Closed Book Quotes

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Some things don't last forever, but some things do. Like a good song, or a good book, or a good memory you can take out and unfold in your darkest times, pressing down on the corners and peering in close, hoping you still recognize the person you see there.
Sarah Dessen (This Lullaby)
People come, people go – they’ll drift in and out of your life, almost like characters in a favorite book. When you finally close the cover, the characters have told their story and you start up again with another book, complete with new characters and adventures. Then you find yourself focusing on the new ones, not the ones from the past.
Nicholas Sparks (The Rescue)
So many people enter and leave your life! Hundreds of thousands of people! You have to keep the door open so they can come in! But it also means you have to let them go!
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
Keep your best wishes, close to your heart and watch what happens
Tony DeLiso (Legacy: The Power Within)
There comes a time in your life when you have to choose to turn the page, write another book or simply close it.
Shannon L. Alder
You should date a girl who reads. Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve. Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn. She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book. Buy her another cup of coffee. Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice. It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does. She has to give it a shot somehow. Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world. Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two. Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series. If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are. You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype. You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots. Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads. Or better yet, date a girl who writes.
Rosemarie Urquico
I didn't have much to say to anybody but kept to myself and my books. With my eyes closed, I would touch a familiar book and draw it's fragrance deep inside me. This was enough to make me happy.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
You know the problem with heroes and saints, Nikolai?” I asked as I closed the book’s cover and headed for the door. “They always end up dead.
Leigh Bardugo (Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #2))
From that time on, the world was hers for the reading. She would never be lonely again, never miss the lack of intimate friends. Books became her friends and there was one for every mood. There was poetry for quiet companionship. There was adventure when she tired of quiet hours. There would be love stories when she came into adolescence and when she wanted to feel a closeness to someone she could read a biography. On that day when she first knew she could read, she made a vow to read one book a day as long as she lived.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
He wants the minute and secret reflection between them, the depth of field minimal, their foreignness intimate like two pages of a closed book.
Michael Ondaatje (The English Patient)
No, this is not the beginning of a new chapter in my life; this is the beginning of a new book! That first book is already closed, ended, and tossed into the seas; this new book is newly opened, has just begun! Look, it is the first page! And it is a beautiful one!
C. JoyBell C.
All morning I struggled with the sensation of stray wisps of one world seeping through the cracks of another. Do you know the feeling when you start reading a new book before the membrane of the last one has had time to close behind you? You leave the previous book with ideas and themes -- characters even -- caught in the fibers of your clothes, and when you open the new book, they are still with you.
Diane Setterfield (The Thirteenth Tale)
He held up a book then. “I'm going to read it to you for relax.” “Does it have any sports in it?” “Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True Love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest Ladies. Snakes. Spiders... Pain. Death. Brave men. Cowardly men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passion. Miracles.” “Sounds okay,” I said and I kind of closed my eyes.
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)
A book is as dangerous as any journey you might take. The person who closes the back cover may not be the same one that opened the front one. Treat them with respect.
Mark Lawrence (Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #1))
The failure to read good books both enfeebles the vision and strengthens our most fatal tendency -- the belief that the here and now is all there is.
Allan Bloom (The Closing of the American Mind)
The book was long, and difficult to read, and Klaus became more and more tired as the night wore on. Occasionally his eyes would close. He found himself reading the same sentence over and over. He found himself reading the same sentence over and over. He found himself reading the same sentence over and over.
Lemony Snicket (The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1))
Stories have a way of changing faces. They are unruly things, undisciplined, given to delinquency and the throwing of erasers. This is why we must close them up into thick, solid books, so they cannot get out and cause trouble.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1))
While we read a novel, we are insane—bonkers. We believe in the existence of people who aren't there, we hear their voices... Sanity returns (in most cases) when the book is closed.
Ursula K. Le Guin
She closed the book and put her cheek against it. There was still an odor of a library on it, of dust, leather, binding glue, and old paper, one book carrying the smell of hundreds.
Shannon Hale (The Goose Girl (The Books of Bayern, #1))
Fiction allows us to slide into these other heads, these other places, and look out through other eyes. And then in the tale we stop before we die, or we die vicariously and unharmed, and in the world beyond the tale we turn the page or close the book, and we resume our lives.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
Yesterday was a closed book, tomorrow, however, was another story.
Cecelia Ahern (The Book of Tomorrow)
I love you so much, so incredibly much," he went on, "and I forget when you're close to me, I forget who you are. I forget that you're Jem's. I'd have to be the worst sort of person to think what I'm thinking right now. But I am thinking it.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
With my eyes closed, I would touch a familiar book and draw its fragrance deep inside me. This was enough to make me happy.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
He was waving. "Saukerl," she laughed, and as she held up her hand, she knew completely that he was simultaneously calling her a Saumensch. I think that's as close to love as eleven-year-olds can get.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
That is a good book it seems to me, which is opened with expectation and closed with profit.
Louisa May Alcott
He put the book down. “As you wish.” He rose and walked past me. I lowered my sword, expecting him to pass, but suddenly he stepped in dangerously close. “Welcome home. I’m glad you made it. There is coffee in the kitchen for you.” My mouth gaped open. He inhaled my scent, bent close, about to kiss me… I just stood there like an idiot. Curran smirked and whispered in my ear instead. “Psych.” And just like that, he was out the door and gone. Oh boy.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2))
When did you get so smart?" He tapped his forehead. "Brain transplant. They put in a whale's. I'm passing all my classes with my eyes closed now, but I just can't get over this craving for krill." He shrugged. "And I feel sorry for the whale that got my brain. Probably swimming around Florida now trying to catch glimpses of girls in bikinis.
Maggie Stiefvater (Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Books of Faerie, #1))
I am too alone in the world, and yet not alone enough to make every moment holy. I am too tiny in this world, and not tiny enough just to lie before you like a thing, shrewd and secretive. I want my own will, and I want simply to be with my will, as it goes toward action; and in those quiet, sometimes hardly moving times, when something is coming near, I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone. I want to be a mirror for your whole body, and I never want to be blind, or to be too old to hold up your heavy and swaying picture. I want to unfold. I don’t want to stay folded anywhere, because where I am folded, there I am a lie. and I want my grasp of things to be true before you. I want to describe myself like a painting that I looked at closely for a long time, like a saying that I finally understood, like the pitcher I use every day, like the face of my mother, like a ship that carried me through the wildest storm of all.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God)
You know how it is when you're reading a book and falling asleep, you're reading, reading... and all of a sudden you notice your eyes are closed? I'm like that all the time.
Steven Wright
. . . For a lifetime was but a moment in that place, and each man dreams his own heaven. And in the darkness David closed his eyes, as all that was lost was found again.
John Connolly (The Book of Lost Things)
We don't want to feel less when we have finished a book; we want to feel that new possibilities of being have been opened to us. We don't want to close a book with a sense that life is totally unfair and that there is no light in the darkness; we want to feel that we have been given illumination.
Madeleine L'Engle (Walking on Water)
Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report written on birds that he'd had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books about birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, "Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.
Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life)
Close, close all night the lovers keep. They turn together in their sleep, Close as two pages in a book that read each other in the dark. Each knows all the other knows, learned by heart from head to toes.
Elizabeth Bishop (Edgar Allan Poe & The Juke-Box: Uncollected Poems, Drafts, and Fragments)
Irrevocable commitment to any religion is not only intellectual suicide; it is positive unfaith because it closes the mind to any new vision of the world. Faith is, above all, openness - an act of trust in the unknown.
Alan W. Watts (The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are)
The main thing to do is pay attention. Pay close attention to everything, notice what no one else notices. Then you'll know what no one else knows, and that's always useful.
Jeanne DuPrau (The City of Ember (Book of Ember, #1))
Literature was the only religion her father practiced, when a book fell on the floor he kissed it, when he was done with a book he tried to give it away to someone who would love it.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
This girl shivers and crawls under the covers with all her clothes on and falls into an overdue library book, a faerie story with rats and marrow and burning curses. The sentences build a fence around her, a Times Roman 10-point barricade, to keep the thorny voices in her head from getting too close.
Laurie Halse Anderson (Wintergirls)
It has always been a happy thought to me that the creek runs on all night, new every minute, whether I wish it or know it or care, as a closed book on a shelf continues to whisper to itself its own inexhaustible tale.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
If you want a happy ending, it just depends on where you close the book!
Orson Welles
She picked up the book and then walked back past him into the tent, but as she did so, she brushed the top of his head lightly with her hand. He closed his eyes at her touch, and hated himself for wishing that what she said was true: that Dumbledore had really cared.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
A smell of burned hair and cotton wafted into the air as I spun toward my desk. There was a low whine from the desk and then smoke billowed out of my closed laptop. I gaped. My precious, perfectly brand new laptop I cherished like one would a small child. Son of a mother… Friend or not, it was so on
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opal (Lux, #3))
There is a universe behind and before him. And the day is approaching when closing the last book on the last shelf on the far left; he will say to himself, "now what?
Jean-Paul Sartre (Nausea, The Wall and Other Stories)
I want an infinitely blank book and the rest of time.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
I received the fundamentals of my education in school, but that was not enough. My real education, the superstructure, the details, the true architecture, I got out of the public library. For an impoverished child whose family could not afford to buy books, the library was the open door to wonder and achievement, and I can never be sufficiently grateful that I had the wit to charge through that door and make the most of it. Now, when I read constantly about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that the door is closing and that American society has found one more way to destroy itself.
Isaac Asimov (I. Asimov: A Memoir)
Distance can ruin even the best of intentions. But I suppose it depends on how you look at it. Distance just adds a richness you would not otherwise get. People come. People go. They will drift in and out of your life, almost like characters in a favorite book. When you finally close the cover, the characters have told their stories and you start up again with another book, complete with new characters and adventures. Then you find yourself focusing on the new ones. Not the ones from the past.
Nicholas Sparks (The Rescue)
I kind of like that Samson is a closed book. You can’t really dislike a book you haven’t read yet.
Colleen Hoover (Heart Bones)
If I were reading a book and happened to strike a wonderful passage I would close the book then and there and go for a walk. I hated the thought of coming to the end of a good book. I would tease it along, delay the inevitable as long as possible, But always, when I hit a great passage, I would stop reading immediately. Out I would go, rain, hail, snow or ice, and chew the cud.
Henry Miller (Plexus (The Rosy Crucifixion, #2))
As my story came to a close I realized that I was the villain all along.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories, Vol. 2)
I do not want anyone to get close to me, I do not want anyone to see me, and this is the way things have developed: no one gets close and no one sees me.
Karl Ove Knausgård (My Struggle: Book 1)
The drive, the ambition, the art; it all comes to me when I close my eyes and think about the sacrifices my Mom made for me.
Forrest Curran (Purple Buddha Project: Purple Book of Self-Love)
She was unreal. She was perfection. Girls like her didn’t belong here. Fortunately, she did belong to me. She always wore a winsome smile, but it wasn’t only that. It was her eyes; they were made up of stars. Her hands. Her fingers. It was the world’s most fancy duty to keep her close.
Pratibha Malav (If Tomorrow Comes (A Kind Of Commitment, #2))
I said, I want to tell you something. She said, you can tell me tomorrow. I had never told her how much I loved her. She was my sister. We slept in the same bed. There was never a right time to say it. It was always unnecessary. The books in my father's shed were sighing. The sheets were rising and falling around me with Anna's breathing. I thought about waking her. But it was unnecessary. There would be other nights. And how can you say I love you to someone you love? I rolled onto my side and fell asleep next to her. Here is the point of everything I have been trying to tell you ... It's always necessary.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
Banning books gives us silence when we need speech. It closes our ears when we need to listen. It makes us blind when we need sight.
Stephen Chbosky
If you don't like a book, you can close it. But you have no right to say I can't open it.
Coleen Murtagh Paratore (The Cupid Chronicles (Wedding Planner's Daughter, #2))
Don’t be upset that you can’t attain constant happiness. It’s the quickest way to feel like a failure in life. If each of our lives represented a page in a book, happiness would be the punctuation. It breaks up the parts that are too long. It closes off some things, divides others. But it’s brief—showing up when it’s needed and filling tired paragraphs with breaks.
Tarryn Fisher (F*ck Love)
No one wants to read poetry. You have to make it impossible for them to put the poem down--impossible for them to stop reading it, word after word. You have to keep them from closing the book.
Muriel Rukeyser
And now the page before us blurs. An age is done. The book must close. We are abandoned to history. Raise high one more time the tattered standard Of the Fallen. See through the drifting smoke To the dark stains upon the fabric. This is the blood of our lives, this is the Payment of our deeds, all soon to be Forgotten. We were never what people could be. We were only what we were. Remember us.
Steven Erikson (The Crippled God (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #10))
There comes a time when you have to choose between turning the page and closing the book
Josh Jameson
Also, I designed a pretty fascinating bracelet, where you put a rubber band around your favorite book of poems for a year, and then you take it off and wear it.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
Look, I didnt want to be a half-blood. If you're reading this because you think you might be one, my advice is: close this book right now. Believe whatever lie your mom and dad told you about your birth, and try to lead a normal life. Being a half-blood is dangerous. It's scary. Most of the time, it gets you killed in painful nasty ways. If you're a normal kid, reading this because you think it's fiction, great. Read on. I envy you for being able to believe none of this ever happened. But if you recognize yourself in these pages-if you feel something stirring inside- stop reading immediately. You might be one of us. And once you know that, it's only a matter of time before THEY sense it too, and they'll come for you. Don't say I didn't warn you. -Percy Jackson
Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1))
When I have something to say that I think will be too difficult for adults, I write it in a book for children. Children are excited by new ideas; they have not yet closed the doors and windows of their imaginations. Provided the story is good... nothing is too difficult for children.
Madeleine L'Engle
I pretended to be an open book, but I was closed off and conceited.
Coco J. Ginger
Take me to Happy Birthday Land. It’s open 364 days of the year, and the one day of the year it’s closed for cleaning happens to be my birthday. 

Jarod Kintz (At even one penny, this book would be overpriced. In fact, free is too expensive, because you'd still waste time by reading it.)
When two people are cuddled close, they can really warm up one burrito. It may take all night, but I like my cheese melted. #CuddleChampion
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
[B]riefing is not reading. In fact it is the antithesis of reading. Briefing is terse, factual and to the point. Reading is untidy, discursive and perpetually inviting. Briefing closes down a subject, reading opens it up.
Alan Bennett (The Uncommon Reader)
Usually, when people get to the end of a chapter, they close the book and go to sleep. I deliberately write a book so when the reader gets to the end of the chapter, he or she must turn one more page.
Sidney Sheldon
What I saw next stopped me dead in my tracks. Books. Not just one or two dozen, but hundreds of them. In crates. In piles on the floor. In bookcases that stretched from floor to ceiling and lined the entire room. I turned around and around in a slow circle, feeling as if I'd just stumbled into Ali Baba's cave. I was breathless, close to tears, and positively dizzy with greed.
Jennifer Donnelly (A Northern Light)
Here you discover that so long as books are kept open, then minds can never be closed.
Ronald Reagan
She answered by standing and kissing him first and held his cheeks and closed her eyes and felt sure as bones and deep as blood that she had found her place.
Shannon Hale (The Goose Girl (The Books of Bayern, #1))
There was a girl, and her uncle sold her. Put like that it seems so simple. No man, proclaimed Donne, is an island, and he was wrong. If we were not islands, we would be lost, drowned in each other's tragedies. We are insulated (a word that means, literally, remember, made into an island) from the tragedy of others, by our island nature and by the repetitive shape and form of the stories. The shape does not change: there was a human being who was born, lived and then by some means or other, died. There. You may fill in the details from your own experience. As unoriginal as any other tale, as unique as any other life. Lives are snowflakes- forming patterns we have seen before, as like one another as peas in a pod (and have you ever looked at peas in a pod? I mean, really looked at them? There's not a chance you'll mistake one for another, after a minute's close inspection) but still unique. Without individuals we see only numbers, a thousand dead, a hundred thousand dead, "casualties may rise to a million." With individual stories, the statistics become people- but even that is a lie, for the people continue to suffer in numbers that themselves are numbing and meaningless. Look, see the child's swollen, swollen belly and the flies that crawl at the corners of his eyes, this skeletal limbs: will it make it easier for you to know his name, his age, his dreams, his fears? To see him from the inside? And if it does, are we not doing a disservice to his sister, who lies in the searing dust beside him, a distorted distended caricature of a human child? And there, if we feel for them, are they now more important to us than a thousand other children touched by the same famine, a thousand other young lives who will soon be food for the flies' own myriad squirming children? We draw our lines around these moments of pain, remain upon our islands, and they cannot hurt us. They are covered with a smooth, safe, nacreous layer to let them slip, pearllike, from our souls without real pain. Fiction allows us to slide into these other heads, these other places, and look out through other eyes. And then in the tale we stop before we die, or we die vicariously and unharmed, and in the world beyond the tale we turn the page or close the book, and we resume our lives. A life that is, like any other, unlike any other. And the simple truth is this: There was a girl, and her uncle sold her.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
Bastian looked at the book. 'I wonder,' he said to himself, 'what's in a book while it's closed. Oh, I know it's full of letters printed on paper, but all the same, something must be happening, because as soon as I open it, there's a whole story with people I don't know yet and all kinds of adventures, deeds and battles. And sometimes there are storms at sea, or it takes you to strange cities and countries. All those things are somehow shut in a book. Of course you have to read it to find out. But it's already there, that's the funny thing. I just wish I knew how it could be.' Suddenly an almost festive mood came over him. He settled himself down, picked up the book, opened it to the first page, and began to read...
Michael Ende (The Neverending Story)
If you want to know what's in motherhood for you, as a woman, then - in truth - it's nothing you couldn't get from, say, reading the 100 greatest books in human history; learning a foreign language well enough to argue in it; climbing hills; loving recklessly; sitting quietly, alone, in the dawn; drinking whisky with revolutionaries; learning to do close-hand magic; swimming in a river in winter; growing foxgloves, peas and roses; calling your mum; singing while you walk; being polite; and always, always helping strangers. No one has ever claimed for a moment that childless men have missed out on a vital aspect of their existence, and were the poorer, and crippled by it.
Caitlin Moran (How to Be a Woman)
Sometimes I read the same books over and over and over. What's great about books is that the stuff inside doesn't change. People say you can't judge a book by its cover but that's not true because it says right on the cover what's inside. And no matter how many times you read that book the words and pictures don't change. You can open and close books a million times and they stay the same. They look the same. They say the same words. The charts and pictures are the same colors. Books are not like people. Books are safe.
Kathryn Erskine (Mockingbird)
November 20. Andrius's birthday. I had counted the days carefully. I wished him a happy birthday when I woke and thought about him while hauling logs during the day. At night, I sat by the light of the stove, reading Dombey and Son. Krasivaya. I still hadn't found the word. Maybe I'd find it if I jumped ahead. I flipped through some of the pages. A marking caught my eye. I leafed backward. Something was written in pencil in the margin of 278. Hello, Lina. You've gotten to page 278. That's pretty good! I gasped, then pretened I was engrossed in the book. I looked at Andrius's handwritting. I ran my finger over this elongated letters in my name. Were there more? I knew I should read onward. I couldn't wait. I turned though the pages carefully, scanning the margins. Page 300: Are you really on page 300 or are you skipping ahead now? I had to stifle my laughter. Page 322: Dombey and Son is boring. Admit it. Page 364: I'm thinking of you. Page 412: Are you maybe thinking of me? I closed my eyes. Yes, I'm thinking of you. Happy birthday, Andrius.
Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray)
Sanity returns (in most cases) when the book is closed.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle, #4))
I pledge to set out to live a thousand lives between printed pages. I pledge to use books as doors to other minds, old and young, girl and boy, man and animal. I pledge to use books to open windows to a thousand different worlds and to the thousand different faces of my own world. I pledge to use books to make my universe spread much wider than the world I live in every day. I pledge to treat my books like friends, visiting them all from time to time and keeping them close.
Cornelia Funke
The alchemist picked up a book that someone in the caravan had brought. Leafing through the pages, he found a story about Narcissus. The alchemist knew the legend of Narcissus, a youth who knelt daily beside a lake to contemplate his own beauty. He was so fascinated by himself that, one morning, he fell into the lake and drowned. At the spot where he fell, a flower was born, which was called the narcissus. But this was not how the author of the book ended the story. He said that when Narcissus died, the goddesses of the forest appeared and found the lake, which had been fresh water, transformed into a lake of salty tears. 'Why do you weep?' the goddesses asked. 'I weep for Narcissus," the lake replied. 'Ah, it is no surprise that you weep for Narcissus,' they said, 'for though we always pursued him in the forest, you alone could contemplate his beauty close at hand.' 'But... was Narcissus beautiful?' the lake asked. 'Who better than you to know that?' the goddesses asked in wonder. 'After all, it was by your banks that he knelt each day to contemplate himself!' The lake was silent for some time. Finally, it said: 'I weep for Narcissus, but I never noticed that Narcissus was beautiful. I weep because, each time he knelt beside my banks, I could see, in the depths of his eyes, my own beauty reflected.' 'What a lovely story,' the alchemist thought.
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
But it's writing, damn it, not washing the car or putting on eyeliner. If you can take it seriously, we can do business. If you can't or won't, it's time for you to close the book and do something else. Wash the car, maybe.
Stephen King (On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft)
You are alive. You have fought and battled them. You are scarred and worn and sometimes exhausted and were perhaps even close to giving up, but you did not.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
All the books of the world full of thoughts and poems are nothing in comparison to a minute of sobbing, when feeling surges in waves, the soul feels itself profoundly and finds itself. Tears are the melting ice of snow. All angels are close to the crying person.
Hermann Hesse (The Fairy Tales of Hermann Hesse)
This overwhelming desire to be close to you directly conflicts with my intense fear of people.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories, Vol. 3)
When tragedy hits close to home, like your neighbor’s house, it really makes you stop and think. And while you’re thinking, I’ll be speeding off in the getaway car.
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
The only life that matters is in your mind. The only truth is the one that lives invisibly, that waits even after you close the book. Silence, too, is a kind of music. Silence will last.
Madeleine Thien (Do Not Say We Have Nothing)
All human actions are motivated at their deepest level by two emotions--fear or love. In truth there are only two emotions--only two words in the language of the soul.... Fear wraps our bodies in clothing, love allows us to stand naked. Fear clings to and clutches all that we have, love gives all that we have away. Fear holds close, love holds dear. Fear grasps, love lets go. Fear rankles, love soothes. Fear attacks, love amends.
Neale Donald Walsch (Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 1)
Disappointment will come when your effort does not give you the expected return. If things don’t go as planned or if you face failure. Failure is extremely difficult to handle, but those that do come out stronger. What did this failure teach me? is the question you will need to ask. You will feel miserable. You will want to quit, like I wanted to when nine publishers rejected my first book. Some IITians kill themselves over low grades – how silly is that? But that is how much failure can hurt you. But it’s life. If challenges could always be overcome, they would cease to be a challenge. And remember – if you are failing at something, that means you are at your limit or potential. And that’s where you want to be. Disappointment’ s cousin is Frustration, the second storm. Have you ever been frustrated? It happens when things are stuck. This is especially relevant in India. From traffic jams to getting that job you deserve, sometimes things take so long that you don’t know if you chose the right goal. After books, I set the goal of writing for Bollywood, as I thought they needed writers. I am called extremely lucky, but it took me five years to get close to a release. Frustration saps excitement, and turns your initial energy into something negative, making you a bitter person. How did I deal with it? A realistic assessment of the time involved – movies take a long time to make even though they are watched quickly, seeking a certain enjoyment in the process rather than the end result – at least I was learning how to write scripts, having a side plan – I had my third book to write and even something as simple as pleasurable distractions in your life – friends, food, travel can help you overcome it. Remember, nothing is to be taken seriously. Frustration is a sign somewhere, you took it too seriously.
Chetan Bhagat
Reading is a private pursuit; one that takes place behind closed doors.
Siri Hustvedt (The Summer Without Men)
My fingers positively itched to drift at length along their spines, to arrive at one whose lure I could not pass, to pluck it down, to inch it open, then to close my eyes and inhale the soul-sparking scent of old and literate dust.
Kate Morton (The Distant Hours)
I know there were no guaratnees. No way of knowing what came next for me, or him, or anything. Some things dont last forever, but some things do. Like a great song, or a good book, or a good memory you can take out and unfold in your darkest times, pressing down the corners and peering close, hoping you still see the person you see there . . . That was the thing, you just never knew. Right now, though, I wanted not to think forward or backward, but only to lose myself in the words.
Sarah Dessen (This Lullaby)
And, in the darkness, David closed his eyes as all that was lost was found again.
John Connolly (The Book of Lost Things)
I understood we used to be close. But they were like books i'd read two summer ago; I knew I'd liked them, but I couldn't tell you now what they'd been about.
Sara Shepard (The Lying Game (The Lying Game, #1))
On Writing: Aphorisms and Ten-Second Essays 1. A beginning ends what an end begins. 2. The despair of the blank page: it is so full. 3. In the head Art’s not democratic. I wait a long time to be a writer good enough even for myself. 4. The best time is stolen time. 5. All work is the avoidance of harder work. 6. When I am trying to write I turn on music so I can hear what is keeping me from hearing. 7. I envy music for being beyond words. But then, every word is beyond music. 8. Why would we write if we’d already heard what we wanted to hear? 9. The poem in the quarterly is sure to fail within two lines: flaccid, rhythmless, hopelessly dutiful. But I read poets from strange languages with freedom and pleasure because I can believe in all that has been lost in translation. Though all works, all acts, all languages are already translation. 10. Writer: how books read each other. 11. Idolaters of the great need to believe that what they love cannot fail them, adorers of camp, kitsch, trash that they cannot fail what they love. 12. If I didn’t spend so much time writing, I’d know a lot more. But I wouldn’t know anything. 13. If you’re Larkin or Bishop, one book a decade is enough. If you’re not? More than enough. 14. Writing is like washing windows in the sun. With every attempt to perfect clarity you make a new smear. 15. There are silences harder to take back than words. 16. Opacity gives way. Transparency is the mystery. 17. I need a much greater vocabulary to talk to you than to talk to myself. 18. Only half of writing is saying what you mean. The other half is preventing people from reading what they expected you to mean. 19. Believe stupid praise, deserve stupid criticism. 20. Writing a book is like doing a huge jigsaw puzzle, unendurably slow at first, almost self-propelled at the end. Actually, it’s more like doing a puzzle from a box in which several puzzles have been mixed. Starting out, you can’t tell whether a piece belongs to the puzzle at hand, or one you’ve already done, or will do in ten years, or will never do. 21. Minds go from intuition to articulation to self-defense, which is what they die of. 22. The dead are still writing. Every morning, somewhere, is a line, a passage, a whole book you are sure wasn’t there yesterday. 23. To feel an end is to discover that there had been a beginning. A parenthesis closes that we hadn’t realized was open). 24. There, all along, was what you wanted to say. But this is not what you wanted, is it, to have said it?
James Richardson
Closing his eyes, he sent up a prayer to anyone who was listening, asking please, for God's sake, stop sending him signals that they were right for each other. He'd read that book, seen the movie, bought the soundtrack, the DVD, the T-shirt, the mug, the bobble-head, and the insider's guide. He knew every reason they could have been lock and key. But just as he was aware of all that aligned them, he was even clearer on how they were damned to be ever apart.
J.R. Ward (Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #8))
... so this is for us. This is for us who sing, write, dance, act, study, run and love and this is for doing it even if no one will ever know because the beauty is in the act of doing it. Not what it can lead to. This is for the times I lose myself while writing, singing, playing and no one is around and they will never know but I will forever remember and that shines brighter than any praise or fame or glory I will ever have, and this is for you who write or play or read or sing by yourself with the light off and door closed when the world is asleep and the stars are aligned and maybe no one will ever hear it or read your words or know your thoughts but it doesn’t make it less glorious. It makes it ethereal. Mysterious. Infinite. For it belongs to you and whatever God or spirit you believe in and only you can decide how much it meant and means and will forever mean and other people will experience it too through you. Through your spirit. Through the way you talk. Through the way you walk and love and laugh and care and I never meant to write this long but what I want to say is: Don’t try to present your art by making other people read or hear or see or touch it; make them feel it. Wear your art like your heart on your sleeve and keep it alive by making people feel a little better. Feel a little lighter. Create art in order for yourself to become yourself and let your very existence be your song, your poem, your story. Let your very identity be your book. Let the way people say your name sound like the sweetest melody. So go create. Take photographs in the wood, run alone in the rain and sing your heart out high up on a mountain where no one will ever hear and your very existence will be the most hypnotising scar. Make your life be your art and you will never be forgotten.
Charlotte Eriksson (Another Vagabond Lost To Love: Berlin Stories on Leaving & Arriving)
I myself am convinced that the theory of evolution, especially to the extent to which it has been applied, will be one of the greatest jokes in the history books of the future. Posterity will marvel that so very flimsy and dubious an hypothesis could be accepted with the incredible credulity it has.
Malcolm Muggeridge
I’m just thinking that would be pleasant. To be reading, say, out of a book, and you to come up and touch me – my neck, say, or my knee – and I’d carry on reading, I might let a smile, no more, wouldn’t lose my place on the page. It would be pleasant to come to that. We’d come so close, do you see, that I wouldn’t be surprised out of myself every time you touched.
