Cornelia Funke · 1152 pages
Rating: (16.1K votes)
“The world was a terrible place, cruel, pitiless, dark as a bad dream. Not a good place to live. Only in books could you find pity, comfort, happiness - and love. Books loved anyone who opened them, they gave you security and friendship and didn't ask anything in return; they never went away, never, not even when you treated them badly.”
“A thousand enemies outside the house are better than one within. Arab proverb”
“Everyone living around this lake thinks I’m crazy, and if we go back to the police with this story, then the news that Elinor Loredan has finally flipped will be all over the place. Which just goes to show that a passion for books is extremely unhealthy.”
“Oh, if you’re a bird, be an early bird And catch the worm for your breakfast plate. If you’re a bird, be an early bird But if you’re a worm, sleep late.”
“The books in Mo and Meggie’s house were stacked under tables, on chairs, in the corners of the rooms. There were books in the kitchen and books in the lavatory. Books on the TV set and in the closet, small piles of books, tall piles of books, books thick and thin, books old and new. They welcomed Meggie down to breakfast with invitingly opened pages; they kept boredom at bay when the weather was bad. And sometimes you fell over them. “He’s just standing there!” whispered Meggie, leading Mo into her room. “Has he got a hairy face? If so he could be a werewolf.” “Oh, stop it!” Meggie looked at him sternly, although his jokes made her feel less scared. Already, she hardly believed anymore in the figure standing in the rain—until she knelt down again at the window. “There! Do you see him?” she whispered. Mo looked out through the raindrops running down the”
“Nichts war grausamer als ein Herz aus Fleisch und Blut, weil es wusste, was Schmerzen bereitet.”
“After all,” she said, “many people here have little enough patience or understanding for their fellow human beings who are only superficially different than them—so how would it be for little people with blue skins who can fly?”
“My darling,” she said at last, “are you sure you don’t mind being a mouse for the rest of your life?” “I don’t mind at all,” I said. “It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like so long as somebody loves you.”
“Look. (Grown-ups skip this paragraph.) I’m not about to tell you this book has a tragic ending, I already said in the very first line how it was my favorite in all the world. But there’s a lot of bad stuff coming. William Goldman, The Princess Bride”
“The Road goes ever on and on Down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, And I must follow, if I can, Pursuing it with weary feet, Until it joins some larger way Where many paths and errands meet. And whither then? I cannot say. J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”
“It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.” Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland”
“In books I meet the dead as if they were alive, in books I see what is yet to come … All things decay and pass with time … all fame would fall victim to oblivion if God had not given mortal men the book to aid them.”
“There is a sort of busy worm, That will the fairest book deform. Their tasteless tooth will tear and taint The poet, patriot, sage or saint, Nor sparing wit nor learning. Now, if you’d know the reason why, The best of reasons I’ll supply: ’Tis bread to the poor vermin. J. Doraston, quoted by W. Blades”
“night.” “Sometimes, yes,” Meggie had said. “But it only works for children.” Which made Mo tweak her nose. Mo. Meggie had never called her father anything else. That night—when so much began and so many things changed forever—Meggie had one of her favorite books under her pillow, and since the rain wouldn’t let her sleep she sat up, rubbed the drowsiness from her eyes, and took it out. Its pages rustled promisingly when she opened it. Meggie thought this first whisper sounded a little different from one book to another, depending on whether or not she already knew the story it was going to tell her. But she needed light. She had a box of matches hidden in the drawer of her bedside table. Mo had forbidden her to light candles at night. He didn’t like fire. “Fire devours books,” he always said, but she was twelve years old, she surely could be trusted to keep an eye on a couple of candle flames. Meggie loved to read by candlelight. She had five candlesticks on the windowsill, and she was just holding the lighted match to one of the black wicks when she heard footsteps outside. She blew out the match in alarm—oh, how well she remembered it, even many years later—and knelt to look out of the window, which was wet with rain. Then she saw him. The rain cast a kind of pallor on the darkness, and the stranger was little more than a shadow. Only his face gleamed white as he looked up at Meggie. His hair clung to his wet forehead. The rain was falling on him, but he ignored it. He stood there motionless, arms crossed over his chest as if that might at least warm him a little. And he kept on staring at the house. I must go and wake Mo, thought Meggie. But she stayed put, her heart thudding, and went on gazing out into the night as if the stranger’s stillness had infected her. Suddenly, he turned his head, and Meggie felt as if he were looking straight into her eyes. She shot off the bed so fast the open book fell to the floor, and she ran barefoot out into the dark corridor. This was the end of May, but it was chilly in the old house. There was still a light on in Mo’s room. He often stayed up reading late into the night. Meggie had inherited her love of books from her father. When she took refuge from a bad dream with him, nothing could lull her to sleep better than Mo’s calm breathing beside her and the sound of the pages turning. Nothing chased nightmares away faster than”
“The python dropped his head lightly for a moment on Mowgli’s shoulders. “A brave heart and a courteous tongue,” said he. “They shall carry thee far through the jungle, manling.”
