This week’s Top Ten Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish has come over all romantic with a Valentine’s theme, and when it comes to books and love there are so many things you could write.
However, why not leave that to the writers themselves? Here are ten of my favourite quotes on love from some brilliant books.
‘I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough.’
– The Notebook, Nicholas Sparks
I find that often the film versions of Nicholas Sparks’ books are actually better than the novels themselves, but with this paragraph he can rest assured he has written something amazing. Love, in whatever form, is something we often take for granted; this ordinary man never forgets the fact that he found something extraordinary.
‘If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.’
– Emma, Jane Austen
This quote always struck a chord with me – one for those who have some difficulty talking about that ‘icky love stuff’, to quote My Best Friend’s Wedding!
“Sometimes,” said Pooh, “the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”
– Winnie-the-Pooh, A. A. Milne
I think this silly old bear has wise words on many topics! There are so many little moments and gestures that have more impact than even makes sense, and yet they are the things you remember. This goes for romantic love and friendship love!
‘He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking.’
– Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
One of the most epic, sweeping, romantic lines ever written?
‘I fell in love with him. But I don’t just stay with him by default as if there’s no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day that we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me.’
– Allegiant, Veronica Roth
I like this because it acknowledges we don’t fall in love and stay there because we can’t get out of it. Lasting love is a series of choices – is being with that person through the bad times still better than being without them?
‘When he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night’
– Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare
I know it is Shakespeare, so I should be saying something more profound, but this is really pretty!
‘I love you. Remember. They cannot take it.’
– Delirium, Lauren Oliver
Delirium is a young adult, dystopian trilogy, in which the government has decided that love is a disease. People are ‘cured’ of the ability to love at eighteen years old, but Lena remembers these last words her mother told her. It is a gorgeous, sad line.
‘As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.’
– The Fault in Our Stars, John Green
For me, the structure of this sentence evokes the rhythm of someone reading aloud (geek), so I like it more. I also just like the metaphor.
‘All these years I thought a piece of my life was missing. But it was there all along. It was there when I sat beside you in your car and you began to drive. It was there when I sang backwards and you laughed or I made a picnic and you ate every crumb. It was there when you told me you liked my brown suit, when you opened the door for me, when you asked once if I would like to take the long road home. It came later in my garden. When I looked at the sun and saw it glow on my hands. When a rosebud appeared where there had not been one before. It was in the people who stopped and talked of this and that over the garden wall. And just when I thought my life was done, it came time and time again at the hospice. It has been everywhere, my happiness – when my mother sang for me to dance, when my father took my hand to keep me safe – but it was such a small, plain thing that I mistook it for something ordinary and failed to see. We expect our happiness to come with a sign and bells, but it doesn’t.’
– The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy, Rachel Joyce
Apologies, Rachel Joyce, for using such a long quote, but I adore this and I didn’t want to leave any of it out. It sums up so much joy and tragedy that it makes me cry. This is a beautiful, beautiful piece of writing.
After all this time?
– Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J. K. Rowling
What can I say? Sometimes simple is best.
Of course, one of my big loves is poetry, so I couldn’t not mention a few of my favourites, although because a few are still in copyright I will just link to them:
All You Who Sleep Tonight by Vikram Seth
When You Are Old, Yeats
Tonight I can write the saddest lines by Pablo Neruda. Just to be a languages student for one second, this is better in Spanish, but even in translation it is brilliant.
Poetry is an excellent place for love, says John Donne:
We can die by it, if not live by love,
And if unfit for tombs and hearse
Our legend be, it will be fit for verse
– The Canonization, John Donne
this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart with me by e. e. cummings