Jamie O'Neill (At Swim, Two Boys)
Do you know the feeling when you start reading a new book before the membrane of the last one has had time to close behind you? You leave the previous book with ideas and themes–characters even–caught in the fibers of your clothes, and when you open the new book, they are still with you
Diane Setterfield (The Thirteenth Tale)
Every book is an image of solitude. It is a tangible object that one can pick up, put down, open, and close, and its words represent many months if not many years, of one man’s solitude, so that with each word one reads in a book one might say to himself that he is confronting a particle of that solitude
Paul Auster (The Invention of Solitude)
Dullard: Someone who looks up a thing in the encyclopedia, turns directly to the entry, reads it, and then closes the book.
Philip José Farmer
I used to cry over a story and then close the book, and it all would be over. Now everything resonates, sticks like a splinter, festers.
Nina LaCour (We Are Okay)
Vegas?" I asked. His brow furrowed, unsure of where I was headed. "Yeah?" "Have you thought about going back?" His eyebrows shot up. "I don't think that's a good idea for me." "What if we just went for a night?" He looked around the dark room, confused. "A night?" "Marry me," I said without hesitation. I was surprised at how quickly and easily the words came. His mouth spread into a broad smile. "When?" I shrugged. "We can book a flight tomorrow. It's spring break. I dont't have anything going on tomorrow, do you?" "I'm callin' your bluff," he said, watching my reaction closely as he was connected. "I need two tickets to vegas, please. Tomorrow. Hmmmm...," he looked at me, waiting for me to change my mind. "Two days, round trip. Whatever you have.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
Once, she closed the book abruptly and said with annoyance, "That's enough." "Why?" "Because I've had it, it's always the same story: inside something small there's something even smaller that wants to leap out, and outside something large there's always someting larger that wants to keep it a prisoner.
Elena Ferrante (The Story of a New Name (The Neapolitan Novels, #2))
It might have been brief, but so much of a kiss - a first kiss especially - is the moment before your lips touch, and before your eyes close, when you're filled with the sight of each other, and with the compulsion, the pull, and it's like...it's like...finding a book inside another book. A small treasure of a book hidden inside a big common one - like...spells printed on dragonfly wings, discovered tucked inside a cookery book, right between the recipes for cabbages and corn. That's what a kiss is like, he thought, no matter how brief: It's a tiny, magical story, and a miraculous interruption of the mundane.
Laini Taylor (Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1))
The law of attraction is synonymous to the law of sacrifice, in which you get in return what you are decisively choose to give up. The universe in all her infinity beauty generously opens up gates that you had no idea existed when you close others, but she requires you to walk through the gates solely on your own will and strength, with the other doors that you have left behind often times being forever locked and eternally inaccessible.
Forrest Curran (Purple Buddha Project: Purple Book of Self-Love)
It has always been a happy thought to me that the creek runs on all night, new every minute, whether I wish it or know it or care, as a closed book on a shelf continues to whisper to itself its own inexhaustible tale. So many things have been shown so to me on these banks, so much light has illumined me by reflection here where the water comes down, that I can hardly believe that this grace never flags, that the pouring from ever-renewable sources is endless, impartial, and free.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
Sacrifice is a terribly difficult thing to do, of which you will be asked to do many times along your path. Only with genuine love will you be able to make these sacrifices because often times you will simply want to refuse the sacrifices that the universe asks of you to make. When you close one door, another opens; that is how the universe works and through sacrifice we are given the keys to the next door in life.
Forrest Curran (Purple Buddha Project: Purple Book of Self-Love)
But I can now understand why people read, why they like to get lost in somebody else's life. Sometimes I'll read a sentence and it will make me sit up, jolt me, because it is something that I have recently felt but never said out loud. I want to reach into the page and tell the characters that I understand them, that they're not alone, that I'm not alone, that it's ok to feel like this. And then the lunch bell rings, the book closes, and I'm plunged back into reality.
Cecelia Ahern (Flawed (Flawed, #1))
Most of all I grieve for my soul because even though I do, finally, believe there is a God, and that I have met him, I do not know if he has given me an immortal soul, but only one that was to last me as long as my body lasted. I do not know if when the last page of my book is closed, that will be the end of me.
Christopher Pike (The Last Vampire (The Last Vampire, #1))
I like to watch his hands as he works, making a blank page bloom with strokes of ink, adding touches of color to our previously black and yellowish book. His face takes on a special look when he concentrates. His usual easy expression is replaced by something more intense and removed that suggests an entire world locked away inside him. I've seen flashes of this before: in the arena, or when he speaks to a crowd, or that time he shoved the Peacekeepers' guns away from me in District 11. I don't know quite what to make of it. I also become a little fixated on his eyelashes, which ordinarily you don't notice much because they're so blond. But up close, in the sunlight slanting in from the window, they're a light golden color and so long I don't see how they keep from getting all tangled up when he blinks.
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
I have at this moment so many fundamental thoughts, so many truly metaphysical things to say, that I suddenly get tired and decide not to write any more, not to think any more, but to allow the fever of speaking to make me sleepy, and with my eyes closed, like a cat, I play with everything I could have said.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
Sometimes I close my eyes and paint these walls a different color. I imagine I’m wearing warm socks and sitting by a fire. I imagine someone’s given me a book to read, a story to take me away form the torture of my own mind. I want to be someone else somewhere else with something else to fill my mind. I want to run, to feel the wind tug at my hair. I want to pretend that this is just a story within a story. That this cell is just a scene, that these hands don’t belong to me, that this window leads to somewhere beautiful if only I could break it. I pretend this pillow is clean, I pretend this bed is soft. I pretend and pretend and pretend until the world becomes so breathtaking behind my eyelids that I can no longer contain it. But then my eyes fly open and I’m caught around the throat by a pair of hands that won’t stop suffocating suffocating suffocating. My thoughts, I think, will soon be sound. My mind, I hope, will soon be found.
Tahereh Mafi (Destroy Me (Shatter Me, #1.5))
I closed my eyes, put my right hand on top of the book, and passed it lightly across the cover. It was cool and smooth like a stone from the bottom of the brook, and it stilled me. A whole other world is inside there, I thought to myself, and that's where I want to be.
Katherine Hannigan (Ida B. . . and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World)
The study's small ventilation window bumped open, and Vin squeezed through, pulling in a puff of mist behind her. She closed the window, then surveyed the room. "More?" she asked incredulously. "You found more books?" "Of course," Elend said. "How many of those things have people written?" she asked with exasperation.
Brandon Sanderson (The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, #2))
Anyway. I’m not allowed to watch TV, although I am allowed to rent documentaries that are approved for me, and I can read anything I want. My favorite book is A Brief History of Time, even though I haven’t actually finished it, because the math is incredibly hard and Mom isn’t good at helping me. One of my favorite parts is the beginning of the first chapter, where Stephen Hawking tells about a famous scientist who was giving a lecture about how the earth orbits the sun, and the sun orbits the solar system, and whatever. Then a woman in the back of the room raised her hand and said, “What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.” So the scientist asked her what the tortoise was standing on. And she said, “But it’s turtles all the way down!” I love that story, because it shows how ignorant people can be. And also because I love tortoises.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
That is another chamber of my heart that shows no electrical activity - the chamber that used to flicker into life when I saw a film that moved me, or read a book that inspired me, or listened to music that made me want to cry. I closed that chamber myself, for all the usual reasons. And now I seem to have made a pact with some philistine devil: if I don't attempt to re-open it, I will be allowed just enough energy and optimism to get through a working day without wanting to hang myself.
Nick Hornby (How to Be Good)
Papa sat with me tonight. He brought the accordion down and sat close to where Max used to sit. I often look at his fingers and face when he plays. the accordion breathes. There are lines on his cheeks. They look drawn on, and for some reason, when I see them, I want to cry. It is not for any sadness or pride. I just like the way they move and change. Sometimes I think my papa is an accordion. When he looks at me and smiles and breathes, I hear the notes.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
I am clumsy, drop glasses and get drunk on Monday afternoons. I read Seneca and can recite Shakespeare by heart, but I mess up the laundry, don’t answer my phone and blame the world when something goes wrong. I think I have a dream, but most of the days I’m still sleeping. The grass is cut. It smells like strawberries. Today I finished four books and cleaned my drawers. Do you believe in a God? Can I tell you about Icarus? How he flew too close to the sun? I want to make coming home your favourite part of the day. I want to leave tiny little words lingering in your mind, on nights when you’re far away and can’t sleep. I want to make everything around us beautiful; make small things mean a little more. Make you feel a little more. A little better, a little lighter. The coffee is warm, this cup is yours. I want to be someone you can’t live without. I want to be someone you can’t live without.
Charlotte Eriksson (He loved me some days. I'm sure he did: 99 essays on growth through loss)
Max," she said. He turned and briefly closed his eyes as the girl continued. There was once a strange, small man,"she said. Her arms were loose but her hands were fists at her side. "But there was a word shaker,too." One of the Jews on his way to Dachau had stopped walking now. He stood absolutely still as the others swerved morosely around him, leaving him completely alone. His eyes staggered, and it was so simple. The words were given across from the girl to the Jew. They climbed on to him. The next time she spoke, the questions stumbled from her mouth. Hot tears fought for room in her eyes as she would not let them out. Better to stand resolute and proud. Let the words do all of it. "Is it really you? the young man asked," she said. " Is it from your cheek that I took the seed.?" Max Vandenburg remained standing. He did not drop to his knees. People and Jews and clouds all stopped. They watched. As he stood, Max looked first at the girl and then stared directly into the sky who was wide and blue and magnificent. There were heavy beams-- planks of son-- falling randomly, wonderfully to the road. Clouds arched their backs to look behind as they started again to move on. "It's such a beautiful day," he said, and his voice was in many pieces. A great day to die. A great day to die,like this. Liesel walked at him. She was courageous enought to reach out and hold his bearded face. "Is it really you,Max?" Such a brilliant German day and its attentive crowd. He let his mouth kiss her palm. "Yes, Liesel, it's me," and he held the girl's hand in his face and cried onto her fingers. He cried as the soldiers came and a small collection of insolent Jews stood and watched.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
This morning, Tegus welcomed me again with an arm clasp and cheek touch. I wasn't startled this time, and I breathed in at his neck. How can I describe the scent of his skin? He smells something like cinnamon-- brown and dry and sweet and warm. Ancestors, is it wrong for me to imagine laying my head on his chest and closing my eyes and breathing in his smell?
Shannon Hale (Book of a Thousand Days)
Closing The Cycle One always has to know when a stage comes to an end. If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through. Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters - whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished. Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents' house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden? You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened. You can tell yourself you won't take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that. But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister, everyone will be finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill. None of us can be in the present and the past at the same time, not even when we try to understand the things that happen to us. What has passed will not return: we cannot for ever be children, late adolescents, sons that feel guilt or rancor towards our parents, lovers who day and night relive an affair with someone who has gone away and has not the least intention of coming back. Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away. That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home. Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts - and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place. Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them. Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood. Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else. Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the "ideal moment." Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back. Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person - nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need. This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important. Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life. Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust. Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.
Paulo Coelho
Elinor had read countless stories in which the main characters fell sick at some point because they were so unhappy. She had always thought that a very romantic idea, but she’d dismissed it as a pure invention of the world of books. All those wilting heroes and heroines who suddenly gave up the ghost just because of unrequited love or longing for something they’d lost! Elinor had always enjoyed their sufferings—as a reader will. After all, that was what you wanted from books: great emotions you’d never felt yourself, pain you could leave behind by closing the book if it got too bad. Death and destruction felt deliciously real conjured up with the right words, and you could leave them behind between the pages as you pleased, at no cost or risk to yourself.
Cornelia Funke (Inkdeath (Inkworld, #3))
Franz Kafka is Dead He died in a tree from which he wouldn't come down. "Come down!" they cried to him. "Come down! Come down!" Silence filled the night, and the night filled the silence, while they waited for Kafka to speak. "I can't," he finally said, with a note of wistfulness. "Why?" they cried. Stars spilled across the black sky. "Because then you'll stop asking for me." The people whispered and nodded among themselves. They put their arms around each other, and touched their children's hair. They took off their hats and raised them to the small, sickly man with the ears of a strange animal, sitting in his black velvet suit in the dark tree. Then they turned and started for home under the canopy of leaves. Children were carried on their fathers' shoulders, sleepy from having been taken to see who wrote his books on pieces of bark he tore off the tree from which he refused to come down. In his delicate, beautiful, illegible handwriting. And they admired those books, and they admired his will and stamina. After all: who doesn't wish to make a spectacle of his loneliness? One by one families broke off with a good night and a squeeze of the hands, suddenly grateful for the company of neighbors. Doors closed to warm houses. Candles were lit in windows. Far off, in his perch in the trees , Kafka listened to it all: the rustle of the clothes being dropped to the floor, or lips fluttering along naked shoulders, beds creaking along the weight of tenderness. It all caught in the delicate pointed shells of his ears and rolled like pinballs through the great hall of his mind. That night a freezing wind blew in. When the children woke up, they went to the window and found the world encased in ice. One child, the smallest, shrieked out in delight and her cry tore through the silence and exploded the ice of a giant oak tree. The world shone. They found him frozen on the ground like a bird. It's said that when they put their ears to the shell of his ears, they could hear themselves.
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
Listen, I don't want to be an asshole to you,' I say. So much for the Alex Fuentes Show. 'I know. It's your image, what Alex Fuentes is all about. It's your brand, your logo... dangerous, deadly, hot and sexy Mexican. I wrote the book on creating an image. I wasn't aiming for the blonde bimbo look, though. More like the perfect, untouchable look.' Woah. Rewind. Brittany called me hot and sexy.... 'You do realize you called me hot.' 'As if you didn't know.' I didn't know Brittany Ellis considered me hot. 'For the record, I thought you were untouchable. But now that I know you think I'm a hot, sexy Mexican god...' 'I never said the word "god,"' I put my finger to my lips. 'Shh. Let me enjoy this fantasy for a minute.' I closed my eyes.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
Lara walked along the tracks following a path worn by pilgrims and then turned into the fields. Here she stopped and, closing her eyes, took a deep breath of the flower-scented air of the broad expanse around her. It was dearer to her than her kin, better than a lover, wiser than a book. For a moment she rediscovered the purpose of her life. She was here on earth to grasp the meaning of its wild enchantment and to call each thing by its right name, or, if this were not within her power, to give birth out of love for life to successors who would do it in her place.
Boris Pasternak
But then books, as I'm sure you know, seldom prompt a course of action. Books generally just confirm you in what you have, perhaps unwittingly, decided to do already. You go to a book to have your convictions corroborated. A book, as it were, closes the book.
