Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Inspirational Quotes from Books.
I actually had a hard time with this topic. Many of the quotes I collect are about books or writing or music; they aren’t so much inspirational as pithy or funny or wise (or even all three.) These are some of the quotes that I do find inspirational, whether to live a better, more caring, more creative life, or to treasure books. They aren’t necessarily my all-time top ten, but the ones that particularly spoke to me this week.
I should be honest here and say that I haven’t read all of the books these quotes are from, though I’ve read most of them. Some are quotes I’ve stumbled across in other books or even on the internet. But I did stick with quotes that come from an identifiable book or poem.
On life, love, and creativity
Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
~ Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches
“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 (Mrs. Whatsit)
It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
~ J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Dumbledore)
If more of us valued food and cheer and song over hoarded gold, the world would be a merrier place.
~ J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit (Thorin, to Bilbo)
Love thy neighbor as thyself.
~ Matthew 22:39
“It had flaws, but what does that matter when it comes to matters of the heart? We love what we love. Reason does not enter into it. In many ways, unwise love is the truest love. Anyone can love a thing because. That’s as easy as putting a penny in your pocket. But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.”
~ Patrick Rothfuss, The Wise Man’s Fear (Kvothe)
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
~ Langston Hughes, “Dreams”
“Pens and paper, a good voice production, and greasepaint and things aren’t the only means of expression. Some people express loveliness just by loving.”
~ Elizabeth Goudge, Pilgrim’s Inn (David, to Sally)
Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor. Perfectionism will ruin your writing, blocking inventiveness and playfulness and life force. Clutter is a wonderfully fertile ground–you can still discover new treasures under all those piles, clean things up, edit things out, fix things, get a grip.
~ Anne Lamott, Bird By Bird
“One must always be careful of books,” said Tess, “and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”
~ Cassandra Clare, The Clockwork Angel
We read to know that we are not alone.
~ William Nicholson, Shadowlands
Books are a uniquely portable magic.
~ Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft