it isn’t as much ‘letting them speak’ as it is ‘they don’t need your interpretation’, for they are much stronger than what you can ever offer them.
I didn’t expect this to turn into such a long blog post, but that’s the beauty of writing! There’s just so much to say. And when it comes to talking about my favorite book quotes of all time, it’s a thin line we’re treading because I could go on for much longer. Especially since I got through quotes from only five books so far. So you know this is going to be a long series. 😉
So what did you think of this blog post? Did you like it? Did you not like it? Did you like any of the quotes in here? What’s on your ‘my favorite book quotes of all time’ list? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you! ❤
I’ll see you in the next blog post.
Until next time, keep reading, and add melodrama to your life! 😊