Alan Bennett (The Uncommon Reader)
To get a better idea try this: focus on these words, and whatever you do don’t let your eyes wander past the perimeter of this page. Now imagine just beyond your peripheral vision, maybe behind you, maybe to the side of you, maybe even in front of you, but right where you can’t see it, something is quietly closing in on you, so quiet in fact that you can only hear it as silence. Find those pockets without sound. That’s where it is. Right at this moment. But don’t look. Keep your eyes here. Now take a deep breath. Go ahead take and even deeper one. Only this time as you start to exhale try to imagine how fast it will happen, how hard it’s gonna hit you, how many times it will stab your jugular with it’s teeth or are they nails?, don’t worry, that particular detail doesn’t matter, because before you have time to even process that you should be moving, you should be running, you should at the very least be flinging up your arms – you sure as hell should be getting rid of this book – you won’t have time to even scream. Don’t look. I didn’t.
Mark Z. Danielewski
Most of the writers I know work every day, in obscurity and close to poverty, trying to say one thing well and true. Day in, day out, they labor to find their voice, to learn their trade, to understand nuance and pace. And then, facing a sea of rejections, they hear about something like Barbara Bush’s dog getting a book deal.
Timothy Egan
Like no one else... you share that part of my mind that associates itself mostly with ideal things and places... The impression thinking about you gives me is very closely linked with that given me by a lonely hillside or a sunny afternoon... or books that have meant more to me than I can explain... This is grand, but still it isn't enough for this world... The earthly and obvious part of me longs to see and touch you and realise you as tangible.
Vera Brittain (Testament of Youth)
Relationships - of all kinds - are like sand held in your hand. Held loosely, with an open hand, the sand remains where it is.The minute you close your hand and squeeze tightly to hold on, the sand trickles through your fingers. You may hold onto it, but most will be spilled. A relationship is like that. Held loosely, with respect and freedom for the other person, it is likely to remain intact. But hold too tightly, too possessively, and the relationship slips away and is lost.
Kaleel Jamison (The Nibble Theory and the Kernel of Power: A Book about Leadership, Self-Empowerment, and Personal Growth)
Demon. Gremlin. Poltergeist. Ghost. Phantom. Spirit. Shadow. Ghoul. Devil. People are afraid of them, so they relegate their existence to stories, volumes of books that can be closed and put on the shelf or left behind at a bed and breakfast; they clench their eyes shut, so they will see no evil. But trust me when I tell you that the zebra is real. Somewhere, the zebra is dancing.
Garth Stein (The Art of Racing in the Rain)
Life is terrifying. None of us have a rule book. None of us know what we're doing here. So, the easiest way to stare reality in the face and not utterly lose your shit is to believe that you have control over it. If you believe you have control, then you believe you're at the top. And if you're at the top, then people who aren't like you... well, they've got to be somewhere lower, right? Every species does this. Does it again and again and again. Doesn't matter if they do it to themselves, or another species, or someone they created.
Becky Chambers (A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers, #2))
When the artist is alive in any person, whatever his kind of work may be, he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressive creature. He becomes interesting to other people. He disturbs, upsets, enlightens, and opens ways for better understanding. Where those who are not artists are trying to close the book, he opens it and shows there are still more pages possible.
Robert Henri
In most crime novels the violent act, usually the murder, is the engine. Take that away and there is little left to drive the story along. So I do get a little cross with authors who aren’t precise about the violence they’re using to create tension because I feel they’re being dishonest with their readers. If people don’t like the blood and violence in my books, fine, they can always close the cover and put it aside and maybe read a romance instead. – Mo Hayder
Mo Hayder
I had a veritable mania for finishing whatever I began, which often got me into difficulties. On one occasion I started to read the works of Voltaire when I learned, to my dismay, that there were close on one hundred large volumes in small print which that monster had written while drinking seventy-two cups of black coffee per diem. It had to be done, but when I laid aside the last book I was very glad, and said, “Never more!
Nikola Tesla
Will gave a short, disbelieving laugh. "It's true," he said. "I am no hero." "No," Tessa said. "You are a person, just like me." His eyes searched her face, mystified; she held his hand tighter, lacing her fingers with his. "Don't you see, Will? You're a person like me. You are like me. You say the things I think but never say out loud. You read the books I read. You love the poetry I love. You make me laugh with your ridiculous songs and the way you see the truth of everything. I feel like you can look inside me and see all the places I am odd or unusual and fit your heart around them. For you are odd and unusual in the same way." With the hand that was not holding his, she touched his cheek, lightly. "We are the same." Will's eyes fluttered closed; she felt his lashes against her fingertips. When he spoke again, his voice was ragged but controlled. "Don't say those things, Tessa. Don't say them." "Why not?" "You said I am a good man," he said. "But I am not that good a man. And I am—I am catastrophically in love with you.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
Everyone always wants to know how you can tell when it's true love, and the answer is this: when the pain doesn't fade and the scars don't heal, and it's too damned late. The tears threaten to return, so I willfully banish all thoughts from my head and take a few more deep breaths. I'm suddenly dizzy from the panic attack I've just suffered, and I close my eyes, resting my head against the warm leather of my steering wheel. Loneliness doesn't exist on any single plane of consciousness. It's generally a low throb, barely audible, like the hum of a Mercedes engine in park, but every so often the demands of the highway call for a burst of acceleration, and the hum becomes a thunderous, elemental roar, and once again you're reminded of what this baby's carrying under the hood.
Jonathan Tropper (The Book of Joe)
Someone was coming through the velvet. He was pulling it wide, he was stepping onto Kestrel’s balcony—close, closer still as she turned and the curtain swayed, then stopped. He pinned the velvet against frame. He held the sweep of it high, at the level of his gray eyes, which were silver in the shadows. He was here. He had come. Arin.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy, #2))
He lay with yellow hair and closed eyes, and the book thief ran toward him and fell down. She dropped the black book. "Rudy," she sobbed, "wake up...." She grabbed him by his shirt and gave him just the slightest disbelieving shake. "Wake up, Rudy," and now, as the sky went on heating and showering ash, Liesel was holding Rudy Steiner's shirt by the front. "Rudy, please." THe tears grappled with her face. "Rudy, please, wake up, Goddamn it, wake up, I love you. Come on, Rudy, come on, Jesse Owens, don't you know I love you, wake up, wake up, wake up....
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
It took me years to learn to sit at my desk for more than two minutes at a time, to put up with the solitude and the terror of failure, and the godawful silence and the white paper. And now that I can take it . . . now that I can finally do it . . . I'm really raring to go. I was in my study writing. I was learning how to go down into myself and salvage bits and pieces of the past. I was learning how to sneak up on the unconscious and how to catch my seemingly random thoughts and fantasies. By closing me out of his world, Bennett had opened all sorts of worlds inside my own head. Gradually I began to realize that none of the subjects I wrote poems about engaged my deepest feelings, that there was a great chasm between what I cared about and what I wrote about. Why? What was I afraid of? Myself, most of all, it seemed. "Freedom is an illusion," Bennett would have said and, in a way, I too would have agreed. Sanity, moderation, hard work, stability . . . I believed in them too. But what was that other voice inside of me which kept urging me on toward zipless fucks, and speeding cars and endless wet kisses and guts full of danger? What was that other voice which kept calling me coward! and egging me on to burn my bridges, to swallow the poison in one gulp instead of drop by drop, to go down into the bottom of my fear and see if I could pull myself up? Was it a voice? Or was it a thump? Something even more primitive than speech. A kind of pounding in my gut which I had nicknamed my "hunger-thump." It was as if my stomach thought of itself as a heart. And no matter how I filled it—with men, with books, with food—it refused to be still. Unfillable—that's what I was. Nymphomania of the brain. Starvation of the heart.
Erica Jong (Fear of Flying)
Kyler half-jumped half-threw himself toward my open window. I was wussy. Closing my eyes, I balled my hands up near my chest and let out a little shriek. There was a sound of flesh hitting wood and my eyes flew open. He came through the open window, landing on his feet like a damn cat. He stumbled though and banged into my desk, causing books and my computer to shake. He held his hands out to his sides and looked around slowly before his gaze settled on me. “I am awesome.” I could barely breathe. “Yeah.” A knock sounded on my bedroom door a second before it opened. Dad popped his head in, eyes wide. “I’m just making sure he made it up here alive.” I nodded and Kyler flashed a grin. “I’m in one piece.” “That’s good to see.” Dad started to close the door, but stopped. “Next time, use the front door, Kyler.” “Yes, sir,” Kyler said.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Frigid (Frigid, #1))
It didn't last, it wasn't clear for much longer, and that's why we broke up, but when I close this book and give it to you, I don't think about that, just us holding the book it our hands to buy it and take it here with us, because damn it Ed, that's not why we broke up. I love it, I miss it, I hate to give it back to you, this complicated thing, it's why we stayed together.
Daniel Handler (Why We Broke Up)
Consider a small child sitting on his mother's lap while she reads him a picture book. The picture book opens to a width that effectively places the child at the center of a closed circle - that of mother's body, arms, and the picture book... That circle, so private and intimate, is a place apart form the demands and stresses of daily life, a sanctuary in and from which the child can explore the many worlds offered in picture books. Despite all of our society's technological advances, it still just takes one child, one book, and one reader, to create this unique space, to work this everyday magic.
Martha V. Parravano
The Great Gatsby's my favorite book," he says. "F. Scott Fitzgerald dedicated it to Zelda." "His wife?" I say. "Yeah. His crazy-ass wife who he had no business loving that much," he says, giving me a loaded look. "You know what their joint epitaph says? It's a quote from the book... Their kid picked it for them." I shake my head. "What's it say?" His eyes close halfway as he recites, "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
Rick Yancey (The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1))
And as I close this chaotic volume I open again the strange small book from which all Christianity came; and I am again haunted by a kind of confirmation. The tremendous figure which fills the Gospels towers in this respect, as in every other, above all the thinkers who ever thought themselves tall. His pathos was natural, almost casual. The Stoics, ancient and modern, were proud of concealing their tears. He never concealed His tears; He showed them plainly on His open face at any daily sight, such as the far sight of His native city. Yet He concealed something. Solemn supermen and imperial diplomatists are proud of restraining their anger. He never restrained His anger. He flung furniture down the front steps of the Temple, and asked men how they expected to escape the damnation of Hell. Yet He restrained something. I say it with reverence; there was in that shattering personality a thread that must be called shyness. There was something that He hid from all men when He went up a mountain to pray. There was something that He covered constantly by abrupt silence or impetuous isolation. There was some one thing that was too great for God to show us when He walked upon our earth; and I have sometimes fancied that it was His mirth.
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
Marry me," I said without hesitation. I was surprised at how quickly and easily the words came. His mouth spread into a broad smile. "When?" I shrugged. "We can book a flight tomorrow. It's Spring Break. I don't have anything going on tomorrow, do you?" "I'm callin' your bluff," he said, reaching for his phone. "America Airlines," he said, watching my reaction closely as he was connected. "I need two tickets to Vegas, please. Tomorrow. Hmmmmm...," he looked at me, waiting for me to change my mind. "Two days, round trip. Whatever you have." I rested my chin on his chest, waiting for him to book the tickets. The longer I let him stay on the phone, the wider his smile became.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
I care not how humble your bookshelf may be, or how lonely the room which it adorns. Close the door of that room behind you, shut off with it all the cares of the outer world, plunge back into the soothing company of the great dead, and then you are through the magic portal into that fair land whither worry and vexation can follow you no more. You have left all that is vulgar and all that is sordid behind you. There stand your noble, silent comrades, waiting in their ranks. Pass your eye down their files. Choose your man. And then you have but to hold up your hand to him and away you go together into dreamland
Arthur Conan Doyle (Through The Magic Door)
Dear Goat, How does one fall in love? Do you trip? Do you stumble, lose your balance and drop to the sidewalk, graze your knee, graze your heart? Do you crash to the stony ground? Is there a precipice, from which you float, over the edge, forever? I know I'm in love when I see you, I know when I long to see you. Not a muscle has moved. Leaves hang unruffled by any breeze. The air is still. I have fallen in love without taking step. When did this happen? I haven't even blinked. I'm on fire. Is that too banal for you? It's not, you know. You'll see. It's what happens. It's what matters. I'm on fire. I no longer eat, I forget to eat. Food looks silly to me, irrelevant. If I even notice it. But I notice nothing. My thoughts are full and raging, a house full of brothers, related by blood, feuding blood feuds: "I'm in love." "Typically stupid choice." "I am, though, I'm racked by love as if love were pain." "Go ahead. Fuck up your life. It's all wrong and you know it. Wake up. Face it." "There's only one face, it's all I see, awake or asleep." I threw the book out the window last night. I tried to forget. You are all wrong for me, I know it, but I no longer care for my thoughts unless they're thoughts of you. When I'm close to you, in your presence, I feel your hair brush my cheek when it does not. I look away from you, sometimes. Then I look back. When I tie my shoes, when I peel an orange, when I drive my car, when I lie down each night without you, I remain, As ever, Ram
Cathleen Schine (The Love Letter)
I'll tell you how the sun rose A ribbon at a time... It's a living book, this life; it folds out in a million settings, cast with a billion beautiful characters, and it is almost over for you. It doesn't matter how old you are; it is coming to a close quickly, and soon the credits will roll and all your friends will fold out of your funeral and drive back to their homes in cold and still and silence. And they will make a fire and pour some wine and think about how you once were . . . and feel a kind of sickness at the idea you never again will be. So soon you will be in that part of the book where you are holding the bulk of the pages in your left hand, and only a thin wisp of the story in your right. You will know by the page count, not by the narrative, that the Author is wrapping things up. You begin to mourn its ending, and want to pace yourself slowly toward its closure, knowing the last lines will speak of something beautiful, of the end of something long and earned, and you hope the thing closes out like last breaths, like whispers about how much and who the characters have come to love, and how authentic the sentiments feel when they have earned a hundred pages of qualification. And so my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home, some summer and some winter, some roses blooming out like children in a play. My hope is your story will be about changing, about getting something beautiful born inside of you, about learning to love a woman or a man, about learning to love a child, about moving yourself around water, around mountains, around friends, about learning to love others more than we love ourselves, about learning oneness as a way of understanding God. We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn't it?
Donald Miller (Through Painted Deserts: Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road)
Watching Italians eat (especially men, I have to say) is a form of tourism the books don't tell you about. They close their eyes, raise their eyebrows into accent marks, and make sounds of acute appreciation. It's fairly sexy. Of course I don't know how these men behave at home, if they help with the cooking or are vain and boorish and mistreat their wives. I realized Mediterranean cultures have their issues. Fine, don't burst my bubble. I didn’t want to marry these guys, I just wanted to watch. (p. 247)
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)
If they failed the project - when they failed the project - the book would give her one last excuse to see him. To tell him everything, she thought, letting her eyes slide closed. Everything she should have said already. She'd spit it all out, regardless of who was around to hear it. She'd tell him how she couldn't stop thinking about him, how she just wanted to be near him. She'd do the unspeakable. She'd let her hands slide inside his jacket and her arms slip around him.
