100 Most Famous Book Quotes of All Time

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Have you ever encountered a quote that pierced your heart, made you laugh uncontrollably, brought a huge smile to your face, or made you bawl your eyes out?

I’m sure many of you have come across such quotes, and being readers, it’s an everyday thing for us, right? Well, it’s definitely for me! 

Certain phrases in a book hold the power to make us feel a plethora of emotions, and they stick with us even after the book is placed in our ‘finished reading section.’ 

Book quotes are worth writing and remembering, and if you connect with them, then they will be with you forever. 

To help you with the collection, I have compiled this list of 100 famous book quotes from some of the world’s most beloved authors and their best-known books. 

With the combination of classics and modern-day books, this list consists of quotes that have struck a chord in the hearts of millions around the world.

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

_ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will, which I now exert to leave you.

_ Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…

_ Oh, the Places You’ll Go! Dr Seuss

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.

_ Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Forgiveness condones nothing, but it does cast off the chains of anger, judgment, resentment, denial, and pain that choke growth. In this way, it allows for life, for freedom. So that’s what’s at stake when it comes to forgiveness: freedom. With this freedom, we can feel better, be better, and choose better next time.

_ Michele Harper, The Beauty in Breaking

Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone … just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.

_ The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.

_ Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte

A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well — or ill?

_ John Steinbeck, East of Eden

This above all: To thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.

_ William Shakespeare, Hamlet

‘Why did you do all this for me?’ he asked. ‘I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’ ‘You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.’

_ E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.

_ Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

_ George Orwell, Animal Farm

How you live your life is your business. But remember, our hearts and our bodies are given to us only once. Most of us can’t help but live as though we’ve got two lives to live, one is the mockup, the other the finished version, and then there are all those versions in between.

_ André Aciman, Call Me By Your Name

And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

_ F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.

_ Margery Williams, Velveteen Rabbit

There are years that ask questions and years that answer.

_ Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.

_ Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

Ever’body’s askin’ that. ‘What we comin’ to?’ Seems to me we don’t never come to nothin’. Always on the way.

_ John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.

_ George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

_ Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Tomorrow I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day.

_ Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind

Why, sometimes, I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

_ Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass

Life is to be lived, not controlled; and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat.

_ Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.

_ J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

I had the epiphany that laughter was light, and light was laughter, and that this was the secret of the universe.

_ Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places.

_ Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

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.

_ Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.

_ Nicole Krauss, The History of Love

Very few castaways can claim to have survived so long at sea as Mr. Patel, and none in the company of an adult Bengal tiger.

_ Yann Martel, Life of Pi

You pierce my soul. I am half agony. Half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever.

_ Jane Austen, Persuasion

You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.

_ Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Call me Ishmael.

_ Herman Melville, Moby Dick

He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.

_ Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart

Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

_ Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Grey

Time is the longest distance between two places.

_ Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

The voice of the sea is seductive, never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander in abysses of solitude.

_ Kate Chopin, The Awakening

We dream in our waking moments, and walk in our sleep.

_ Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.

_ William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Memories, even your most precious ones, fade surprisingly quickly. But I don’t go along with that. The memories I value most, I don’t ever see them fading.

_ Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go

My advice is, never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.

_ Charles Dickens, David Copperfield

So many things are possible just as long as you don’t know they’re impossible.

_ Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

I can’t stand it to think my life is going so fast and I’m not really living it.

_ Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises

The same substance composes us — the tree overhead, the stone beneath us, the bird, the beast, the star — we are all one, all moving to the same end.

_ P.L. Travers, Mary Poppins

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

_ Ulysses, Alfred Lord Tennyson

I wish, as well as everybody else, to be perfectly happy; but, like everybody else, it must be in my own way.

_ Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

Love is holy because it is like grace – the worthiness of its object is never really what matters.

_ Marilynne Robinson, Gilead

Brave doesn’t mean you’re not scared. It means you go on even though you’re scared.

_ Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give

And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

_ Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you.

_ Roald Dahl, The Witches

Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You’re given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself.

_ Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time

The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is 42.

_ Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts.

_ William Shakespeare, As You Like It

Stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold.

_ S. E. Hinton, The Outsiders

Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I’m not living.

_ Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Not all those who wander are lost.

_ The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkein

Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches.

_ William Goldman, The Princess Bride

You don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, but that ain’t no matter.

_ Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Love is the longing for the half of ourselves we have lost.

_ Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.

_ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

For you, a thousand times over.

_ Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

Then you must teach my daughter this same lesson. How to lose your innocence but not your hope. How to laugh forever.

_ Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club

And may the odds be ever in your favor.

_ Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games

Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy.

_ William Golding, Lord of the Flies

Oh, the places you’ll go! You’ll be on your way up! You’ll be seeing great sights! You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.

_ Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go

The longer I live, the more uninformed I feel. Only the young have an explanation for everything.

_ Isabel Allende, City of the Beasts

We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories.

_ Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.

_ William Shakespeare, The Tempest

As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into an enormous insect.

_ Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis

Most men and women will grow up to love their servitude and will never dream of revolution.

_ Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited

‘But man is not made for defeat,’ he said. ‘A man can be destroyed but not defeated.’

_ Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

_ Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Anything worth dying for is certainly worth living for.”

_ Joseph Heller, Catch-22

There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.

_ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.

_ To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

All we can know is that we know nothing. And that’s the height of human wisdom.

_ Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

“We accept the love we think we deserve.”

_ Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

“But it’s like trying to hold on to a fistful of sand: all the little bits slip out of your hands, and then you’re just clutching air and grit.”

_ Jenny Han To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

“Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive, and will come forth later, in uglier ways.”

_ Alex Michaelides, The Silent Patient

“But the truth is, praise is just like an addiction. The more you get it, the more of it you need just to stay even.”

_ The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid

“Knowing too much of your future is never a good thing.”

_ Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief

“The heart is an arrow. It demands aim to land true.”

_ Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows

“Fear is a phoenix. You can watch it burn a thousand times and still it will return.”

_ Leigh Bardugo, Crooked Kingdom

“There is no good and evil, there is only power and those too weak to seek it.”

_ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

“God gives us the ugliness so we don’t take the beautiful things in life for granted.”

_ Colleen Hoover, Ugly Love

“Some old wounds never truly heal, and bleed again at the slightest word.”

_ George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

“And that’s how easy it is for a writer to pretend to be someone they aren’t.”

_ Colleen Hoover, Verity

“Nobody likes being alone that much. I don’t go out of my way to make friends, that’s all. It just leads to disappointment. ”

_ Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

“A lot of you cared, just not enough.”

_ Jay Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why

“There’s a difference between really loving someone and loving the idea of her.”

_ Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

“Impulsive actions led to trouble, and trouble could have unpleasant consequences.”

_ Stieg Larsson, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

“He really had been through death, but he had returned because he could not bear the solitude.”

_ Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

“Like most misery, it started with apparent happiness.”

_ Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

“Behind every trial and sorrow that He makes us shoulder, God has a reason.”

_ Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns

“Perhaps that’s why I find myself looking backward. The past has a clarity I can no longer see in the present.” 

_ Kristin Hannah, The Nightingale

“It had always seemed to him a very plush kind of problem, a privilege, really, to consider whether life was meaningful or not.”

_ Hanya Yanagihara, A Little Life

“She had never dreamed there could be so much pain in a life when there was nothing physically wrong. She hurt all the time.

_ Stephen King, The Shining

“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.”

_ Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.

_ L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

“Humans are so ill-equipped for peace.”

_ V.E. Schwab, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

“People always clap for the wrong reasons.”

_ J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye


There are so many incredible, famous book quotes out there; it’s hard to choose just a few! What are your favorite book quotes of all time? Let me know in the comments below!

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