Gabrielle Zevin · 260 pages
Rating: (163.2K votes)
“Sometimes books don't find us until the right time.”
“You know everything you need to know about a person from the answer to the question, What is your favorite book?”
“The words you can’t find, you borrow.
We read to know we’re not alone. We read because we are alone. We read and we are not alone. We are not alone.
My life is in these books, he wants to tell her. Read these and know my heart.
We are not quite novels.
The analogy he is looking for is almost there.
We are not quite short stories. At this point, his life is seeming closest to that.
In the end, we are collected works.”
“We aren’t the things we collect, acquire, read. We are, for as long as we are here, only love. The things we loved. The people we loved. And these, I think these really do live on”
“We are not quite novels.
We are not quite short stories.
In the end, we are collected works.”
“Remember, Maya: the things we respond to at twenty are not necessarily the same things we will respond to at forty and vice versa. This is true in books and also in life.”
“They had only ever discussed books but what, in this life, is more personal than books?”
“I can promise you books and conversation and all my heart.”
“It is the secret fear that we are unlovable that isolates us,” the passage goes, “but it is only because we are isolated that we think we are unlovable. Someday, you do not know when, you will be driving down a road. And someday, you do not know when, he, or indeed she, will be there. You will be loved because for the first time in your life, you will truly not be alone. You will have chosen to not be alone.”
“A place ain’t a place without a bookstore,”
“Someday, you may think of marrying. Pick someone who thinks you're the only person in the room.”
“No Man Is An Island; Every Book Is A World.”
“Why is any one book different from any other book? They are different, A.J. decides, because they are. We have to look inside many. We have to believe. We agree to be disappointed sometimes so that we can be exhilarated every now and again.”
“The words you can't find, you borrow.
We read to know we're not alone. We read because we are alone. We read and we are not alone.”
“The most annoying thing about it is that once a person gives a shit about one thing, he finds he has to start giving a shit about everything.”
“Every word the right one and exactly where it should be. That's basically the highest compliment I can give.”
“Most people's problems would be solved if they would only give more things a chance.”
“Bookstores attract the right kind of folk. Good people like A.J. and Amelia. And I like talking about books with people who like talking about books. I like paper. I like how it feels, and I like the feel of a book in my back pocket. I like how a new book smells, too.”
“A question I've thought about a great deal is why it is so much easier to write about the things we dislike/hate/acknowledge to be flawed than the things we love.”
“The words you can't find, you borrow.”
“I do not like postmodernism, postapocalyptic settings, postmortem narrators, or magic realism. I rarely respond to supposedly clever formal devices, multiple fonts, pictures where they shouldn't be—basically, gimmicks of any kind. I find literary fiction about the Holocaust or any other major world tragedy to be distasteful—nonfiction only, please. I do not like genre mash-ups à la the literary detective novel or the literary fantasy. Literary should be literary, and genre should be genre, and crossbreeding rarely results in anything satisfying. I do not like children's books, especially ones with orphans, and I prefer not to clutter my shelves with young adult. I do not like anything over four hundred pages or under one hundred fifty pages. I am repulsed by ghostwritten novels by reality television stars, celebrity picture books, sports memoirs, movie tie-in editions, novelty items, and—I imagine this goes without saying—vampires.”
“The difficulty of living alone is that any mess he makes he is forced to clean up himself.
No, the real difficulty of living alone is that no one cares if you are upset.”
“Remember that a fine education can be found in places other than the usual.”
“Maya, we are what we love. We are that we love.”
“Do you like Moby Dick?" he asks.
"I hate it," she says. "And I don't say that about many things. Teachers assign it, and parents are happy because their kids are reading something of 'quality.' But it's forcing kids to read books like that that make them think they hate reading.”
“Who are these people who think a book comes with a guarantee that they will like it?”
“When I read a book, I want you to be reading it at the same time. I want to know what would Amelia think of it. I want you to be mine. I can promise you books and conversation and all my heart, Amy.”
“Love you,” Maya says. “Yes, she keeps saying that,” A.J. says. “I warned her about giving love that hasn’t yet been earned, but honestly, I think it’s the influence of that insidious Elmo. He loves everyone, you know?”
“I've been a police officer for twenty years now and I'll tell you, pretty much every bad thing is life is a result of bad timing, and every good thing is the result of good timing.”
“He wants to laugh out loud or punch a wall. He feels drunk or at least carbonated. Insane. At first, he thinks this is happiness, but then he determines it's love. Fucking love, he thinks. What a bother. It's completely gotten in the way of his plan to drink himself to death, to drive his business to ruin. The most annoying thing about it is that once a person gives a shit about one thing, he finds he has to start giving a shit about everything.”
“If a situation requires swearing to God it is — by definition — extreme.”
“What is the scent of water?"
"Renewal. The goodness of God coming down like dew.”
“You’re stuck with yourself for the rest of your life, and now you know, beyond a doubt, that you’re an asshole.”
“Remember, the main job of the leader is thinking. And the best preparation for leadership is thinking.”
“Choose what’s important to you, Macy. Not for the moment, but for eternity.”
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