“I envy you, that it’s so easy for you to think of things in terms of black and white. I’d like to think I’m a good person, believe it or not. Everything I’ve done, I did because I thought it was right at the time. In hindsight, some of the ends didn’t justify the means, and sometimes there were unforseen consequences.” Like Dinah. “But I don’t think of myself as a bad person.”
“It’s for love, in the end. Pettiest of all pursuits. Arrogance, greed, even revenge… they’re nobler, trust me. I’ve walked all those roads. But love? It twists all the other things. Makes you misstep, makes you irrational, makes you impatient, above all.”
“That’s the funny thing about pity, Saint. It’s condescending by default.”
“Everyone likes the manipulative assholes after they’ve had a chance to do their manipulating.”
“Nature of a compromise is that it leaves everyone more or less equally unhappy.”
“According to studies, clinically depressed individuals have a more accurate grasp of reality than the average person. We tell ourselves lies and layer falsehoods and self-assurances over one another in order to cope with a world colored by pain and suffering. We put blinders on. If we lose that illusion, we crumble into depression or we crack and go mad. So perhaps I’m crazy, but only because I see things too clearly?”
“…And you’re acting like I should be able to read something in your silence. The problem is that speech needs periods of silence to be intelligible, to separate the words and keep it from being a steady drone of noise. To frame it. The opposite is true. To find the meaning in what’s left unsaid, we need words to punctuate it.”
“Limitations foster creativity. Tell an artist to paint anything, and he may struggle, but tell him to create something specific, in a set amount of time, for a certain audience, and these constraints might well push him to produce something he might never have come up with on his own. We grow and evolve by testing ourselves. That’s my personal philosophy.”
“We are a wretched, petty species, and we have been given power to destroy ourselves with.”
“As if family somehow made you better than someone else? The idea nettled Bitch. Life experience had taught her that it was all too often the opposite. People were assholes, people were monsters. The exceptions were all too rare. Far too many of those same people started a family just because they thought it was what they should do, and then they were assholes and monsters to a captive audience.”
“Things become a great deal easier once you realize how temporary it all is.”
“Life’s not fair. It’s not even, not balanced, not right. Why should relationships between people be any different? There’s always going to be an imbalance in power. The other person might have a higher social standing, they might have money, or more social graces. Isn’t it better to stop stressing about quid pro quo and just do what you want or what you can?”
“I trust that people will improve, as a group, but we can help it along by striving to be better people on an individual basis.”
“I don’t think humanity is noble,” I said. “Not in the least. It’s not just or fair on an intrinsic level. It’s not even good. But I kind of hoped we’d go out fighting the other guy.”
“When you’re in that position, sometimes the only people willing to extend those second chances to you are the people who need them.”
“Do morals matter, if our alternative is a grim and hopeless end?”
“Threats is the wrong word,” she said. “But English is a limited language in some ways. There’s really no word to articulate what I mean. A threat with a measure of inevitability to it. A promise? Too feeble. People break promises too often. A curse? A malediction? Too… magical. An oath? The connotations are wrong. When I say I’ll do something, I make it happen.”
“Okay, here’s a cheat I learned in a leadership seminar. It’s called active listening. Someone says something, a complaint, or a criticism, or they’re excited about something that happened to them. For a lot of us, our instinct is to offer a solution, or expand on an idea, to fix or offer something. The key is to think about how they’re feeling, be receptive to that, and parrot it back to them. They just got a new car, and they’re happy about it? A simple ‘that’s excellent’ or ‘you must be so proud’ works. It leaves room for them to keep talking, to know you’re listening. For your teammate who just lost someone she obviously cared about, just recognizing that she’s upset and she’s right to feel upset, that’s enough.”
“But people were stupid. A chronic condition of our society, that so many people somehow thought they were special, the exception to the rule. In this panicked crowd, every rule was being broken.”
“She had been forced by the rules her maker had imposed on her to sacrifice herself for the human.
It wasn’t that she wouldn’t have anyways. She just would have liked the choice. Making sacrifices and doing good deeds wasn’t actually good if you were forced to do them.”
