Books have the power to move us, to challenge our beliefs and/or to inspire us. When you read a great book, there is a tendency that you’ll forget the names of the minor characters, however not your favorite book quotes. The best book quotes will likely remain with you even if you have finished reading the book.
Read on our curated list of the best book quotes of all time, which brings together the most memorable words from classic literature to personal development and modern bestsellers.
Best Book Quotes of all Time
1. “The only lies for which we are truly punished are those we tell ourselves.” —V.S. Naipaul, In A Free State
2. “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” —Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
3. “Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.” —Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
4. “Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven
5. “It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” —Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
6. “Just because your version of normal isn’t the same as someone else’s version doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with you.” —John Boyne, The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket
7. “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” —L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
8. “The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.” ―John Green, Looking for Alaska
9. “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” —Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God
10. “It is nothing to die; it is dreadful not to live.” —Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
11. “There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.” —Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark
12. “I had the epiphany that laughter was light, and light was laughter, and that this was the secret of the universe.” —Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch
13. “There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.” —J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers
14. “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places.” —Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms
15. “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, The History of Love
16. “Anyone whoever gave you confidence, you owe them a lot.” —Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s
17. “Don’t ever think I fell for you, or fell over you. I didn’t fall in love, I rose in it.” —Toni Morrison, Jazz
18. “You’d be surprised how quickly the mind goes soggy in the absence of other people. One person alone is not a full person: we exist in relation to others.” —Margaret Atwood, The Testaments
19. “First we only want to be seen, but once we’re seen, that’s not enough anymore. After that, we want to be remembered.” —Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven
20. “I’ve seen enough to know that you can be a human with a mountain of resources and you can be a human with nothing, and you can be a monster either way.” —Clemantine Wamariya, The Girl Who Smiled Beads
21. “What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?” —Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give
22. “It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” —Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
23. “It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.” —J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
24. “Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” —Roald Dahl, The Minpins
25. “It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.” —André Gide, Autumn Leaves
26. “Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human.” —Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me
27. “When you can’t find someone to follow, you have to find a way to lead by example.” —Roxane Gay, Bad Feminist
28. “Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and unsurprised by anything in between.” —Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
29. “Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.” —Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy
30. “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” —Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
31. “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will, which I now exert to leave you.” —Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
32. “I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart: I am, I am, I am.” —Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
33. “We accept the love we think we deserve.” ―Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
34. “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” —Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
35. “Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.” —Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
36. “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” —George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four
37. “Life is to be lived, not controlled; and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat.” —Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
38. “You pierce my soul. I am half agony. Half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever.” —Jane Austen, Persuasion
39. “You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.” —Cormac McCarthy, The Road
40. “The past is not dead. In fact, it’s not even past.” —William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun
41. “He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.” —Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
42. “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.” —Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
43. “Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.” —Alfred Lord Tennyson, Ulysses
44. “Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.” —Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
45. “Be yourself and people will like you.” —Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid
46. “She decided long ago that life was a long journey. She would be strong, and she would be weak, and both would be okay.” —Tahereh Mafi, Furthermore
47. “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” —Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
48. “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” —Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
49. “It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them.” —Agatha Christie, An Autobiography
50. “And, now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” —John Steinbeck, East of Eden
51. “A friend may be waiting behind a stranger’s face.” —Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter
52. “We all require devotion to something more than ourselves for our lives to be endurable.” —Atul Gawande, Being Mortal
53. “There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.” —Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever
54. “It was all very well to be ambitious, but ambition should not kill the nice qualities in you.” —Noel Streatfeild, Ballet Shoes
55. “You are your best thing.” —Toni Morrison, Beloved
56. “There is nothing sweeter in this sad world than the sound of someone you love calling your name.” —Kate DiCamillo, The Tale of Despereaux
57. “I don’t understand it any more than you do, but one thing I’ve learned is that you don’t have to understand things for them to be.” —Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time
58. “So many things are possible just as long as you don’t know they’re impossible.” —Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth
59. “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” —Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights
60. “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” ―J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
61. “Memories, even your most precious ones, fade surprisingly quickly.” —Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go
62. “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” —Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Grey
63. “Time is the longest distance between two places.” ―Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie
64. “There is only one page left to write on. I will fill it with words of only one syllable. I love. I have loved. I will love.” —Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle
65. “It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you.” —Roald Dahl, The Witches
66. “The voice of the sea is seductive, never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander in abysses of solitude.” —Kate Chopin, The Awakening
67. “I wish, as well as everybody else, to be perfectly happy; but, like everybody else, it must be in my own way.” —Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility
68. “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” —Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
69. “We dream in our waking moments, and walk in our sleep.” —Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
70. “The same substance composes us — the tree overhead, the stone beneath us, the bird, the beast, the star — we are all one, all moving to the same end.” ―P.L. Travers, Mary Poppins
71. “Love is holy because it is like grace – the worthiness of its object is never really what matters.” —Marilynne Robinson, Gilead
72. “Brave doesn’t mean you’re not scared. It means you go on even though you’re scared.” —Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give
73. “Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You’re given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself.” —Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time
74. “My advice is, never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.” —Charles Dickens, David Copperfield
75. “How easy it was to lie to strangers, to create with strangers the versions of our lives we imagined.” —Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah
76. “There is always something left to love.” ―Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude
77. “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts.” —William Shakespeare, As You Like It
78. “Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I’m not living.” —Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
79. “Love is the longing for the half of ourselves we have lost.” —Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
80. “For you, a thousand times over.” —Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
81. “And may the odds be ever in your favor.” —Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games
82. “Then you must teach my daughter this same lesson. How to lose your innocence but not your hope. How to laugh forever.” —Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club
83. “Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches.” —William Goldman, The Princess Bride
84. “All human wisdom is summed up in these two words – ‘Wait and hope.’” —Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo
85. “The longer I live, the more uninformed I feel. Only the young have an explanation for everything.” —Isabel Allende, City of the Beasts
86. “Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.” —Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See
87. “Oh, the places you’ll go! You’ll be on your way up! You’ll be seeing great sights! You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.” —Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go
88. “Time moves slowly, but passes quickly.” —Alice Walker, The Color Purple
89. “What does the brain matter compared with the heart?” —Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
90. “If you have the guts to be yourself, other people will pay your price.” —John Updike, Rabbit, Run
91. “You don’t have to live forever, you just have to live.” Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting
Tuck Everlasting is a children’s novel which tackles the idea of immortality.
