Top Ten Tuesday: Inspirational Book-ish quotes

Books and authors inspire in countless ways, one of the most lasting is through a well-built quotation. Quotes that capture an ideal, an entire theme in a few brief words, or those which stand alone on their own power are the ones I respond to the most.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl since January of 2018. Jana writes, “it was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.” In that spirit, link up with your list at That Artsy Reader Girl and comment with your list, link, or thoughts below.

My Quotes


“Maybe our favorite quotations say more about us than about the stories and people we’re quoting.”
― John Green

What better way to start a list of personally meaningful quotations?


“We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same.”
Anne Frank

Anne’s profound insights into human nature remain one of her greatest legacies.


“She loved books. She loved them with her senses and her intellect. They way they looked and smelled; the way they felt in her hands; the way the pages seemed to murmur as she turned them. Everything there is in the world, she thought, is in books.” 
― Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Few characters capture the bitter-sweetness of childhood as succinctly as young Francie Nolan. And when it comes to books,
she knows what’s up.


“I do desire we may be better strangers.” –William Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s insults are as sharp and piercing as his virtuosic prose is soaring. He was the original savage. This quote fits the theme, in that, I’m inspired to use it in an appropriate situation someday–deliver, turn, and walk away.


“There was no harm in taking aim, even if the target was a dream.” 
― John Knowles, A Separate Peace

Well, ain’t that the truth?


“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”
― Ray Bradbury

Bradbury possessed a prophetic gift for predicting the future in his works. I hope he was wrong about this one.


“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” 
― Malala Yousafzai, I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

One of the most inspiring authors, advocates and human beings of our time.


“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” 
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Nobody says it better (or wiser) than Gandalf.


“Get busy living or get busy dying…..there ain’t nothing in between”
― Stephen King, Different Seasons

King’s body of work is
eminently quotable. I remember how these words from Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption resonated with me when I faced a cancer diagnosis in my early 30s; they still do today.


“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” 
― Robert Frost

Sometimes, the simplest notions carry the most impact. As poet and truth teller, Frost’s matter-of-fact distillation of life has always rung truest to my ears.

Hmm…I thought I was sticking to a unifying theme, but perhaps not. Overcoming adversity, the vital importance of learning and dreaming, and facing life’s truths are well represented, however. Honestly, I could write 10 more top tens on this topic. Any bookish lines that move you? Share your go-to inspirational quotes in the comments.

14 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Inspirational Book-ish quotes

    1. Thank you. The way Frost distills it all down to 3 words is so beautiful, melancholy and very true. That Shakespeare is bloody brilliant and fun to quote, juxtaposed against the hopefulness of the John Knowles, they felt like a good fit. I’ll shoot on over to Shooting Star to check out your list, next.:)


    1. Thank you, I appreciate that, Brooke. The John Green was too fitting, I knew it had to be included but I struggled with which LOTR to include, especially since I’m reading The Two Towers rn. Gandalf’s wisdom is timeless and endlessly quotable.


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