“Perhaps she was more like him than he’d thought: Her home, too, had consisted of paper and printer’s ink. She probably felt as lost as he did in the real world.”
“widened greedily, Meggie concluded they could only be discussing a book,”
“an odd thing happens: The book begins collecting your memories. And forever after you have only to open that book to be back where you first read it. It will all come into your mind with the very first words: the sights you saw in that place, what it smelled like, the ice cream you ate while you were reading it … yes, books are like flypaper—memories cling to the printed page better than anything else.” He”
“For him that stealeth, or borroweth and returneth not, this book from its owner, let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him. Let him be struck with palsy, and all his members blasted. Let him languish in pain, crying aloud for mercy, and let there be no surcease to this agony till he sing in dissolution. Let bookworms gnaw his entrails … and when at last he goeth to his last punishment, let the flames of hell consume him for ever. Curse on book thieves, from the monastery of San Pedro, Barcelona, Spain T”
“Although it’s not just plants and animals that die out, so do books. Quite often, I’m sorry to say. I’m sure you could fill a hundred houses like this one to the roof with all the books that have disappeared forever.”
“I libri devono essere pesanti perché dentro hanno il mondo intero.”
“Faccio volentieri delle promesse, specialmente quelle che non posso mantenere.”
“La paura ha tutto un altro sapore quando la si vive dal vero, Meggie, e giocare all’eroe non era così divertente come mi ero immaginato.”
“You know, it’s a funny thing about writers. Most people don’t stop to think of books being written by people much like themselves. They think that writers are all dead long ago—they don’t expect to meet them in the street or out shopping. They know their stories but not their names, and certainly not their faces. And most writers like it”
“Nothing chased nightmares away faster than the rustle of printed paper. But”
“«Cara Elinor, evidentemente lei è nata nella storia sbagliata» osservò Dita di Polvere. Erano le prime parole che pronunciava dall’inizio del viaggio.
«Nella storia sbagliata? Vorrà dire nell’epoca sbagliata. Sì, anch’io l’ho pensato spesso».
«La chiami un po’ come le pare» replicò lui.”
“Il punto è che credi troppo volentieri a ciò che vuoi credere.”
“NANCY DREW began peeling off her garden gloves as she ran up the porch steps and into the hall to answer the ringing telephone. She picked it up and said, “Hello!” “Hi, Nancy! This is Helen.” Although Helen Corning was nearly three years older than Nancy, the two girls were close friends. “Are you tied up on a case?” Helen asked. “No. What’s up? A mystery?” “Yes—a haunted house.”
“They'd poisoned me, dammit. Probably to trade my dead body to the barbarians for Wulfgar's safe return. Or maybe just for the fun of it.”
“There are things of such darkness and horror—just, I suppose, as there are things of such great beauty—that they will not fit through the puny human doors of perception.”
“Okay, here are the top ten reasons why I can't stand my sister Lucy:
10. I get all her hand-me-downs, even her bras.
9. Whem I refuse to wear her hand-me-downs, especially her bras, I get the big lecture about waste and the environment. Look, I am way concerned about the environment. But that does not mean I want to wear me sister's old bras.I told Mom I see no reason why I should even have to wear a bra, seeing as how it's not like I've got a lot to put in one, causing Lucy to remark that if I don't wear a bra now, then if I ever do get anything up there. it will be all saggy like those tribal women we saw on the Discovery Channel.
8. This is another reason why I can't stand Lucy. Because she is always making these kind of remarks. What we should really do, if you ask me, is send Lucy's old bras to those tribal women.
7. Her conversations on the phone go like this: "No way... So what did he say?... Then what did she say?... No way... That is so totally untrue... I do not. I so do not... Who said that?... Well, it isn't true... No. I do not... I do not like him... Well, okay, maybe I do. Oh, gotta go, call-waiting.”
“It must be tempered with discipline. Ferocity is useless unless employed in the proper place . . .”
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