Kelly Creagh (Nevermore (Nevermore, #1))
He is writing a book," said the King, following them out into the sunny, crisp gardens. "About the gardens here. We have two of his books already. Library, north side, O. What say you, Miss Azalea? Does he pass that list of your sisters'?" Azalea cocked her head. Was the king actually teasing her? "He'll have to shave," she said, deciding to take his lead. "And what," said the King, stroking his own close-trimmed beard, "is wrong with whiskers?" Azalea laughed, surprised at the King's uncharacteristic funning.
Heather Dixon Wallwork (Entwined)
I think about going to the lake, but I'm so weak that I barely make it to my meeting place with Gale. I sit on the rock where Cressida filmed us, but it's too wide without his body beside me. Several times I close my eyes and count to ten, thinking that when I open them, he will have materialized without a sound as he so often did. I have to remind myself that Gale's in 2 with a fancy job, probably kissing another pair of lips.
Suzanne Collins
That is when I understood the magical meaning of the circle. If you go away from a row, you can still come back into it. A row is an open formation. But a circle closes up, and if you go away from it, there is no way back. It is not by chance that the planets move in circles and that a rock coming loose from one of them goes inexorably away, carried off by centrifugal force. Like a meteorite broken off from a planet, I left the circle and have not stopped falling. Some people are granted their death as they are whirling around, and others are smashed at the end of their fall. And these others (I am one of them) always retain a kind of faint yearning for that lost ring dance, because we are all inhabitants of a universe where everything turns in circles.
Milan Kundera (The Book of Laughter and Forgetting)
A NATION'S GREATNESS DEPENDS ON ITS LEADER To vastly improve your country and truly make it great again, start by choosing a better leader. Do not let the media or the establishment make you pick from the people they choose, but instead choose from those they do not pick. Pick a leader from among the people who is heart-driven, one who identifies with the common man on the street and understands what the country needs on every level. Do not pick a leader who is only money-driven and does not understand or identify with the common man, but only what corporations need on every level. Pick a peacemaker. One who unites, not divides. A cultured leader who supports the arts and true freedom of speech, not censorship. Pick a leader who will not only bail out banks and airlines, but also families from losing their homes -- or jobs due to their companies moving to other countries. Pick a leader who will fund schools, not limit spending on education and allow libraries to close. Pick a leader who chooses diplomacy over war. An honest broker in foreign relations. A leader with integrity, one who says what they mean, keeps their word and does not lie to their people. Pick a leader who is strong and confident, yet humble. Intelligent, but not sly. A leader who encourages diversity, not racism. One who understands the needs of the farmer, the teacher, the doctor, and the environmentalist -- not only the banker, the oil tycoon, the weapons developer, or the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyist. Pick a leader who will keep jobs in your country by offering companies incentives to hire only within their borders, not one who allows corporations to outsource jobs for cheaper labor when there is a national employment crisis. Choose a leader who will invest in building bridges, not walls. Books, not weapons. Morality, not corruption. Intellectualism and wisdom, not ignorance. Stability, not fear and terror. Peace, not chaos. Love, not hate. Convergence, not segregation. Tolerance, not discrimination. Fairness, not hypocrisy. Substance, not superficiality. Character, not immaturity. Transparency, not secrecy. Justice, not lawlessness. Environmental improvement and preservation, not destruction. Truth, not lies. Most importantly, a great leader must serve the best interests of the people first, not those of multinational corporations. Human life should never be sacrificed for monetary profit. There are no exceptions. In addition, a leader should always be open to criticism, not silencing dissent. Any leader who does not tolerate criticism from the public is afraid of their dirty hands to be revealed under heavy light. And such a leader is dangerous, because they only feel secure in the darkness. Only a leader who is free from corruption welcomes scrutiny; for scrutiny allows a good leader to be an even greater leader. And lastly, pick a leader who will make their citizens proud. One who will stir the hearts of the people, so that the sons and daughters of a given nation strive to emulate their leader's greatness. Only then will a nation be truly great, when a leader inspires and produces citizens worthy of becoming future leaders, honorable decision makers and peacemakers. And in these times, a great leader must be extremely brave. Their leadership must be steered only by their conscience, not a bribe.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
On the back part of the step, toward the right, I saw a small iridescent sphere of almost unbearable brilliance. At first I thought it was revolving; then I realised that this movement was an illusion created by the dizzying world it bounded. The Aleph's diameter was probably little more than an inch, but all space was there, actual and undiminished. Each thing (a mirror's face, let us say) was infinite things, since I distinctly saw it from every angle of the universe. I saw the teeming sea; I saw daybreak and nightfall; I saw the multitudes of America; I saw a silvery cobweb in the center of a black pyramid; I saw a splintered labyrinth (it was London); I saw, close up, unending eyes watching themselves in me as in a mirror; I saw all the mirrors on earth and none of them reflected me; I saw in a backyard of Soler Street the same tiles that thirty years before I'd seen in the entrance of a house in Fray Bentos; I saw bunches of grapes, snow, tobacco, lodes of metal, steam; I saw convex equatorial deserts and each one of their grains of sand; I saw a woman in Inverness whom I shall never forget; I saw her tangled hair, her tall figure, I saw the cancer in her breast; I saw a ring of baked mud in a sidewalk, where before there had been a tree; I saw a summer house in Adrogué and a copy of the first English translation of Pliny -- Philemon Holland's -- and all at the same time saw each letter on each page (as a boy, I used to marvel that the letters in a closed book did not get scrambled and lost overnight); I saw a sunset in Querétaro that seemed to reflect the colour of a rose in Bengal; I saw my empty bedroom; I saw in a closet in Alkmaar a terrestrial globe between two mirrors that multiplied it endlessly; I saw horses with flowing manes on a shore of the Caspian Sea at dawn; I saw the delicate bone structure of a hand; I saw the survivors of a battle sending out picture postcards; I saw in a showcase in Mirzapur a pack of Spanish playing cards; I saw the slanting shadows of ferns on a greenhouse floor; I saw tigers, pistons, bison, tides, and armies; I saw all the ants on the planet; I saw a Persian astrolabe; I saw in the drawer of a writing table (and the handwriting made me tremble) unbelievable, obscene, detailed letters, which Beatriz had written to Carlos Argentino; I saw a monument I worshipped in the Chacarita cemetery; I saw the rotted dust and bones that had once deliciously been Beatriz Viterbo; I saw the circulation of my own dark blood; I saw the coupling of love and the modification of death; I saw the Aleph from every point and angle, and in the Aleph I saw the earth and in the earth the Aleph and in the Aleph the earth; I saw my own face and my own bowels; I saw your face; and I felt dizzy and wept, for my eyes had seen that secret and conjectured object whose name is common to all men but which no man has looked upon -- the unimaginable universe. I felt infinite wonder, infinite pity.
Jorge Luis Borges
To exemplify that particular situation, we can look to a cool day in late June. Rudy, to put it mildly, was incensed. Who did Liesel Meminger think she was, telling him she had to take the washing and ironing alone today? Wasn’t he good enough to walk the streets with her? “Stop complaining, Saukerl,” she reprimanded him. “I just feel bad. You’re missing the game.” He looked over his shoulder. “Well, if you put it like that.” There was a Schmunzel. “You can stick your washing.” He ran off and wasted no time joining a team. When Liesel made it to the top of Himmel Street, she looked back just in time to see him standing in front of the nearest makeshift goals. He was waving. “Saukerl,” she laughed, and as she held up her hand, she knew completely that he was simultaneously calling her a Saumensch. I think that’s as close to love as eleven-year-olds can get.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
They're both convinced that a sudden passion joined them. Such certainty is beautiful, but uncertainty is more beautiful still. Since they'd never met before, they're sure that there'd been nothing between them. But what's the word from the streets, staircases, hallways-- perhaps they've passed by each other a million times? I want to ask them if they don't remember-- a moment face to face in some revolving door? perhaps a "sorry" muttered in a crowd? a curt "wrong number" caught in the receiver? but I know the answer. No, they don't remember. They'd be amazed to hear that Chance has been toying with them now for years. Not quite ready yet to become their Destiny, it pushed them close, drove them apart, it barred their path, stifling a laugh, and then leaped aside. There were signs and signals, even if they couldn't read them yet. Perhaps three years ago or just last Tuesday a certain leaf fluttered from one shoulder to another? Something was dropped and then picked up. Who knows, maybe the ball that vanished into childhood's thicket? There were doorknobs and doorbells where one touch had covered another beforehand. Suitcases checked and standing side by side. One night, perhaps, the same dream, grown hazy by morning. Every beginning is only a sequel, after all, and the book of events is always open halfway through.
Wisława Szymborska (View with a Grain of Sand: Selected Poems)
So Mo began filling the silence with words. He lured them out of the pages as if they had only been waiting for his voice, words long and short, words sharp and soft, cooing, purring words. They danced through the room, painting stained glass pictures, tickling the skin. Even when Meggie nodded off she could still hear them, although Mo had closed the book long ago. Words that explained the world to her, its dark side and its light side, words that built a wall to keep out bad dreams. And not a single bad dream came over that wall for the rest of the night.
Cornelia Funke (Inkheart (Inkworld, #1))
I am a book. Sheaves pressed from the pulp of oaks and pines a natural sawdust made dingy from purses, dusty from shelves. Steamy and anxious, abused and misused, kissed and cried over, smeared, yellowed, and torn, loved, hated, scorned. I am a book. I am a book that remembers, days when I stood proud in good company When the children came, I leapt into their arms, when the women came, they cradled me against their soft breasts, when the men came, they held me like a lover, and I smelled the sweet smell of cigars and brandy as we sat together in leather chairs, next to pool tables, on porch swings, in rocking chairs, my words hanging in the air like bright gems, dangling, then forgotten, I crumbled, dust to dust. I am a tale of woe and secrets, a book brand-new, sprung from the loins of ancient fathers clothed in tweed, born of mothers in lands of heather and coal soot. A family too close to see the blood on its hands, too dear to suffering, to poison, to cold steel and revenge, deaf to the screams of mortal wounding, amused at decay and torment, a family bred in the dankest swamp of human desires. I am a tale of woe and secrets, I am a mystery. I am intrigue, anxiety, fear, I tangle in the night with madmen, spend my days cloaked in black, hiding from myself, from dark angels, from the evil that lurks within and the evil we cannot lurk without. I am words of adventure, of faraway places where no one knows my tongue, of curious cultures in small, back alleys, mean streets, the crumbling house in each of us. I am primordial fear, the great unknown, I am life everlasting. I touch you and you shiver, I blow in your ear and you follow me, down foggy lanes, into places you've never seen, to see things no one should see, to be someone you could only hope to be. I ride the winds of imagination on a black-and-white horse, to find the truth inside of me, to cure the ills inside of you, to take one passenger at a time over that tall mountain, across that lonely plain to a place you've never been where the world stops for just one minute and everything is right. I am a mystery. -Rides a Black and White Horse
Lise McClendon
Read to your children Twenty minutes a day; You have the time, And so do they. Read while the laundry is in the machine; Read while the dinner cooks; Tuck a child in the crook of your arm And reach for the library books. Hide the remote, Let the computer games cool, For one day your children will be off to school; Remedial? Gifted? You have the choice; Let them hear their first tales In the sound of your voice. Read in the morning; Read over noon; Read by the light of Goodnight Moon. Turn the pages together, Sitting close as you'll fit, Till a small voice beside you says, "Hey, don't quit.
Richard Peck
I tried to read that book again before I went to sleep. I didn’t like that book, but I kept going for all the reasons a person hangs in with something that isn’t good-you feel bad about not giving it a chance, you´ve already come too far to give up now, you believe it´s going to get better. When you’re a person whose life has mostly brought good things, you believe in goodness. You believe that things will work out. Even the worst things will work out. You believe in a happy ending. But you are naïve. The mostly good in your life has made you that way. You´ve spent so much time seeing the bright side that you don’t even believe the other side exists. You are wrong about that. I closed that book. I wouldn’t open it again, I vowed. It was time to learn something.
Deb Caletti (Stay)
I’m so sorry. I don’t think the etiquette manuals cover this sort of situation.” He leaned in close, his lips all but grazing her neck, and inhaled. “Mmm. You smell good, too.” She nearly choked. Took a step backwards, until her back met cold stone. “Th-thank you.” “That’s better. May I kiss you?” His finger dipped into her shirt collar, stroking the tender nape of her neck. “I d-don’t th-think that’s a good idea.” “Why not? We’re alone.” His hands were at her waist. Her lungs felt tight and much too small. “Wh-what if somebody comes in?” He considered for a moment. “Well, I suppose they’ll think I fancy grubby little boys.
Y.S. Lee (The Body at the Tower (The Agency, #2))
For some time she observed a great yellow butterfly, which was opening and closing its wings very slowly on a little flat stone. "What is it to be in love?" she demanded, after a long silence; each word as it came into being seemed to shove itself out into an unknown sea. Hypnotized by the wings of the butterfly, and awed by the discovery of a terrible possibility in life, she sat for some time longer. When the butterfly flew away, she rose, and within, her two books beneath her arm returned again, much as a soldier prepares for battle.
Virginia Woolf (The Voyage Out)
I am not sad anymore. I am not weak or tender or quiet like you remember because the second you said those words and closed that door, I sold my soul to the part of myself I had buried in order to love you, to let you touch every inch of my rotten body, for I wanted to be touchable and not so strange. Not so sad and tender, like I’ve always been, they say, so I changed. And then your glances and words throwing knives with no return about my change of habits and ways of living, being, and I nodded and smiled, dying silently a little bit inside.