92. He stepped down, trying not to look long at her as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking. – Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
Anna Karenina is a story of a married socialite who was having an affair with a rich Count.
93. “All that is gold does not glitter. Not all those who wander are lost. The old that is strong does not wither. Deep roots are not reached by the frost.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings #1, The Fellowship of the Ring
The Lord of the Rings is an epic fantasy novel. It is actually the sequel to “The Hobbit.”
94. “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” Victor Hugo, Les Miserables
Les Miserables is a story of a prisoner who later became a factory owner.
95. “For to have faith is to have wings.” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Peter Pan is a story of a young boy who never grows up.
96. “I would always rather be happy than dignified.” Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre talks about the experiences of Jane from her childhood to her adulthood.
97. “For what you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are” – C.S. Lewis, The Magician’s Nephew
The Magician’s Nephew is a children’s fantasy novel. It is one of the sequels for the Narnia series.
98. 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
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the last installment of the Harry Potter series.
99. “Beware for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.” Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
In Frankenstein, Mary Shelley narrates the story of Victor Frankenstein, a scientist who created a deformed creature.
100. “There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.” F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby is the story of Jay Gatsby. A young and mysterious millionaire who passionately loves Daisy Buchanan.
101. “I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.” Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
“Little Women” is a novel that talks about the lives of four sisters.
102. “I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.” Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland tells the experiences of Alice after she fell into the fantasy world.
103. “Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive” Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park
Eleanor & Park is a story of two young people who fell in love after meeting on a bus.
104. “And the rest is rust and stardust.” Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
Lolita is a story of a young girl who was sexually abused by her stepfather.
105. “Stay gold, ponyboy.” S.E. Hinton, the Outsiders
The Outsiders is a novel about two rival gangs.
106. “Books keep stupidity at bay. And vain hopes. And vain men. They undress you with love, strength and knowledge.” Nina George, The Little Paris Bookshop
The Little Paris Bookshop is a bestselling novel that is infused with warmth and adventure.
107. “Words are life.” Markus Zusak, The Book Thief
The Book Thief focuses on the life and struggles of a 10-year-old girl who lived in Germany during World War II.
108. “You’re the kind of person I wanna be with when I want to be alone.” Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park
Eleanor & Park lets us reminisce the times when we were young and in love.
109. “At any rate, that is happiness, to be dissolved into something complete and great.” Willa Cather, My Antonia
My Ántonia narrates the story of an orphaned boy, Jim and the elder daughter of Bohemian immigrants, Ántonia.
110. “Seek freedom and become captive of your desires, seek discipline and find your liberty.” Frank Herbert, Dune
Dune is a science fiction novel that contains five sequels.
111. “She wondered whether there would ever come an hour in her life when she didn’t think of him.” Philip Pulman, The Amber Spyglass
The Amber Spyglass was the first children novel that won the 2001 Whitbread Book of the Year award.
112. “She couldn’t help thinking that the story between them was somehow unfinished.” Nicholas Sparks, The Best of Me
The Best of Me is a romance novel which has been translated into 40 languages.
113. His gold eyes grew very soft. “You said you loved me.” Stephenie Meyer, Twilight
Twilight is a vampire-themed romance novel that has four sequels.
114. “Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded he turned back to Snape” J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Harry Potter is a seven-part fantasy series that follows the life of a young wizard.
115. “It’s a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person” Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
Gone Girl is a thriller novel about a husband accused of the disappearance of his wife.
