Today I want to talk about choosing quotes from books. In whatever book I’m reading, I’m always looking for quotes I can note down – or highlight, if I’m reading on my Kindle, because I like including quotes in my reviews AND taking little pieces from some of the books I’ve read. And it doesn’t even need to be of books I like. Sometimes, I find quotes pretty easily. But then there are the times when I have difficulties.
For some reason, I’m really concerned (okay, fine, fussy) about the kinds of quotes I choose and put in reviews. They must be just right, meaning:
- They must be non-spoilery (duh)
- They must make sense to everyone
- They can’t be too long
- They must want to make the reader read the book… or not read it, for horrible ones
- They must feel meaningful, or beautiful, or significant, for good books; for bad ones, they just need to drive home a point I’ve pointed out
- They must evoke some kind of feeling from me, and hopefully others
Does that sound overly picky or what?!
That’s probably why I have so much difficulty! Every time I find a quote that’s meaningful to me, I feel self-conscious that other people who haven’t read the book won’t think the same way, so more often than not, I don’t use it. Which is also why many of my reviews don’t have quotes.
I can’t help wondering, though: am I the only one? This “condition” probably sounds strange and petty to some of you, but it’s a HUGE issue for me. I get so worked up, and I even stopped trying to convince myself that it was just me being weird when I saw something similar happen to another reviewer – her quote didn’t make sense to me, nor was it really significant. That just confirmed my fears. It is possible for people not to make much sense of your quote. And that terrifies me, because it’s so embarrassing. To me, what’s the point of choosing a quote if no one can make sense of it?
That’s just me, though.
And since this is a post about quotes, I just can’t pass up the chance to share with you some of my favorite ones. 🙂
From Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
“After all this time?”
“Always,” said Snape.
With just one word, Snape shows just how much he loves Lily. And honestly, that one word managed to make thousands – probably millions – cry their hearts out.
“What are they all staring at?” demanded Albus as he and Rose craned around to look at the other students.
“Don’t let it worry you,” said Ron. “It’s me. I’m extremely famous.”
In one line, J.K. Rowling manages to convey Ron’s humor brilliantly.
From Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.
The beginning of an adventure. Goes to show that you aren’t always what you think you are, eh?
“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”
DUMBLEDORE! My man!
From Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
This is also why cheating never works out. You may be a slick liar, but in the end, the truth always comes to light.
From The Lord of the Rings
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
This part of the poem shows how powerful – and evil – the One Ring is. There’s more to the poem, of course, but the rest didn’t really mean much to me. I loved how Tolkien managed to show us how evil the Ring was in just these few lines.
From Pivot Point–
When I read, I feel emotion all on my own. Emotion no living person is making me feel.
Do I even need to explain this? This quote rings true for me ALL the time!
From To Kill a Mockingbird
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
Nice piece of advice from the one and only Atticus Finch!
From Beautiful Creatures
“The right thing and easy thing are never the same.”
Another good piece of advice from Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (I can’t remember who said this in the book, ha).
Over to you!
Do you face any similar problems with picking quotes? Or do you have any advice? Do share! Plus, if you have any favorite quotes, don’t hesitate to mention them below. More books for me to check out, yay!