Apparently, yesterday was "Read a Book Day," and I didn't even realize it. It makes sense that the day after Labor Day would celebrate book-reading, considering yesterday was probably the first day of school for many kids around the country. Or at least many of the kids in the north -- down south, school generally starts sometime in the middle of August. (But summer vacation starts earlier, at the end of May. It's early summer vs. late back-to-school. And after experiencing both, I believe I liked late back-to-school better... :))
So in honor of a belated Read a Book Day, here are a few quotes from some of my favorite books:
To Kill a Mockingbird:
- "If you shouldn't be defendin' him, then why are you doin' it?"
"For a number of reasons," said Atticus. "The main one is, if I didn't I couldn't hold up my head in town, I couldn't represent this county in the legislature, I couldn't even tell you or Jem not to do something again."
"Atticus, are we going to win it?"
"Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win," Atticus said.
(Atticus Finch, by the way, is, unarguably, the greatest lawyer in the history of literature. Seriously, you can't even argue with me, because it's just a fact.)
- "The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any color of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box."
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man:
- There was a lust of wandering in his feet that burned to set out for the ends of the earth. On! On! his heart seemed to cry. Evening would deepen above the sea, night fall upon the plains, dawn glimmer before the wanderer and show him strange fields and hills and faces. Where?
- Away! Away! The spell of arms and voices: the white arms of roads, their promise of close embraces and the black arms of tall ships that stand against the moon, their tale of distant nations. They are held out to say: We are alone. Come. And the voices say with them: We are your kinsmen. And the air is thick with their company as they call to me, their kinsman, making ready to go, shaking the wings of their exultant and terrible youth.... Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.
- What could not be changed must be borne. And since nothing could be changed, everything had to be borne. This principle ruled her life. It was mantra, fettle, and challenge. So that, at the age of thirty-four, after she had been given three children and had one taken away, when she had a futile husband and had been fated a young and demanding lover, when for the first time she could not wait for the future to be revealed but had to make it for herself, she was as startled by her own agency as an infant who waves a clenched fist and strikes itself upon the eye.
- "Oh, Karim, that we have already done. But always there was a problem between us. How can I explain? I wasn't me, and you weren't you. From the very beginning to the very end, we didn't see things. What we did -- we made each other up."
The Shadow of the Wind:
- “Every book… has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens… When a library disappears, or a bookshop closes down, when a book is consigned to oblivion, those of us who know this place, its guardians, make sure that it gets here. In this place, books no longer remembered by anyone, books that are lost in time, live forever, waiting for the day when they will reach a new reader’s hands. In the shop we buy and sell them, but in truth books have no owner. Every book you see here has been somebody’s best friend.”