Charlotte Eriksson (You're Doing Just Fine)
His situation, insofar as he was a machine, was complex, tragic, and laughable. But the sacred part of him, his awareness, remained an unwavering band of light. And this book is being written by a meat machine in cooperation with a machine made of metal and plastic. The plastic, incidentally, is a close relative of the gunk in Sugar Creek. And at the core of the writing meat machine is something sacred, which is an unwavering band of light. At the core of each person who reads this book is a band of unwavering light. My doorbell has just rung in my New York apartment. And I know what I will find when I open my front door: an unwavering band of light.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Breakfast of Champions)
Charlotte: Giordano is terribly afraid Gwyneth will get everything wrong tomorrow that she can get wrong. Gideon: Pass the olive oil, please. Charlotte: Politics and history are a closed book to Gwyneth. She can’t even remember names—they go in at one ear and straight out of the other. She can’t help it, her brain doesn’t have the capacity. It’s stuffed with the names of boy bands and long, long cast lists of actors in soppy romantic films. Raphael: Gwyneth is your time-traveling cousin, right? I saw her yesterday in school. Isn’t she the one with long dark hair and blue eyes? Charlotte: Yes, and that birthmark on her temple, the one that looks like a little banana. Gideon: Like a little crescent moon. Raphael: What’s that friend of hers called? The blonde with freckles? Lily? Charlotte: Lesley Hay. Rather brighter than Gwyneth, but she’s a wonderful example of the way people get to look like their dogs. Hers is a shaggy golden retriever crossbreed called Bertie. Raphael: That’s cute! Charlotte: You like dogs? Raphael: Especially golden retriever crossbreeds with freckles. Charlotte: I see. Well, you can try your luck. You won’t find it particularly difficult. Lesley gets through even more boys than Gwyneth. Gideon: Really? How many . . . er, boyfriends has Gwyneth had? Charlotte: Oh, my God! This is kind of embarrassing. I don’t want to speak ill of her, it’s just that she’s not very discriminating. Particularly when she’s had a drink. She’s done the rounds of almost all the boys in our class and the class above us . . . I guess I lost track at some point. I’d rather not repeat what they call her. Raphael: The school mattress? Gideon: Pass the salt, please.
Kerstin Gier (Saphirblau (Edelstein-Trilogie, #2))
But criticism, for the most part, comes from the opposite place that book-enjoying should come from. To enjoy art one needs time, patience, and a generous heart, and criticism is done, by and large, by impatient people who have axes to grind. The worst sort of critics are (analogy coming) butterfly collectors - they chase something, ostensibly out of their search for beauty, then, once they get close, they catch that beautiful something, they kill it, they stick a pin through its abdomen, dissect it and label it. The whole process, I find, is not a happy or healthy one. Someone with his or her own shit figured out, without any emotional problems or bitterness or envy, instead of killing that which he loves, will simply let the goddamn butterfly fly, and instead of capturing and killing it and sticking it in a box, will simply point to it - "Hey everyone, look at that beautiful thing" - hoping everyone else will see the beautiful thing he has seen. Just as no one wants to grow up to be an IRS agent, no one should want to grow up to maliciously dissect books.
Dave Eggers
Emotions are the lowest form of consciousness. Emotional actions are the most contracted, narrowing, dangerous form of behavior. The romantic poetry and fiction of the last 200 years has quite blinded us to the fact that emotions are an active and harmful form of stupor. Any peasant can tell you that. Beware of emotions. Any child can tell you that. Watch out for the emotional person. He is a lurching lunatic. Emotions are caused by biochemical secretions in the body to serve during the state of acute emergency. An emotional person is a blind, crazed maniac. Emotions are addictive and narcotic and stupefacient. Do not trust anyone who comes on emotional. What are the emotions? In a book entitled Interpersonal Diagnosis of Personality, written when I was a psychologist, I presented classifications of emotions and detailed descriptions of their moderate and extreme manifestations. Emotions are all based on fear. [...] The emotional person cannot think; he cannot perform any effective game action (except in acts of physical aggression and strength). The emotional person is turned off sensually. His body is a churning robot. [...] The only state in which we can learn, harmonize, grow, merge, join, understand is the absence of emotion. This is called bliss or ecstasy, attained through centering the emotions. [...] Conscious love is not an emotion; it is serene merging with yourself, with other people, with other forms of energy. Love cannot exist in an emotional state. [...] The great kick of the mystic experience, the exultant, ecstatic hit, is the sudden relief from emotional pressure. Did you imagine that there could be emotions in heaven? Emotions are closely tied to ego games. Check your emotions at the door to paradise.
Timothy Leary (The Politics of Ecstasy)
When God creates Eve, he calls her an ezer kenegdo. 'It is not good for the man to be alone, I shall make him [an ezer kenegdo]' (Gen. 2:18 Alter). Hebrew scholar Robert Alter, who has spent years translating the book of Genesis, says that this phrase is 'notoriously difficult to translate.' The various attempts we have in English are "helper" or "companion" or the notorious "help meet." Why are these translations so incredibly wimpy, boring, flat...disappointing? What is a help meet, anyway? What little girl dances through the house singing "One day I shall be a help meet?" Companion? A dog can be a companion. Helper? Sounds like Hamburger Helper. Alter is getting close when he translates it "sustainer beside him" The word ezer is used only twenty other places in the entire Old Testament. And in every other instance the person being described is God himself, when you need him to come through for you desperately.
Stasi Eldredge (Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul)
It had been June, the bright hot summer of 1937, and with the curtains thrown back the bedroom had been full of sunlight, sunlight and her and Will's children, their grandchildren, their nieces and nephews- Cecy's blue eyed boys, tall and handsome, and Gideon and Sophie's two girls- and those who were as close as family: Charlotte, white- haired and upright, and the Fairchild sons and daughters with their curling red hair like Henry's had once been. The children had spoken fondly of the way he had always loved their mother, fiercely and devotedly, the way he had never had eyes for anyone else, and how their parents had set the model for the sort of love they hoped to find in their own lives. They spoke of his regard for books, and how he had taught them all to love them too, to respect the printed page and cherish the stories that those pages held. They spoke of the way he still cursed in Welsh when he dropped something, though he rarely used the language otherwise, and of the fact that though his prose was excellent- he had written several histories of the Shadowhunters when he's retired that had been very well respected- his poetry had always been awful, though that never stopped him from reciting it. Their oldest child, James, had spoken laughingly about Will's unrelenting fear of ducks and his continual battle to keep them out of the pond at the family home in Yorkshire. Their grandchildren had reminded him of the song about demon pox he had taught them- when they were much too young, Tessa had always thought- and that they had all memorized. They sang it all together and out of tune, scandalizing Sophie. With tears running down her face, Cecily had reminded him of the moment at her wedding to Gabriel when he had delivered a beautiful speech praising the groom, at the end of which he had announced, "Dear God, I thought she was marrying Gideon. I take it all back," thus vexing not only Cecily and Gabriel but Sophie as well- and Will, though too tired to laugh, had smiled at his sister and squeezed her hand. They had all laughed about his habit of taking Tessa on romantic "holidays" to places from Gothic novels, including the hideous moor where someone had died, a drafty castle with a ghost in it, and of course the square in Paris in which he had decided Sydney Carton had been guillotined, where Will had horrified passerby by shouting "I can see the blood on the cobblestones!" in French.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
Rush-hour on the A rain. A blind man staggers forth, his cane tapping lightly own the aisle. He leans against the door, raises a violin to chin, and says I’m sorry to bother you, folks. But please. Just listen. And it kills me, the word sorry. As if something like music should be forgiven. He nuzzles into the wood like a lover, inhales, and at the first slow stroke, the crescendo seeps through our skin like warm water, we who have nothing but destinations, who dream of light but descend into the mouths of tunnels, searching. Beads of sweat fall from his brow, making dark roses on the instrument. His head swooning to each chord exhaled through the hollow torso. The woman beside me has put down her book, closed her eyes, the baby has stopped crying, the cop has sat down, and I know this train is too fast for dreaming, that these iron jaws will always open to swallow a smile already lost. How insufficient the memory, to fail before death. how will hear these notes when the train slides into the yard, the lights turned out, and the song lingers with breaths rising from empty seats? I know I am too human to praise what is fading. But for now, I just want to listen as the train fills completely with warm water, and we are all swimming slowly toward the man with Mozart flowing from his hands. I want nothing but to put my fingers inside his mouth, let that prayer hum through my veins. I want crawl into the hole in his violin. I want to sleep there until my flesh becomes music.
Ocean Vuong
Long Time. The famous seventeenth-century Ming painter Chou Yung relates a story that altered his behavior forever. Late one winter afternoon he set out to visit a town that lay across the river from his own town. He was bringing some important books and papers with him and had commissioned a young boy to help him carry them. As the ferry neared the other side of the river, Chou Yung asked the boatman if they would have time to get to the town before its gates closed, since it was a mile away and night was approaching. The boatman glanced at the boy, and at the bundle of loosely tied papers and books—“Yes,” he replied, “if you do not walk too fast.” As they started out, however, the sun was setting. Afraid of being locked out of the town at night, prey to local bandits, Chou and the boy walked faster and faster, finally breaking into a run. Suddenly the string around the papers broke and the documents scattered on the ground. It took them many minutes to put the packet together again, and by the time they had reached the city gates, it was too late. When you force the pace out of fear and impatience, you create a nest of problems that require fixing, and you end up taking much longer than if you had taken your time.
Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
That night we played truth or dare. You said that after a while you stopped trying to earn your mother's affection." I pause. "Why didn't you give up with me, too?" "You know why," he says quietly. I close my eyes. I do know, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to hear it. But some part of me must be, because I wouldn't have asked the question otherwise, not of Bishop, the boy who never chooses to say something easy just because the truth is hard. Maybe I want to hear it so that i will know, once and for all, that there is no going back. "Because I'm in love with you, Ivy," he whispers. "Giving up on you isn't an option." He lifts my hair away from the back of my neck and kisses the delicate skin there. My breath shudders out of me. The silence spirals into the dark room, and maybe it was foolish to ask the question, but I'm not sorry. I uncurl his hand and kiss his palm, his skin cool and dry. I place his hand over my heart, cover it with my own. We fall asleep that way. His lips on my neck. My heart in his hand.
Amy Engel (The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy, #1))
I had read it some time ago but was so completely immersed that I retained nothing. This has been an intermittent, lifelong enigma. Through early adolescence I sat and read for hours in a small grove of weed trees near the railroad track in Germantown. Like Gumby I would enter a book wholeheartedly and sometimes venture so deeply it was as if I were living within it. I finished many books in such a manner there, closing the covers ecstatically yet having no memory of the content by the time I returned home. This disturbed me but I kept this strange affliction to myself. I look at the covers of such books and their contents remain a mystery that I cannot bring myself to solve. Certain books I loved and lived within yet cannot remember.
Patti Smith (M Train)
Where are we going, Walt Whitman? The doors close in an hour. Which way does your beard point tonight? (I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the supermarket and feel absurd.) Will we walk all night through solitary streets? The trees add shade to shade, lights out in the houses, we'll both be lonely. Will we stroll dreaming of the lost America of love past blue automobiles in driveways, home to our silent cottage? Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage-teacher, what America did you have when Charon quit poling his ferry and you got out on a smoking bank and stood watching the boat disappear on the black waters of Lethe?
Allen Ginsberg
Liesel continued the examination. She moved around him and shrugged. "Not bad." Not bad!" I look better than just not bad." The shoes let you down. And your face." Rudy placed the lantern on the counter and came toward her in mock-anger, and Liesel had to admit that a nervousness started gripping her. It was with both relief and disappointment that she watched him trip and fall on the disgraced mannequin. On the floor, Rudy laughed. Then he closed his eyes, clenching them hard. Liesel rushed over. She crouched above him. Kis him, Liesel, kiss him. Are you all right, Rudy? Rudy?" I miss him," said the boy, sideways, across the floor. Frohe Weihnachten," Liesel replied. She helped him up, straightening the suit. "Merry Christmas.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
She has a bookshelf for a heart, and ink runs through her veins, she’ll write you into her story with the typewriter in her brain. Her bookshelf’s getting crowded. With all the stories that’s she’s penned, of all the people who flicked through her pages but closed the book before it ended. And there’s one pushed to the very back, that sits collecting dust, with its title in her finest writing, ‘The One’s Who Lost My Trust’. There’s books shes scared to open, and books she doesn't close. Stories of every person she’s met stretched out in endless rows. Some people have only one sentence while others once held a main part, thousands of inky footprints that they've left across her heart. You might wonder why she does this, why write of people she once knew? But she hopes one day she’ll mean enough for someone to write about her too.
E.H.
It was late, and we were tired. We assumed there would be other nights. Anna’s breathing started to slow, but I still wanted to talk. She rolled onto her side. I said, I want to tell you something. She said, You can tell me tomorrow. I had never told her how much I loved her. She was my sister. We slept in the same bed. There was never a right time to say it. It was always unnecessary. The books in my father’s shed were sighing. The sheets were rising and falling around me with Anna’s breathing. I thought about waking her. But it was unnecessary. There would be other nights. And how can you say I love you to someone you love? I rolled on my side and fell asleep next to her. Here is the point of everything I have been trying to tell you, Oskar. It’s always necessary.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
Mom taught me not to look away from the worst but to believe that we can all do better. She never wavered in her conviction that books are the most powerful tool in the human arsenal, that reading all kinds of books, in whatever format you choose - electronic (even though that wasn't for her) or printed, or audio - is the grandest entertainment, and also is how you take part in human conversation. Mom taught me that you can make a difference in the world and that books really do matter: they're how we know what we need to do in life, and how we tell others. Mom also showed me, over the course of two years and dozens of books and hundreds of hours in hospitals, that books can be how we get closer to each other, and stay close, even in the case of a mother and son who were very close to begin with, and even after one of them has died.
Will Schwalbe (The End of Your Life Book Club)
the bouquet Between me and the world you are a bay, a sail the faithful ends of a rope you are a fountain, a wind, a shrill childhood cry. Between me and the world you are a picture frame, a window a field covered in wildflowers you are a breath, a bed, a night that keeps the stars company. Between me and the world, you are a calendar, a compass a ray of light that slips through the gloom you are a biographical sketch, a book mark a preface that comes at the end. between me and the world you are a gauze curtain, a mist a lamp shining in my dreams you are a bamboo flute, a song without words a closed eyelid carved in stone. Between me and the world you are a chasm, a pool an abyss plunging down you are a balustrade, a wall a shield’s eternal pattern.
Bei Dao
Say whatever is in your heart,” Violet said. Her lips twisted wryly. “And if that doesn’t work, I suggest that you take a book and knock him over the head with it.” Hyacinth blinked, then blinked again. “I beg your pardon.” “I didn’t say that,” Violet said quickly. Hyacinth felt herself smile. “I’m rather certain you did.” “Do you think?” Violet murmured, concealing her own smile with her teacup. “A large book,” Hyacinth queried, “or small?” “Large, I think, don’t you?” Hyacinth nodded. “Have we The Complete Works of Shakespeare in the library?” Violet’s lips twitched. “I believe that we do.” Something began to bubble in Hyacinth’s chest. Something very close to laughter. And it felt so good to feel it again. “I love you, Mother,” she said, suddenly consumed by the need to say it aloud. “I just wanted you to know that.” “I know, darling,” Violet said, and her eyes were shining brightly. “I love you, too.
