The 25 most powerful book quotes of all time

Posted by
Stylist Team
backgroundLayer 1
Add this article to your list of favourites

They have the power to stop you in your tracks, send tingles down your spine and lodge a place in your memory forever. And when we asked Stylist readers to share their all time favourite lines from a book, we knew they wouldn’t disappoint. Collating this list was an emotional journey, to say the least, and has left us with a very long list of books to re-read.

Thanks you to those of you who shared, and enjoy the roundup of the all-time greatest book lines.

  • The Go-between

    "The past is another country; they do things differently there" - LP Hartley

    Submitted by Mark Grant

  • On the Road

    "Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life" - Jack Kerouac

    Submitted by Lauren Garforth

  • The Princess Bride

    "You forgave faults, found perfection, fell madly; then the next day the sun came up and it was over" - William Goldman

    Submitted by Jeanne Sutton

  • The Alchemist

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

  • High Fidelity

    "Liking both Marvin Gaye and Art Garfunkel is like supporting both the Israelis and the Palestinians" - Nick Hornby

    Submitted by Sabrina Ghayour ‏

  • Rebecca

    "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley; again" - Daphne du Maurier

    Submitted by Diane Maughan

  • Gone Girl

    "A lot of people lack that gift; knowing when the f*ck off" - Gillian Flynn

    Submitted by The Madam-Editor

  • The Judas Kiss

    "Christ died at six. He died at Cocktail hour" - David Hare

    Submitted by Camilla Ackley

  • Nineteen Eighty-Four

    "It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen" - George Orwell

    Submitted by Clare Newsome

  • Cloud Atlas

    "What is an ocean, but a multitude of drops" - David Mitchell

  • Great Expectations

    "Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth" - Charles Dickens

  • Jane Eyre

    "Reader, I married him." - Charlotte Brontë

    Submitted by Polly Wiltshire

  • The Book Thief

    "I am haunted by humans" - Markus Zusak

    Submitted by Melinda Bor

  • The God of Small Things

    "She had a dry rose in her hair. She turned to say it once again: 'Naaley.' Tomorrow" - Arundhati Roy

  • Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

    "High on a rocky promontory sat an electric monk on a bored horse" - Douglas Adams

  • Pride and Prejudice

    "But I believe I must date it from my first seeing his beautiful grounds at Pemberley" - Jane Austen

    Submitted by Emily Agg-Manning

    "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

    Submitted by Sarah McDonald

  • The Importance of Being Ernest

    "A handbag?" - Oscar Wilde

  • Time Enough for Drums

    "And in that moment I possessed and lost the whole world and everything in it and was left with the feeling and the knowledge, which is love, that no matter how we give ourselves we always end up losing. That to love is to lose, the moment we agree to the bargain. And that, being human, we keep standing there wanting to lose more." - Ann Rinaldi

    Submitted by Laura Kate Shippert

  • Le Petit Prince

    "C'est le temps que tu as perdu pour ta rose qui fait ta rose si importante (It is the time you have lost for your rose that makes your rose so important)" - by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

    Submitted by Thérèse Bertrand

  • A Single Man

    "I can never make these moments last. I cling to them, but like everything, they fade. I have lived my life on these moments. They pull me back to the present, and I realize that everything is exactly the way it was meant to be." - Christopher Isherwood

    Submitted by Leonie Eastwood

  • Down and Out in Paris and London

    "By half past one the last drop of pleasure had evaporated, leaving nothing but headaches. We perceived that we were not splendid inhabitants of a splendid world, but a crew of underpaid workmen grown squalidly and dismally drunk. We went on swallowing the wine, but it was only from habit, and the stuff seemed suddenly nauseating. one's head had swollen up like a balloon, the floor rocked, and one's tongue and lips were stained purple...On the whole, the two hours when one was perfectly and wildly happy seemed worth the subsequent headache" - George Orwell

    Submitted by Emily Chester

  • A Tale of Two Cities

    "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" - Charles Dickens

  • The Diary of Anne Frank

    "There's only one rule you need to remember: laugh at everything and forget everybody else! It sound egotistical, but it's actually the only cure for those suffering from self-pity" - Anne Frank

  • Alice in Wonderland

    "I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then." - Lewis Carroll

  • Death of a Salesman

    "You can't eat the orange and throw the peel away - a man is not a piece of fruit" - Arthur Miller

Share this article


Stylist Team