“People are suffering all around the world. We ignore what’s happening elsewhere every second of every day, focusing only on our country, our city, our neighborhood, or on the people we see daily. We only really care about the pain and unhappiness of our loved ones, our friends and families, because we couldn’t stay sane if we tried to support and save everyone. Nobody could try to do anything like that, except maybe Scion. I’m applying that concept to a smaller scale. My family and my team, they take priority, and they take priority in that order.”
“So you’re following orders,” I said. “That’s the worst and scariest excuse in the world, really.”
“Theo scratched the animal under the collar, and watched it crane its head to one side, enjoying the contact.
It helped, oddly enough. Having contact with another living creature without all of the issues and hassles of dealing with people. No judgement, no worries, just… this. Being alone without being alone.”
“I know I sound a little crazy when I say that, but really, you get a glimpse of these bugs as they go about their lives, almost mechanical in how they follow their instincts, you see them breeding, eating, building nests, and dying, and you see how they just saturate every aspect of our existence, in the air, the dark corners, the insides of the walls, they eat our dead. I can’t sense them, but there’re skin mites all over our bodies and in our eyelashes… I guess it takes me out of myself when I think about it, reminds me that we’re only one part of this vast system, we’re cogs in the universe, in our own way. Seeing the little details makes me feel like the big problems aren’t so personal, they aren’t as overwhelming.”
“If you’ve decided who you want to be,” Glenn said, “Accept all of it. The good, the bad, the ambiguous. Vulnerabilities and strengths. The anger, that’s part of it. The fear for people you care about, that’s a strength too. Doesn’t feel very good while you’re experiencing it, but it’s a well you can tap. And with luck, knowing who you are means not having to waste time and effort on putting up a facade. Maybe that extra time and effort you have at your disposal will make the difference.”
“I was swiftly losing faith in humanity. Not that I had much to spare.”
“There’s no use in getting worked up over it if we can’t plan around it or do anything to change it. So we’ll each do our own imperfect jobs of taking care of each other and taking care of ourselves, and be as ready as we can for whatever comes up.”
“The pig prank involved letting three pigs into a school after hours, each painted with a big number on their sides; one, two and four, respectively. The idea was that the people who had to find and capture the pigs would spend ages trying to find the third.”
“Groups of people who take up the entire sidewalk so you have to step onto the road to go around them are a definite pet peeve of mine. Oblivious people who block the entire sidewalk and walk slowly enough that you’re forced to dawdle, yet fast enough that you can’t walk around them? They make me fantasize about bringing swarms of bees down on their heads. Not that I would actually do it, of course.”
“You realize how small you are in the grand scheme of things. We’re not really the rulers of this planet, we’re just tenants, and it’s the small stuff, the bacteria and insects and the plant matter that really runs it all. Even the big stuff, the nasty, scary stuff, it’s all pretty small in the grand scheme of things, isn’t it?”
“Peanut butter is my favorite food.”
Rivers looks at me for a long time, finally shaking his head. He moves to my side, reclining next tome. “Peanut butter is not food.”
“Then what is it?”
“I don't know. A condiment. Like ketchup or mustard.”
“Really, Rivers? Do you put peanut butter on a hamburger?”
“Do you eat it plain?” he shoots back.
“Okay, do most people eat it plain?”
“understand better the world in which it was born and how inextricably connected it was to that world; to appreciate the wonder of how it came together; to appreciate that literary study and historical study of the Bible are not enemies, or even alternatives to one another. Rather, they enrich one another. Whether one is a Christian or a Jew or from another religion or no religion, whether one is religious or not, the more one knows of the Bible the more one stands in awe of it.”
“Only by binding together as a single force will we remain strong and unconquerable.”
“Oh, Vivian Apple," Harp says. "You beautiful, crazy bitch.”
“(...) que tenía una inscripción del talmund en hebreo 'Aquel que salva una vida, salva al mundo entero'.”
BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.
We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.
Founded in 2023, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.