Top Ten Tuesday, a concept started by The Broke and the Bookish, is a themed post that connects bloggers to bloggers, bloggers to readers, and readers to readers. Every Tuesday has a special topic, and this Tuesday is Top Ten Inspiring Quotes from Books.
I love quotes. People in my life know that I’m constantly writing down things I’ve read or overheard, all funny, deep, or inspirational. I’ve got a whole booklet a friend made filled with my favorite quotes, excerpts, and poems. This TTT required sifting through it and finding the ones specifically from books. I wouldn’t say they’re my top ten favorite, simply because I’m sure I’ve tabbed quotes in books all over my shelves and I can’t read through every single one, but these in particular made it into my little booklet!
“Don’t be afraid. There are exquisite things in store for you. This is merely the beginning.”
— The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde || Taken out of context, it’s a brilliant quote. Read in context, it’s narcissistic. So let’s just read it out of context!
“So, what if, instead of thinking about solving your whole life, you just think about adding additional good things. One at a time. Just let your pile of good things grow.”
— Attachments by Rainbow Rowell || This quote especially rings for people in a rough patch, for the people who are compulsive planners, for the worriers and over-thinkers.
“I love the ground under his feet, and the air over his head, and everything he touches and every word he says. I love all his looks, and all his actions and him entirely and all together.”
— Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë || Another read-out-of-context-and-it’s-amazing quote. There’s something deeply human in this savage novel, something very basic and true to all of us: that passion and intensity is within us. And I think we can all relate to this quote, hopeless romantic or no.
“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”
— Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury || Go out there. Live.
“I know that life isn’t life if you just float through it. I know that the whole point – the only point – is to find the things that matter, and hold on to them, and fight for them, and refuse to let them go.”
— Delirium by Lauren Oliver || Again, go out there. Live.
“I don’t know when we’ll see each other again or what the world will be like when we do. We may both have seen many horrible things. But I will think of you every time I need to be reminded that there is beauty and goodness in the world.”
— Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden || This particular quote makes me remember to take a second and think on the good of the day. And then it makes me feel philosophical, wondering what actually happens when our lives are done here on earth. What’s next?
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will.”
— Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë || BOOM, FEMINISM. BOOM, HUMAN RIGHTS. BOOM, BEST BOOK EVER.
“I am tired of trying to hold things together that cannot be held. Trying to control what cannot be controlled. I am tired of denying myself what I want for fear of breaking things I cannot fix. They will break no matter what we do.”
— The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern || Admittedly, that’s not inspirational. But I read this as “you cannot control everything,” a reminder that we are only human and mistakes will happen.
“When you’re finally a grown-up, one of the things you find out is that there are no grown-ups.”
— The Last Enchantments by Charles Finch || I’m constantly reminded of this every time I’m with friends doing “grown up” things. Drinking, planning weddings, getting pregnant, buying a house, discussing health insurance. And we all sit there thinking “how in the world did we get here? Can I have my coloring books back, please?” We’re just big kids faking it until we make it.
And last but not least (and sorry, not from a book…),
“When I have fears that I may cease to be / Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain, / Before high-pilèd books, in charactery, / Hold like rich garners the full ripened grain; / When I behold, upon the night’s starred face, / Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance, / And think that I may never live to trace / Their shadows with the magic hand of chance; / And when I feel, fair creature of an hour, / That I shall never look upon thee more, / Never have relish in the faery power / Of unreflecting love—then on the shore / Of the wide world I stand alone, and think / Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.”
— When I Have Fears by John Keats || It’s melodramatic, yes, but Keats captures a young heart’s desires and fears perfectly in this poem. For those of you going “huh?” he’s saying he wants to be successful, to find passionate love, to live a filled-to-bursting life, but he fears his life will be too short to accomplish it all. He fears he’ll never reach his goals, never see his dreams and desires come to fruition. That an ounce of it at all can burn (and burn bright) right now to satisfy his short time here on earth. Another carpe diem moment.
Which quotes made it to your TTT? Do we have any overlaps in books or authors?