150k 5 star reviews | 20M+ downloads

Best book quotes

Cliff Weitzman
By Cliff Weitzman Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify in Reading on April 18, 2023

    Best book quotes

    Literature has the power to provide incredible wisdom in no more than a single line or paragraph. Great authors have the ability to inspire and motivate readers, and the right words have the power to touch souls and transform lives.

    The most meaningful and memorable literary quotes

    From Maya Angelou to George Orwell and Charles Dickens to J.K. Rowling, here are some of the most meaningful and memorable literary quotes.

    Maya Angelou

    “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

    Maya Angelou encourages readers to be mindful of their interactions with others and to strive to leave a positive impression. In a world where people are often judged by their accomplishments or the things they say, this quote is a powerful reminder that what truly matters is how their actions make others feel.

    Charles Dickens

    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” – Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

    Dickens captures the contrasting nature of the time period. The opening line juxtaposes the “best of times” with the “worst of times,” conveying a sense of duality and opposition. The quote sets the stage for the themes of revolution, sacrifice, and the challenges of progress.

    Dr. Seuss

    “Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.” – Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

    Dr. Seuss is a beloved author known for his whimsical and playful writing style. Oh, The Places You’ll Go! inspires readers to embark on exciting adventures and explore new possibilities in life. The quote is a reminder that life is full of opportunities and challenges, and it’s up to the individual to seize them.

    F. Scott Fitzgerald

    “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

    This quote speaks to the universal human experience of struggling to move forward in life while simultaneously being weighed down by past failures. The image of boats fighting against the current is symbolic of the characters in the novel who are struggling to achieve their dreams and reach their goals.

    J.K. Rowling

    “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

    This quote reminds readers that even in the darkest of times, there is always hope and the possibility of happiness. By finding a glimmer of light in the darkness, anyone can hold onto hope and move forward.

    Jane Austen

    “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, Pride and Prejudice

    This Pride and Prejudice quote is a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the societal expectations of Austen’s time, and it has become a popular phrase used to describe the pressure to get married and settle down.

    Margaret Atwood

    “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.” – Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

    This mock-Latin phrase means, “don’t let the bastards grind you down.” It is a powerful message of resilience and resistance, and it has become an iconic symbol of rebellion.

    Leo Tolstoy

    “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” – Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

    Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina begins with one of the most memorable lines in literature. It suggests that happiness is uniform and predictable, while unhappiness is complex and unique to each individual.

    Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

    “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

    Saint-Exupéry’s quote is a powerful message about the nature of perception and human connection. Superficial observations don’t grant true insight or understanding. They must come from a deeper, intuitive place.

    Charlotte Brontë

    “Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.” – Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

    Life is precious and fleeting. Dwelling on past grievances or grudges is a waste of time. Instead of being consumed by anger or bitterness, Brontë recommends focusing on positivity, forgiveness, and progress.

    Emily Brontë

    “He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” – Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

    The quote expresses a deep sense of connection and love between two people. It implies that their souls are made of the same material and that they are intimately connected in a spiritual sense.

    Ernest Hemingway

    “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.” – Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

    The human spirit is impressively resilient in the face of adversity. Everyone faces hardship and can emerge from those experiences stronger and more resilient than before.

    George Orwell

    “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.” – George Orwell, 1984

    This great book quote warns of the danger of unchecked power and the risk of losing basic rights. The metaphor of a boot stamping on a human face forever emphasizes the brutal consequences of allowing oppressive governments or individuals to have unrestrained power.

    Harper Lee

    “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.” – Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

    No one can fully comprehend others’ experiences without actively listening and empathizing. The metaphor of “walking around in someone’s skin” urges readers to look beyond their own perspective and appreciate the complexity of others’ lives.

    Haruki Murakami

    “And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” – Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

    The storm represents life challenges and the uncertainty of navigating through them. Nevertheless, these experiences are transformative, and change is unavoidable. Although the storm of life may leave the “sailors” vulnerable, it is through such difficulties that they develop and become more resilient.

    Louisa May Alcott

    “Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets.” – Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

    Alcott’s quote stresses the significance of balancing work and play and making the most of your time. She advises that by utilizing your time judiciously, you can ensure a fulfilling youth and a regret-free old age. The quote serves as a reminder to appreciate the value of time and to lead a well-rounded life.

    Mary Shelley

    “I was benevolent and good; misery made me a fiend. Make me happy, and I shall again be virtuous.” – Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

    This statement highlights the theme of nature versus nurture, as the actions and behavior of Frankenstein’s monster are largely shaped by his experiences and the way others treat him. It raises questions about the responsibility of creators towards their creations and the consequences of neglect and abandonment.

    Ralph Ellison

    “I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids—and I might even be said to possess a mind.” – Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

    The narrator refers to himself as an “invisible man,” not in a supernatural sense, but because society fails to recognize him as an individual. He asserts his existence and humanity – emotions, a mind, and a body. The quote touches on the themes of social invisibility and identity.

