70 Best Book Quotes That’ll Inspire You

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70 best book quotes that’ll inspire you

Books—whether fiction or nonfiction—contain knowledge and wisdom. Sometimes, this wisdom can be lost in a crowd of thousands of other words, hidden under an exciting sentence, or in a very boring passage.

For very few, highly invested readers, though, these lines have nowhere to hide and end up in the readers’ journals or on their walls.

Books have priceless quotes on love, life, struggle, morality, virtue, success, and other aspects of life, and I have compiled some of the best book quotes so that you don’t have to go through piles of pages just to find today’s inspiration.

Before you get to the quotes, read some tips on how to use these quotes.

How to Use Book Quotes to Motivate Yourself

Here are a few tips on how to use quotes effectively:

Choose quotes that resonate with you: Look for quotations that relate to your values, objectives, and challenges. These are more likely to inspire and motivate you.

Write them down: Make a collection of your favorite quotes on your phone or computer, or jot them down on paper or in a journal. You may find it easier to stay motivated if you keep them in a location that is easy to get to and read.

Think about their meaning for a moment. Consider what the quote means to you and how it relates to your life. By doing so, you may be able to better internalize the message and give it personal meaning.

Use them as a reminder: Keep the quote visible, such as on your desk or the lock screen of your phone, as a reminder to stay inspired and goal-focused.

Share them with others: Share these quotes with friends, family, or colleagues who may also need a little motivation. Your loved ones may help you when detouring because they know your inspiration (they may use the same quotes to remind you of your goals or objectives).

The Best Book Quotes

Below are a few popular book quotes. To help you find the book, I have used either the author or the character that spoke the words:

1. “To be or not to be, that is the question.” – William Shakespeare, Hamlet

2. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” – Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

3. “The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” – Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

4. “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self–evident, that all men are created equal.'” – Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream speech

5. “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” – Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

6. “Anyone who ever gave you confidence, you owe them a lot.” -Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

7. “Where there’s life there’s hope.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

8. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” – Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

9. “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” – Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

10. “The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.” – Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

11. “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

12. “Thomas Edison’s last words were “It’s very beautiful over there”. I don’t know where there is, but I believe it’s somewhere, and I hope it’s beautiful.” – John Green, Looking for Alaska

13. “Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.” – Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

14. “There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

15. “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” – Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan

16. “I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.” – Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

17. “One must always be careful of books,” said Tessa, “and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.” – Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel

18. “What we do in life echoes in eternity.” – Maximus Decimus Meridius, Gladiator

19. “Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rage at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” – Dylan Thomas, Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night

20. “Anything worth dying for is certainly worth living for.” – Joseph Heller, Catch-22

Joseph Heller, Catch-22 quote
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

21. “It is as painful perhaps to be awakened from a vision as to be born.” – James Joyce, Ulysses

22. “Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.” – Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

23. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

24. “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” – Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

25. “There are moments when troubles enter our lives and we can do nothing to avoid them. But they are there for a reason. Only when we have overcome them will we understand why they were there.” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

26. “I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.” – Jorge Luis Borges

27. “The only way to get what you want in this world is through hard work.” – Toni Morrison, Beloved

28. “Well, if you can’t have what you want, you could try to want what you have.” – Gillian Shields, DogFish

29. “The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.” – Mark Twain

30. “Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes.” – Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

31. “A safe fairyland is untrue to all worlds.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

32. “Friendship … is born at the moment when one man says to another “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .” – C.S. Lewis 

33. “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

34. “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” – Epictetus

35. “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden

36. “The very essence of romance is uncertainty.” – Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays

37. “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein

38. “The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt.

39. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self–seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4– 7

40. “Love is an untamed force. When we try to control it, it destroys us. When we try to imprison it, it enslaves us. When we try to understand it, it leaves us feeling lost and confused.” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist quote
Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

41. “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” – Joe Klaas, Twelve Steps to Happiness

42. “The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” – Flannery O’Connor

43. “Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs.” – William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

44. “Love is an untamed force. When we try to control it, it destroys us. When we try to imprison it, it enslaves us. When we try to understand it, it leaves us feeling lost and confused.” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

45. “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.” – Aristotle

46. “Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.” – Louis de Bernieres, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

47. “The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” – Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

48. “Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love.”– Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

49. “The movements which work revolutions in the world are born out of the dreams and visions in a peasant’s heart on the hillside.” – James Joyce, Ulysses

50. “There’s nothing easy about finding your way through a world loaded with obstacles that others can’t or don’t see.” – Michelle Obama, The Light We Carry.

51. “Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby.

52. “A child cannot pay for its mother’s milk.” – Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart

53. “Hold to the now, the here, through which all future plunges to the past.” James Joyce, Ulysses.

54. “The longer I live, the more uninformed I feel. Only the young have an explanation for everything.” -Isabel Allende, City of the Beasts

55. “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

56. “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” – Oscar Wilde

57. “Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” – Maya Angelou

58. “Accept yourself, love yourself, and keep moving forward. If you want to fly, you have to give up what weighs you down.” – Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

59. “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” – Aldous Huxley, Complete Essays, Vol. II: 1926-1929

60. “Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.” – Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist

oscar wilde, the critic as artist quote
Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist

61. “Sometimes what we don’t want is actually what we need.” – Nikolas Lee, The Iron-Jawed Boy

62. “Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.” – Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

67. “Success is not how high you have climbed, but how you make a positive difference to the world.” – Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

68. “Start each day with a positive thought and a grateful heart.” – Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

69. “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

70. “Without music, life would be a mistake.” – Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols

71. “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” – Charles M. Schulz

72. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…” – Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

73. “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” – Oscar Wilde

74. “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.” – Mark Twain, Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World

Final Words on the Book Quotes

Book quotes can be important for a variety of reasons. Insightful nuggets of wisdom that readers can apply to their own lives can also be found in quotes. Readers enjoy gathering and sharing quotes that speak to them personally because they can be motivational or consoling.

Additionally, quotes can be used to start conversations about books. Sharing and debating quotes allows readers to explore the significance and deeper meaning of a book, as well as its themes and ideas, in greater depth.

Book quotes can also be an important and meaningful part of your writing process. For example, you can use quotes to start a poem or beautify your essay. Whatever you do with the quotes is up to you, but we can all agree that they are useful in some way.

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Jessica started off as an avid book reader. After reading one too many romance novels (really... is it ever really enough?), she decided to jump to the other side and started writing her own stories. She now shares what she has learned (the good and the not so good) here at When You Write, hoping she can inspire more up and coming wordsmiths to take the leap and share their own stories with the world.