Julia Quinn (It's in His Kiss (Bridgertons, #7))
September let go a long-held breath. She stared into the roiling black-violet soup, thinking furiously. The trouble was, September didn’t know what sort of story she was in. Was it a merry one or a serious one? How ought she to act? If it were merry, she might dash after a Spoon, and it would all be a marvelous adventure, with funny rhymes and somersaults and a grand party with red lanterns at the end. But if it were a serious tale, she might have to do something important, something involving, with snow and arrows and enemies. Of course, we would like to tell her which. But no one may know the shape of the tale in which they move. And, perhaps, we do not truly know which sort of beast it is, either. Stories have a way of changing faces. They are unruly things, undisciplined, given to delinquency and the throwing of erasers. This is why we must close them up into thick, solid books, so they cannot get out and cause trouble.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1))
Tarquin turned from the table, just as the tent flaps parted for a pair of broad shoulders— Varian. He didn’t so much as look at his High Lord, his focus going right to where Amren sat at the head of the table. As if he’d sensed she was here—or someone had reported. And he’d come running. Amren’s eyes flicked up from the Book as Varian halted. A coy smile curved her red lips. There was still blood and dirt splattered on Varian’s brown skin, coating his silver armor and close-cropped white hair. He didn’t seem to notice or care as he strode for Amren. And none of us dared to speak as Varian dropped to his knees before Amren’s chair, took her shocked face in his broad hands, and kissed her soundly. ... None of us lasted long after dinner. Amren and Varian didn’t even bother to join us. No, she’d just wrapped her legs around his waist, right there in front of us, and he’d stood, lifting her in one swift movement. I wasn’t entirely sure how Varian managed to walk them out of the tent while still kissing her, Amren’s hands dragging through his hair, letting out noises that were unnervingly like purring as they vanished into the camp. Rhys had let out a low laugh as we all gawked in their wake. “I suppose that’s how Varian decided he’d tell Amren he was feeling rather grateful she ordered us to go to Adriata.” Tarquin cringed. “We’ll alternate who has to deal with them on holidays.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3))
Fundamentalist Christianity: fascinating. These people actually believe that the world is twelve thousand years old. Swear to God. Based on what? I asked them. "Well, we looked at all the people in the Bible and we added 'em up all the way back to Adam and Eve, their ages? Twelve thousand years." "Well, how fucking scientific, OK. I didn't know that you'd gone to so much trouble there. That's good. You believe the world's twelve thousand years old?" "That's right." "OK, I got one word to ask you, a one word question, ready?" "Uh huh." "Dinosaurs." You know, the world's twelve thousand years old and dinosaurs existed, and existed in that time, you'd think it would been mentioned in the fucking Bible at some point: And O, Jesus and the disciples walked to Nazareth. But the trail was blocked by a giant brontosaurus... with a splinter in its paw. And the disciples did run a-screamin'. "What a big fucking lizard, Lord!" "I'm sure gonna mention this in my book," Luke said. "Well, I'm sure gonna mention it in my book," Matthew said. But Jesus was unafraid. And he took the splinter from the brontosaurus paw, and the brontosaurus became his friend. And Jesus sent him to Scotland where he lived in a loch, O so many years, attracting fat American families with their fat fuckin' dollars to look for the Loch Ness Monster. And O the Scots did praise the Lord: "Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!" Twelve thousand years old. But I actually asked this guy, "OK, dinosaur fossils-- how does that fit into your scheme of life? What's the deal?" He goes: "God put those here to test our faith." "I think God put you here to test my faith, dude. I think I've figured this out." Does that-- That's what this guy said. Does that bother anyone here? The idea that God might be fucking with our heads? Anyone have trouble sleeping restfully with that thought in their head? God's running around burying fossils: "Ho ho! We'll see who believes in me now, ha ha! I'm a prankster God. I am killing me, ho ho ho!" You know? You die, you go to St. Peter: "Did you believe in dinosaurs?" "Well, yeah. There were fossils everywhere. (trapdoor opens) Aaaaarhhh!" "You fuckin' idiot! Flying lizards? You're a moron. God was fuckin' with you!" "It seemed so plausible, aaaaaahh!" "Enjoy the lake of fire, fucker!" They believe this. But you ever notice how people who believe in Creationism usually look pretty unevolved. Eyes really close together, big furry hands and feet? "I believe God created me in one day." Yeah, looks like he rushed it. Such a weird belief. Lots of Christians wear crosses around their necks. You think when Jesus comes back he's gonna want to see a fucking cross, man? "Ow." Might be why he hasn't shown up yet. "Man, they're still wearing crosses. Fuck it, I'm not goin' back, Dad. No, they totally missed the point. When they start wearing fishes, I might show up again, but... let me bury fossils with you, Dad. Fuck 'em, let's fuck with 'em! Hand me that brontosaurus head, Dad.
Bill Hicks (Love All the People: Letters, Lyrics, Routines)
The challenge lies in knowing how to bring this sort of day to a close. His mind has been wound to a pitch of concentration by the interactions of the office. Now there are only silence and the flashing of the unset clock on the microwave. He feels as if he had been playing a computer game which remorselessly tested his reflexes, only to have its plug suddenly pulled from the wall. He is impatient and restless, but simultaneously exhausted and fragile. He is in no state to engage with anything significant. It is of course impossible to read, for a sincere book would demand not only time, but also a clear emotional lawn around the text in which associations and anxieties could emerge and be disentangled. He will perhaps only ever do one thing well in his life. For this particular combination of tiredness and nervous energy, the sole workable solution is wine. Office civilisation could not be feasible without the hard take-offs and landings effected by coffee and alcohol.
Alain de Botton (The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work)
The problem with a lot of people who read only literary fiction is that they assume fantasy is just books about orcs and goblins and dragons and wizards and bullshit. And to be fair, a lot of fantasy is about that stuff. The problem with people in fantasy is they believe that literary fiction is just stories about a guy drinking tea and staring out the window at the rain while he thinks about his mother. And the truth is a lot of literary fiction is just that. Like, kind of pointless, angsty, emo, masturbatory bullshit. However, we should not be judged by our lowest common denominators. And also you should not fall prey to the fallacious thinking that literary fiction is literary and all other genres are genre. Literary fiction is a genre, and I will fight to the death anyone who denies this very self-evident truth. So, is there a lot of fantasy that is raw shit out there? Absolutely, absolutely, it’s popcorn reading at best. But you can’t deny that a lot of lit fic is also shit. 85% of everything in the world is shit. We judge by the best. And there is some truly excellent fantasy out there. For example, Midsummer Night’s Dream; Hamlet with the ghost; Macbeth, ghosts and witches; I’m also fond of the Odyessey; Most of the Pentateuch in the Old Testament, Gargantua and Pantagruel. Honestly, fantasy existed before lit fic, and if you deny those roots you’re pruning yourself so closely that you can’t help but wither and die.
Patrick Rothfuss
A Kite is a Victim A kite is a victim you are sure of. You love it because it pulls gentle enough to call you master, strong enough to call you fool; because it lives like a desperate trained falcon in the high sweet air, and you can always haul it down to tame it in your drawer. A kite is a fish you have already caught in a pool where no fish come, so you play him carefully and long, and hope he won't give up, or the wind die down. A kite is the last poem you've written so you give it to the wind, but you don't let it go until someone finds you something else to do. A kite is a contract of glory that must be made with the sun, so you make friends with the field the river and the wind, then you pray the whole cold night before, under the travelling cordless moon, to make you worthy and lyric and pure. Gift You tell me that silence is nearer to peace than poems but if for my gift I brought you silence (for I know silence) you would say This is not silence this is another poem and you would hand it back to me There are some men There are some men who should have mountains to bear their names through time Grave markers are not high enough or green and sons go far away to lose the fist their father’s hand will always seem I had a friend he lived and died in mighty silence and with dignity left no book son or lover to mourn. Nor is this a mourning song but only a naming of this mountain on which I walk fragrant, dark and softly white under the pale of mist I name this mountain after him. -Believe nothing of me Except that I felt your beauty more closely than my own. I did not see any cities burn, I heard no promises of endless night, I felt your beauty more closely than my own. Promise me that I will return.- -When you call me close to tell me your body is not beautiful I want to summon the eyes and hidden mouths of stone and light and water to testify against you.- Song I almost went to bed without remembering the four white violets I put in the button-hole of your green sweater and how i kissed you then and you kissed me shy as though I'd never been your lover -Reach into the vineyard of arteries for my heart. Eat the fruit of ignorance and share with me the mist and fragrance of dying.-
Leonard Cohen (The Spice-Box of Earth)
Most helpful, Mr. Caelum," she said. "Very, very useful information. And now, shall we hear from Saint Augustine?" I shrugged. "Why not?" I said Dr. P read from a blood-red leather book. "My soul was a burden, bruised and bleeding. It was tired of the man who carried it, but I found no place to set it down to rest. Neither the charm of the countryside nor the sweet scents of a garden could soothe it. It found no peace in song or laughter, none in the company of friends at table or in the pleasures of love, none even in books or poetry.... Where could my heart find refuge from itself? Where could I go, yet leave myself behind?" She closed the book, then reached across the table and took Maureen's hand in hers. "Does that passage speak to you?" she asked. Mo nodded and began to cry. "And so, Mr. Caelum, good-bye." Because the passage had spoken to me, too, it took me a few seconds to react. "Oh," I said. "You want me to leave?" "I do. Yes, yes.
Wally Lamb (The Hour I First Believed)
Not long ago, I advertised for perverse rules of grammar, along the lines of "Remember to never split an infinitive" and "The passive voice should never be used." The notion of making a mistake while laying down rules ("Thimk," "We Never Make Misteaks") is highly unoriginal, and it turns out that English teachers have been circulating lists of fumblerules for years. As owner of the world's largest collection, and with thanks to scores of readers, let me pass along a bunch of these never-say-neverisms: * Avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read. * Don't use no double negatives. * Use the semicolon properly, always use it where it is appropriate; and never where it isn't. * Reserve the apostrophe for it's proper use and omit it when its not needed. * Do not put statements in the negative form. * Verbs has to agree with their subjects. * No sentence fragments. * Proofread carefully to see if you any words out. * Avoid commas, that are not necessary. * If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing. * A writer must not shift your point of view. * Eschew dialect, irregardless. * And don't start a sentence with a conjunction. * Don't overuse exclamation marks!!! * Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents. * Writers should always hyphenate between syllables and avoid un-necessary hyph-ens. * Write all adverbial forms correct. * Don't use contractions in formal writing. * Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided. * It is incumbent on us to avoid archaisms. * If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is. * Steer clear of incorrect forms of verbs that have snuck in the language. * Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixed metaphors. * Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky. * Never, ever use repetitive redundancies. * Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing. * If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times, resist hyperbole. * Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration. * Don't string too many prepositional phrases together unless you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death. * Always pick on the correct idiom. * "Avoid overuse of 'quotation "marks."'" * The adverb always follows the verb. * Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague; seek viable alternatives." (New York Times, November 4, 1979; later also published in book form)
William Safire (Fumblerules: A Lighthearted Guide to Grammar and Good Usage)
Why do you suppose the poets talk about hearts?' he asked me suddenly. 'When they discuss emotional damage? The tissue of hearts is tough as a shoe. Did you ever sew up a heart?' I shook my head. 'No, but I've watched. I know what you mean.' The walls of a heart are thick and strong, and the surgeons use heavy needles. It takes a good bit of strength, but it pulls together neatly. As much as anything it's like binding a book. The seat of human emotion should be the liver,' Doc Homer said. 'That would be an appropriate metaphor: we don't hold love in our hearts, we hold it in our livers.' I understood exactly. Once in ER I saw a woman who'd been stabbed everywhere, most severely in the liver. It's an organ with the consistency of layer upon layer of wet Kleenex. Every attempt at repair just opens new holes that tear and bleed. You try to close the wound with fresh wounds, and you try and you try and you don't give up until there's nothing left.
Barbara Kingsolver
A strange mood has seized the almost-educated young. They're on the march, angry at times, but mostly needful, longing for authority's blessing, its validation of their chosen identities. The decline of the West in new guise perhaps. Or the exaltation and liberation of the self. A social-media site famously proposes seventy-one gender options – neutrois, two spirit, bigender…any colour you like, Mr Ford. Biology is not destiny after all, and there's cause for celebration. A shrimp is neither limiting nor stable. I declare my undeniable feeling for who I am. If I turn out to be white, I may identify as black. And vice versa. I may announce myself as disabled, or disabled in context. If my identity is that of a believer, I'm easily wounded, my flesh torn to bleeding by any questioning of my faith. Offended, I enter a state of grace. Should inconvenient opinions hover near me like fallen angels or evil djinn (a mile being too near), I'll be in need of the special campus safe room equipped with Play-Doh and looped footage of gambolling puppies. Ah, the intellectual life! I may need advance warning if upsetting books or ideas threaten my very being by coming too close, breathing on my face, my brain, like unwholesome drugs.
Ian McEwan (Nutshell)
If I had been asked in my early youth whether I preferred to have dealings only with men or only with books, my answer would certainly have been in favor of books. In later years this has become less and less the case. Not that I have had so much better experiences with men than with books; on the contrary, purely delightful books even now come my way more often than purely delightful men. But the many bad experiences with men have nourished the meadow of my life as the noblest book could not do, and the good experiences have made the earth into a garden for me. […:] Here is an infallible test. Imagine yourself in a situation where you are alone, wholly alone on earth, and you are offered one of the two, books or men. I often hear men prizing their solitude, but that is only because there are still men somewhere on earth, even though in the far distance. I knew nothing of books when I came forth from the womb of my mother, and I shall die without books, with another human hand in my own. I do, indeed, close my door at times and surrender myself to a book, but only because I can open the door again and see a human being looking at me.
Martin Buber (Meetings: Autobiographical Fragments)
All of you do this. Every organic sapient I’ve ever talked to, every book I’ve read, every piece of art I’ve studied. You are all desperate for purpose, even though you don’t have one. You’re animals, and animals don’t have a purpose. Animals just are. And there are a lot of intelligent – sentient, maybe – animals out there who don’t have a problem with that. They just go on breathing and mating and eating each other without a second thought. But the animals like you – the ones who make tools and build cities and itch to explore, you all share a need for purpose. For reason. That thinking worked well for you, once. When you climbed down out of the trees, up out of the ocean – knowing what things were for was what kept you alive. Fruit is for eating. Fire is for warmth. Water is for drinking. And then you made tools, which were for certain kinds of fruit, for making fire, cleaning water. Everything was for something, so obviously, you had to be for something too, right? All of your histories are the same, in essence. They’re all stories of animals warring and clashing because you can’t agree on what you’re for, or why you exist.