116. “I witness the ones who are left behind, crumbling among the jigsaw puzzle of realization…” Markus Zusak, The Book Thief
The Book Thief involves the journey of a young girl towards her self-discovery.
117. “So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s gonna be really hard! We’re gonna have to work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, everyday. You and me… everyday.” Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
The Notebook is a romantic novel that is inspired by actual events.
118. “It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” – William Ernest Henley, Invictus
This is one of the most popular book quotes that is frequently used.
119. Youth is a flower of which love is the fruit, happy is he who, after facing watched its silent growth, is permitted to gather and call it his own” Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo
This beautiful book quote centers on the youth.
120. “The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Some of the best romantic book quotes are found in this book.
121. “If you have good thoughts they will shine out on your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” Roald Dahl, The Twits
If you are always thinking positively then it will show on your face.
122. “If you look the right way, you can see the whole world is a garden.” Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
This novel is a story of a young girl who was transformed after she discovered the secret garden.
123. “There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally.” Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever
Book quotes inspire us to love.
124. “Only connect.” E.M. Forster, Howards End
Short book quotes can also create a great impact.
125. “He was unheeded, happy, and near to the wild heart of life.” James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man talks about the religious and intellectual awareness of a young man.
126. “Grief can be a burden, but also an anchor. You get used to the weight, how it holds you in place.” Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever
Book quotes do not only deal about happiness but also the struggles of life.
127. “Isn’t it pretty to think so?” Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises
The Sun Also Rises is Hemingway’s greatest work.
128. “Great men are not born great. They grow great.” Mario Puzo, The Godfather
The Godfather is a popular crime novel about a fictional Mafia family.
129. “And don’t spend your time looking around for something you want that can’t be found. When you find out you can live without it and go along not thinkin’ about it. I’ll tell you something true, the bare necessities of life will come to you” Baloo, the Jungle Book
Book quotes help you in accepting the reality that there are some things that you just can’t have.
130. “Humanity does not ask us to be happy. It merely asks us to be brilliant on its behalf.” Orson Scott, Ender’s Game
Ender’s Game is a science fiction novel which later became a popular movie.
131. “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one, just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had” F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Sometimes book quotes will make us realize how lucky we are.
132. “And don’t spend your time lookin’ around for something you want that can’t be found.” Baloo, the Jungle Book
Spend your time wisely.
133. “People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.” Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
“To Kill a Mockingbird” covers the sensitive issue of racial discrimination.
134. “Youth can not know how age thinks and feels. But old men are guilty if they forget what it was to be young”- J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix
Enjoy your life while you’re young.
135. “If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be;” Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights
Wuthering Heights is a very popular novel which was transformed into a movie, TV show, musical, opera, and even a song.
136. “It takes something more than intelligence to act intelligently.” Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment
Human existence is not just about being alive but searching for something to live for.
137. “There is a sense in which we are all each other’s consequences.” Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose
Perhaps it’s a reality that things can change in a couple of hours or in a day and its outcomes can affect us in a lifetime.
138. “And in that moment I swear we were infinite.” Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
This is one of the greatest book quotes from one of the greatest book ever.
139. Not everyone can see his dreams come true in the same way.” Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
The prospect of having a dream come true can make your life more interesting.
140. “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights
This is one of the most romantic book quotes that expresses one’s love for someone.
141. “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Some people choose to live in their dreams without realizing that they have a normal life to attend to.
142. Let the wild rumpus start! Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things
This famous book quote is usually used for announcing that the party has begun.
More Book Quotes:
143. “Books don’t offer real escape, but they can stop a mind scratching itself raw.” ―David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas
144. “After all, tomorrow is another day!”― Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind
145. “Anything worth dying for is certainly worth living for.” ―Joseph Heller, Catch-22
146. “Some people spend their entire lives waiting for the time to be right to make an improvement.” James Clear. Atomic Habits
147. “It is never too late to be wise.” — Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
148. “Angry people are not always wise.” ―Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
149. “There is always something left to love.” ― Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude
150. “Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.” — George Orwell, 1984
151. “The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is 42.” — Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
152. “If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” — J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
153. Men go to far greater lengths to avoid what they fear than to obtain what they desire.” — Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code
154. “It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.” — Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People
155. “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” — Spencer Johnson, Who Moved My Cheese?
156. “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” — Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
157. “Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” — Louise Hay, You Can Heal Your Life
158. “Acceptance means no complaining, and happiness means no complaining about the things over which you can do nothing.” — Wayne Dyer, Your Erroneous Zones
159. “He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how.” – Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
160. “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” — Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
Perhaps you may have encountered some of these wonderful book quotes but are not aware that they actually originated from books. We hope these quotes have inspired you to keep reading.
If you enjoy this book quotes collection, and you ‘d like something lighter, check out our funny words of wisdom article
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Tina Gray is a freelance journalist, theatre enthusiast and aspiring author. She has a passion for telling stories through various mediums and regularly writes for various online publications. Her short stories will soon be published in her first volume. Currently, she resides in the San Fernando Valley and is studying screenwriting.