    Stephen King

    “Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.” – Stephen King, IT

    The monsters and ghosts portrayed in horror stories are not just fictional but also reside within every human. Negative emotions such as fear, anger, and hatred can consume and lead people to behave in monstrous ways. It emphasizes the significance of not allowing these emotions to take over and, instead, working towards overcoming them.

    Paulo Coelho

    “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

    Paulo Coelho’s quote expresses the power of the universe and the notion of fate. It suggests that the universe assists people in achieving their true desires. The quote highlights the significance of self-belief, positive thoughts, and actions and implies that they have a profound effect on the world.

    John Green

    “Pain demands to be felt, but life demands to be lived.” – John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

    Green recognizes that pain is an inevitable part of life and cannot be avoided. However, it is important not to let it consume you and prevent you from living your life to the fullest. Life is meant to be experienced and enjoyed, despite the challenges and pain that may come with it.

    George R.R. Martin

    “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

    George R.R. Martin’s quote through Jojen emphasizes that reading is a means of experiencing diverse lives and perspectives. Through the stories of others, readers gain insight and understanding of the world and human experience.

    J.R.R. Tolkien

    “It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

    J.R.R. Tolkien’s quote emphasizes the significance of taking action and starting a task promptly. The quote serves as a reminder to overcome doubt and take the first step toward achieving your goals without wasting valuable time.

    Victor Hugo

    “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” – Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

    This hopeful message is a reminder that even in the darkest of times, there is always light on the horizon. It encourages perseverance and emphasizes that just as night turns into day, any troubles will eventually come to an end.

    William Shakespeare

    “To thine own self be true.” – William Shakespeare, Hamlet

    Polonius’ quote to his son Laertes is a reminder to stay true to oneself and maintain integrity rather than sacrificing it to please others. It promotes self-honesty and is an encouragement to act in accordance with the reader’s conscience.

    Lucy Maud Montgomery

    “Life is worth living as long as there’s a laugh in it.” – Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

    Even if life may be hard and painful at times, joy, friendship, and happiness make it worthwhile. The quote also emphasizes the importance of small experiences that add up to a fulfilling life.

    Sylvia Plath

    “I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.” – Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

    Sylvia Plath’s quote highlights inner strength and resilience. She recognizes the power of her heartbeat, taking a moment to find comfort in the fact that she is alive and capable of moving forward in the face of adversity.

    Oscar Wilde

    “There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” – Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Grey

    Wilde expresses the importance of attention and the fear of being forgotten. Sometimes, even negative attention way be preferable to being completely disregarded or overlooked, as if one never existed.

    Mark Twain

    “Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.” – Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

    This humorous quote by Mark Twain is a satirical statement about the purpose of the novel, suggesting that readers should enjoy the story without always trying to analyze its deeper meaning or look for a moral lesson.

    Toni Morrison

    “Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.” – Toni Morrison, Beloved

    This quote sheds light on the challenges of asserting one’s own identity and sense of self after breaking free from oppression or captivity.

    C.S. Lewis

    “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.” – C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

    Lewis explores the idea that to truly love someone is to make oneself vulnerable to the possibility of heartbreak, but that avoiding love in order to protect oneself ultimately leads to a stagnant and unfulfilling life.

    Roald Dahl

    “Words’, he said, ‘is oh such a twitch-tickling problem to me all my life. So you must simply try to be patient and stop squibbling. As I am telling you before, I know exactly what words I am wanting to say, but somehow or other they is always getting squiff-squiddled around.” – Roald Dahl, The BFG

    The quote reflects the character’s struggle with language and his unconventional way of speaking, which causes words to become “squiff-squiddled around” and leads to humorous moments in the book, but also resembles the struggles of language learners in reality.

    J.D. Salinger

    “Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.” – J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

    This quote reflects the fear of connection and the harrowing belief that keeping people at a distance is a way of avoiding the pain of loss and missing them when they’re gone.

    Virginia Woolf

    “For now she need not think of anybody. She could be herself, by herself. And that was what now she often felt the need of – to think; well not even to think. To be silent; to be alone.” – Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

    Virginia Woolf highlights the importance of solitude and the freedom it offers to simply exist and be oneself, without the need to think or engage with others.

    Want more than quotes? Listen to entire books on Speechify Audiobooks

    Speechify is an audiobook service that brings your favorite literature to life with a vast selection of titles. From bestsellers to classics, Speechify has something for everyone. With its simple setup, readers can listen to their favorite stories in no time. Whether you’re on a long commute or just want to relax with a good book, Speechify makes it easy to immerse yourself in a story without having to physically read. And with a wide range of genres and titles available, from bestsellers to classics, there’s something for everyone so dive into a captivating world of stories today with Speechify Audiobooks.


    What are some iconic quotes from movies?

    “You can’t handle the truth!” – A Few Good Men

    “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” – The Usual Suspects

    “Carpe diem”- Dead Poet’s Society

    “Just keep swimming” – Finding Nemo

    What is the most inspirational quote?

    The most inspirational quote is the one that resonates with you and your specific circumstances the most.

    Cliff Weitzman
    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.