Becky Chambers (A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers, #2))
Well, well, well,” Santa said once the elf had retreated. “Come and sit on my lap, little boy.” This Santa’s beard was real, and so was his hair. He wasn’t fucking around. “I’m not really a little boy,” I pointed out. “Get on my lap, then, big boy.” I walked up to him. There wasn’t much lap under his belly. And even though he tried to disguise it, as I went up there, I swear he adjusted his crotch. “Ho ho ho!” he chortled. I sat gingerly on his knee, like it was a subway seat with gum on it. “Have you been a good little boy this year?” he asked. I didn’t feel that I was the right person to determine my own goodness or badness, but in the interest of speeding along this encounter, I said yes. He actually wobbled with joy. “Good! Good! Then what can I bring you this Christmas?” I thought it was obvious. “A message from Lily,” I said. “That’s what I want for Christmas. But I want it right now.” “So impatient!” Santa lowered his voice and whispered in my ear. “But Santa does have a little something for you”—he shifted a little in his seat—“right under his coat. If you want to have your present, you’ll have to rub Santa’s belly.” “What?” I asked. He gestured with his eyes down to his stomach. “Go ahead.” I looked closely and saw the faint outline of an envelope beneath his red velvet coat. “You know you want it,” he whispered. The only way I could survive this was to think of it as the dare it was. Fuck off, Lily. You can’t intimidate me. I reached right under Santa’s coat. To my horror, I found he wasn’t wearing anything underneath. It was hot, sweaty, Geshy, hairy … and his belly was this massive obstacle, blocking me from the envelope. I had to lean over to angle my arm in order to reach it, the whole time having Santa laugh, “Oh ho ho, ho ho oh ho!” in my ear. I heard the elf scream, “What the hell!” and various parents start to shriek. Yes, I was feeling up Santa. And now the corner of the envelope was in my hand. He tried to jiggle it away from me, but I held tight and yanked it out, pulling some of his white belly hair with me. “OW ho ho!” he cried. I jumped o1 his lap. “Security’s here!” the elf proclaimed. The letter was in my hand, damp but intact. “He touched Santa!” a young child squealed.
Rachel Cohn (Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1))
I bought you something" Willows blurts out. "You bought...What?" Willow closes her eyes for a second. She's a little surprised she's going to give it to him after all, but there's no going back now. She has to. "At the bookstore." She reaches into her bag again, and pushes the package across the table towards him. Guy takes the book out of the bag slowly, Willow waits for him to look disappointed, to look confused that she would buy him such a battered, old- "I love it when used books have notes in the margins, it's the best," Guy says as he flips through the pages. "I always imagine who read it before me." He pauses and looks at one of Prospero's speeches. "I have way too much homework to read this now, but you know what? Screw it. I want to know why it's your favorite Shakespeare. Thank you, that was really nice of you. I mean, you really didn't have to." "But I did anyway," Willow says so quietly she's not even sure hears her. Hey," Guy frowns for a second. "You didn't write anything in here." "Oh, I didn't even think...I, well, I wouldn't even know what to write," Willow says shyly. "Well, maybe you'll think of something later," he says. Willow watches Guy read the opening. There's no mistaking it. His smile is genuine, and she can't help thinking that if she can't make David look like this, at least she can do it for someone.
Julia Hoban (Willow)
Every day, people engaged in the clever defiance of their own intuition become, in mid-thought, victims of violence and accidents. So when we wonder why we are victims so often, the answer is clear: It is because we are so good at it. A woman could offer no greater cooperation to her soon-to-be attacker than to spend her time telling herself, “But he seems like such a nice man.” Yet this is exactly what many people do. A woman is waiting for an elevator, and when the doors open she sees a man inside who causes her apprehension. Since she is not usually afraid, it may be the late hour, his size, the way he looks at her, the rate of attacks in the neighborhood, an article she read a year ago—it doesn’t matter why. The point is, she gets a feeling of fear. How does she respond to nature’s strongest survival signal? She suppresses it, telling herself: “I’m not going to live like that, I’m not going to insult this guy by letting the door close in his face.” When the fear doesn’t go away, she tells herself not to be so silly, and she gets into the elevator. Now, which is sillier: waiting a moment for the next elevator, or getting into a soundproofed steel chamber with a stranger she is afraid of? The inner voice is wise, and part of my purpose in writing this book is to give people permission to listen to it.
Gavin de Becker (The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence)
First having read the book of myths, and loaded the camera, and checked the edge of the knife-blade, I put on the body-armor of black rubber the absurd flippers the grave and awkward mask. I am having to do this not like Cousteau with his assiduous team aboard the sun-flooded schooner but here alone. There is a ladder. The ladder is always there hanging innocently close to the side of the schooner. We know what it is for, we who have used it. Otherwise it is a piece of maritime floss some sundry equipment. I go down. Rung after rung and still the oxygen immerses me the blue light the clear atoms of our human air. I go down. My flippers cripple me, I crawl like an insect down the ladder and there is no one to tell me when the ocean will begin. First the air is blue and then it is bluer and then green and then black I am blacking out and yet my mask is powerful it pumps my blood with power the sea is another story the sea is not a question of power I have to learn alone to turn my body without force in the deep element. And now: it is easy to forget what I came for among so many who have always lived here swaying their crenellated fans between the reefs and besides you breathe differently down here. I came to explore the wreck. The words are purposes. The words are maps. I came to see the damage that was done and the treasures that prevail. I stroke the beam of my lamp slowly along the flank of something more permanent than fish or weed the thing I came for: the wreck and not the story of the wreck the thing itself and not the myth the drowned face always staring toward the sun the evidence of damage worn by salt and sway into this threadbare beauty the ribs of the disaster curving their assertion among the tentative haunters. This is the place. And I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair streams black, the merman in his armored body. We circle silently about the wreck we dive into the hold. I am she: I am he whose drowned face sleeps with open eyes whose breasts still bear the stress whose silver, copper, vermeil cargo lies obscurely inside barrels half-wedged and left to rot we are the half-destroyed instruments that once held to a course the water-eaten log the fouled compass We are, I am, you are by cowardice or courage the one who find our way back to this scene carrying a knife, a camera a book of myths in which our names do not appear.
Adrienne Rich (Diving Into the Wreck)
By the following morning, Anthony was drunk. By afternoon, he was hungover. His head was pounding, his ears were ringing, and his brothers, who had been surprised to discover him in such a state at their club, were talking far too loudly. Anthony put his hands over his ears and groaned.Everyone was talking far too loudly. “Kate boot you out of the house?” Colin asked, grabbing a walnut from a large pewter dish in the middle their table and splitting it open with a viciously loud crack. Anthony lifted his head just far enough to glare at him. Benedict watched his brother with raised brows and the vaguest hint of a smirk. “She definitely booted him out,” he said to Colin. “Hand me one of those walnuts, will you?” Colin tossed one across the table. “Do you want the crackers as well?” Benedict shook his head and grinned as he held up a fat, leather-bound book. “Much more satisfying to smash them.” “Don’t,” Anthony bit out, his hand shooting out to grab the book, “even think about it.” “Ears a bit sensitive this afternoon, are they?” If Anthony had had a pistol, he would have shot them both, hang the noise. “If I might offer you a piece of advice?” Colin said, munching on his walnut. “You might not,” Anthony replied. He looked up. Colin was chewing with his mouth open. As this had been strictly forbidden while growing up in their household, Anthony could only deduce that Colin was displaying such poor manners only to make more noise. “Close your damned mouth,” he muttered. Colin swallowed, smacked his lips, and took a sip of his tea to wash it all down. “Whatever you did, apologize for it. I know you, and I’m getting to know Kate, and knowing what I know—” “What the hell is he talking about?” Anthony grumbled. “I think,” Benedict said, leaning back in his chair, “that he’s telling you you’re an ass.” “Just so!” Colin exclaimed. Anthony just shook his head wearily. “It’s more complicated than you think.” “It always is,” Benedict said, with sincerity so false it almost managed to sound sincere. “When you two idiots find women gullible enough to actually marry you,” Anthony snapped, “then you may presume to offer me advice. But until then ...shut up.” Colin looked at Benedict. “Think he’s angry?” Benedict quirked a brow. “That or drunk.” Colin shook his head. “No, not drunk. Not anymore, at least. He’s clearly hungover.” “Which would explain,” Benedict said with a philosophical nod, “why he’s so angry.” Anthony spread one hand over his face and pressed hard against his temples with his thumb and middle finger. “God above,” he muttered. ‘‘What would it take to get you two to leave me alone?” “Go home, Anthony,” Benedict said, his voice surprisingly gentle.
Julia Quinn (The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons, #2))
Are you willing to forget what you have done for other people and to remember what other people have done for you; to ignore what the world owes you and to think what you owe the world; to put your rights in the background and your duties in the middle distance and your chances to do a little more than your duty in the foreground; to see that your fellow men are just as real as you are, and try to look behind their faces to their hearts, hungry for joy; to own that probably the only good reason for your existence is not waht you are going to get out of life, but what you are going to give life; to close your book of complaints against the management of the universe and look around you for a place where you can sow a few seeds of happiness - are you willing to do these things for even a day? Are you willing to stoop down and consider the needs and the desires of little children; to remember the weakness and loneliness of people who are growing old; to stop asking how much your friends love you and ask yourself whether you love them enough; to bear in mind the things that other people have to bear on their hearts; to try to understand what those who live in the same house with you really want, without waiting for them to tell you; to trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front of you so that your shadow will fall behind you; to make a grave for your ugly thoughts and a garden for your kindly feelings, with the gate open - are you willing to do these things for even a day? Are you willing to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world, - stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death, - and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love? Then you can keep Christmas. And if you keep it for a day, why not always? But you can never keep it alone.
Caroline Kennedy (A Family Christmas)
Dear Daniel, How do you break up with your boyfriend in a way that tells him, "I don't want to sleep with you on a regular basis anymore, but please be available for late night booty calls if I run out of other options"? Lily Charlotte, NC Dear Lily, The story's so old you can't tell it anymore without everyone groaning, even your oldest friends with the last of their drinks shivering around the ice in their dirty glasses. The music playing is the same album everyone has. Those shoes, everybody has the same shoes on. It looked a little like rain so on person brought an umbrella, useless now in the starstruck clouded sky, forgotten on the way home, which is how the umbrella ended up in her place anyway. Everyone gets older on nights like this. And still it's a fresh slap in the face of everything you had going, that precarious shelf in the shallow closet that will certainly, certainly fall someday. Photographs slipping into a crack to be found by the next tenant, that one squinter third from the left laughing at something your roommate said, the coaster from that place in the city you used to live in, gone now. A letter that seemed important for reasons you can't remember, throw it out, the entry in the address book you won't erase but won't keep when you get a new phone, let it pass and don't worry about it. You don't think about them; "I haven't thought about them in forever," you would say if anybody brought it up, and nobody does." You think about them all the time. Close the book but forget to turn off the light, just sit staring in bed until you blink and you're out of it, some noise on the other side of the wall reminding you you're still here. That's it, that's everything. There's no statue in the town square with an inscription with words to live by. The actor got slapped this morning by someone she loved, slapped right across the face, but there's no trace of it on any channel no matter how late you watch. How many people--really, count them up--know where you are? How many will look after you when you don't show up? The churches and train stations are creaky and the street signs, the menus, the writing on the wall, it all feels like the wrong language. Nobody, nobody knows what you're thinking of when you lean your head against the wall. Put a sweater on when you get cold. Remind yourself, this is the night, because it is. You're free to sing what you want as you walk there, the trees rustling spookily and certainly and quietly and inimitably. Whatever shoes you want, fuck it, you're comfortable. Don't trust anyone's directions. Write what you might forget on the back of your hand, and slam down the cheap stuff and never mind the bad music from the window three floors up or what the boys shouted from the car nine years ago that keeps rattling around in your head, because you're here, you are, for the warmth of someone's wrists where the sleeve stops and the glove doesn't quite begin, and the slant of the voice on the punch line of the joke and the reflection of the moon in the water on the street as you stand still for a moment and gather your courage and take a breath before stealing away through the door. Look at it there. Take a good look. It looks like rain. Love, Daniel Handler
Daniel Handler
To all who walk the dark path, and to those who walk in the sunshine but hold out a hand in the darkness to travel beside us: Brighter days are coming. Clearer sight will arrive. And you will arrive too. No, it might not be forever. The bright moments might be for a few days at a time, but hold on for those days. Those days are worth the dark. In the dark you find yourself, all bones and exhaustion and helplessness. In the dark you find your basest self. In the dark you find the bottom of watery trenches the rest of the world only sees the surface of. You will see things that no normal person will ever see. Terrible things. Mysterious things. Things that try to burrow into your mind like a bad seed. Things that whisper dark and horrid secrets that you want to forget. Things that scream lies. Things that want you dead. Things that will stop at nothing to pull you down further and kill you in the most terrible way of all … by your own trembling hand. These things are fearsome monsters … the kind you always knew would sink in their needle-sharp teeth and pull you under the bed if you left a dangling limb out. You know they aren’t real, but when you’re in that black, watery hole with them they are the realest thing there is. And they want us dead. And sometimes they succeed. But not always. And not with you. You are alive. You have fought and battled them. You are scarred and worn and sometimes exhausted and were perhaps even close to giving up, but you did not. You have won many battles. There are no medals given out for these fights, but you wear your armor and your scars like an invisible skin, and each time you learn a little more. You learn how to fight. You learn which weapons work. You learn who your allies are. You learn that those monsters are exquisite liars who will stop at nothing to get you to surrender. Sometimes you fight valiantly with fists and words and fury. Sometimes you fight by pulling yourself into a tiny ball, blotting out the monsters along with the rest of the world. Sometimes you fight by giving up and turning it over to someone else who can fight for you. Sometimes you just fall deeper. And in the deepest, night-blind fathoms you’re certain that you’re alone. You aren’t. I’m there with you. And I’m not alone. Some of the best people are here too … feeling blindly. Waiting. Crying. Surviving. Painfully stretching their souls so that they can learn to breathe underwater … so that they can do what the monsters say is impossible. So that they can live. And so that they can find their way back to the surface with the knowledge of things that go bump in the night. So that they can dry themselves in the warm light that shines so brightly and easily for those above the surface. So that they can walk with others in the sunlight but with different eyes … eyes that still see the people underwater, allowing them to reach out into the darkness to pull up fellow fighters, or to simply hold their cold hands and sit beside the water to wait patiently for them to come up for air. Ground zero is where the normal people live their lives, but not us. We live in the negatives so often that we begin to understand that life when the sun shines should be lived full throttle, soaring. The invisible tether that binds the normal people on their steady course doesn’t hold us in the same way. Sometimes we walk in sunlight with everyone else. Sometimes we live underwater and fight and grow. And sometimes …  … sometimes we fly.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)