Category Archives: Quotes

Literary quote graphics to amuse, entertain and inspire. Words from books that I’ve been reading that have chimed with me.

Quote me on that… a half-finished book

A half-read book is a half-finished love affair

Image based on an original by Jain Basil Aliyas under the terms of Creative Commons license.

I loved Frobischer’s character in David Mitchell’s The Cloud Atlas. Everything about his characterization was perfect but I loved the “A half-read book is a half-finished love affair” line. I think it’s something every reader can relate to. Unless the book was by James Joyce, in which case it was almost certainly a dead-end relationship and you’re better off without it….

I will try reading Joyce’s books again one day. But I will need the world’s biggest cup of tea and a huge plate of biscuits to hand.

Quote me on that…Shakespeare and Destiny

night sky

Image created using background by Scott Wylie

An inspirational quote to kick the working week off, but I’m never entirely sure whether I actually believe it. Regardless of whether you believe in free will or determinism (or compatiblism, I’ve done my reading) I don’t think anyone can truly believe that their destiny is entirely theirs to decide.

Still, it’s a nice thought and sounds good on a Monday.

Quote me on that… tea

Image adapted from original by Constanza

Image adapted from original by Constanza under Creative Commons license

 

I love this quotation from The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. The full quotation reads

”When tea becomes ritual, it takes its place at the heart of our ability to see greatness in small things. Where is beauty to be found? In great things that, like everything else, are doomed to die, or in small things that aspire to nothing, yet know how to set a jewel of infinity in a single moment?”

Infinity in a single moment, there you have it. Books, tea and biscuits are all very well for every day use, but we’re talking about the grand occasion here. What better reason to get out your best china and have a ritualized afternoon tea on a sunny Saturday? Clotted cream scones, cucumber sandwiches and all.

 

Quote me on that… people who sneer at fiction

pleasure in a good novel Austen

Picture courtesy of ShutterHack on Flickr

Facebook is pretty annoying, but when you take out the equation the big, worse-than-annoying stuff you see (racism, homophobia, etc.) by unfriending people, one of the most annoying things I’ve ever seen was someone who wrote in their favourite books section: “I don’t read fiction, I prefer to spend my time on things which actually have some relevance in the world.”

I had to count to ten. And breathe deeply. And swore anyway.

It really annoys me when people just dismiss books as being trivial. They aren’t. This is why books are still banned and still get burned. People are scared of the ideas they contain because they have meaning and power. But you’ve no doubt heard this all before so I will leave you with an appropriate put down from Jane Austen, which you must deliver in your best impersonation of Downton Abbey’s Lady Grantham the next time you see someone utter something so dismissive.

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

 

Quote me on that…Gatsby parties

thanks to Clotho98 on Flickr for letting me use this image

thanks to Clotho98 on Flickr for letting me use this image

Or to give the quote in full:

Anyhow, he gives large parties,” said Jordan, changing the subject with an urban distaste for the concrete. “And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.

The Great Gatsby F Scott Fitzgerald

Call me morally bankrupt, but I could quite fancy going to a Great Gatsby party, just once… thought I did read a brilliant article on The Atlantic about “the sublime cluelessness of throwing lavish Gatsby parties” which said “it’s a bit like throwing a Lolita-themed children’s birthday party.”

So, I won’t be throwing my own. But if you happen to be planning one, be sure to invite me.