Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s list took me hours. I wanted to include the quotes where the characters talk about books, and I kept getting distracted and reading past them and then to the end of the chapter before I noticed.
Mattie Gokey in A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly
My head felt giddy and light, like the time Minnie and I filched brand from her father’s cupboard. Only this time it wasn’t alcohol I’d had too much of. It was books. I should have stopped after Zola and Hardy, but I hadn’t. I’d gone right on like a greedy pig to Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, Songs of Innocence by William Blake, and A Distant Music by Emily Baxter.
Cath Avery in Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
“How many people do this?”
“Write Simon-slash-Baz? Or write Simon Snow fanfiction?”
“God, I don’t know. Thousands and thousands.”
“So, if you didn’t want the books to be over, you could just keep reading Simon Snow stories online forever…”
“Exactly,” said Cath earnestly. She’d thought Levi must be judging her, but he got it. “If you fall in love with the World of Mages, you can just keep living there.”
“I wouldn’t call that living,” Regan said.
“It was a metaphor,” Levi said gently.
Tessa Gray in Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
“One must always be careful of books,” said Tessa, “and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”
“I’m not sure a book has ever changed me,” said Will. “Well there is one volume that promises to teach one how to turn oneself into an entire flock of sheep-”
“Only the very weak minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry,” said Tessa, determined not to let him run wildly off with the conversation.
“Of course, why one would want to be an entire flock of sheep is another matter entirely,” Will finished. “Is there something you want to read here, Miss Gray, or is there not? Name it, and I shall attempt to free it from its prison for you.”
“Do you think the library has The Wide, Wide World? Or Little Women?”
“Never heard of either of them,” said Will. “We haven’t many novels.”
“Well, I want novels,” said Tessa. “Or poetry. Books are for reading, not for turning oneself into livestock.”
Juliette Ferrars in Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
I spent my life folded between the pages of books.
In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.
Meggie Folchart in Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
He was probably right, but there was another reason why Meggie took her books whenever they went away. They were her home when she was somewhere strange. They were familiar voices, friends that never quarrelled with her, clever, powerful friends — daring and knowledgeable, tried and tested adventurers who had travelled far and wide. Her books cheered her up when she was sad and kept her from being bored while Mo cut leather and fabric to the right size, and re-stitched old pages that over countless years had grown fragile from the many fingers leafing through them.
Marie-Laure LeBlanc in All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Marie-Laure reads Jules Verne in the key pound, on the toilet, in the corridors; she reads on the benches of the Grand Gallery and out along the hundred gravel paths of the gardens. She reads the first half of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea so many times, she practically memorizes it.
The sea is everything. It covers seven tenths of the globe . . . The sea is only a receptacle for all the prodigious, supernatural things that exist inside it. It is only movement and love; it is the living infinite.
At night, in her bed, she rides in the belly of Captain Nemo’s Nautilus, below the gales, while canopies of coral drift overhead.
Rose Casson in Forever Rose by Hilary McKay
I cannot read Morte D’Arthur and never could: the bits I knew about had been read to me by Indigo. Still, I had to do something to pass the long long stretch of morning before it was time to go Christmas tree shopping. So I picked up The Once and Future King and found the first page.
Kay was there, and Arthur and Sir Ector. They were talking and I could hear. It was like walking into a strange room and finding it unexpectedly full of your friends.
It was hours later when I put that book down again, and the drumming had stopped and the telephone was ringing and my brain had the sort of dazed feeling you get when you wake from a very vivid dream.
So that’s what they were talking about, Saffy and Sarah, and Kiran and Molly and Miss Farley and Daddy and Indigo and Sarah’s parents and even the Unloveable Mr Spencer.
Gilbert Norrell in Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
“I have his book here.” Mr Norrell stood up and fetched it from the shelves. But he did not give it to Strange straightaway.
After a short silence Strange said, “You advise me to read this book?”
“Yes, indeed. I think you should read it,” said Mr Norrell.
Strange waited, but Norrell continued to gaze at the book in his hand as though he were entirely at a loss as to how to proceed. “Then you must give it to me, sir,” said Strange gently.
“Yes, indeed,” said Mr Norrell. He approached Strange cautiously and held the book out for several moments, before suddenly tipping it up and off into Strangc’s hand with an odd gesture, as though it was not a book at all, but a small bird which clung to him and would on no account go to any one else, so that he was obliged to trick it into leaving his hand. He was so intent upon this manoeuvre that fortunately he did not look up at Strange who was trying not to laugh.
Mr Norrell remained a moment, looking wistfully at his book in another magician’s hand.
But once he had parted with one book the painful part of his ordeal seemed to be over. Half an hour later he recommended another book to Strange and went and got it with scarcely any fuss. By midday he was pointing out books on the shelves to Strange and allowing him to fetch them down for himself. By the end of the day Mr Norrell had given Strange a quite extraordinary number of books to read, and said that he expected him to have read them by the end of the week.
Samwell Tarly in A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin
Samwell Tarly sat hunched over a table in a niche carved into the stone of the wall. The glow came from the lamp hung over his head. He looked up at the sound of Jon’s steps.
“Have you been here all night?”
“Have I?” Sam looked startled.
“You didn’t break your fast with us, and your bed hadn’t been slept in.” Rast suggested that maybe Sam had deserted, but Jon never believed it. Desertion required its own sort of courage, and Sam had little enough of that.
“Is it morning? Down here there’s no way to know.”
“Sam, you’re a sweet fool,” Jon said. “You’ll miss that bed when we’re sleeping on the cold hard ground, I promise you.”
Sam yawned. “Maester Aemon sent me to find maps for the Lord Commander. I never thought . . . Jon, the books, have you ever seen their like? There are thousands!”
Henry DeTamble in The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (There’s another quote I wanted to put here, but it was far too spoilery, so I chose this one instead, although it’s not as good.)
I find coffee in the fridge, and find the coffee maker, and start the coffee. While I wait for it to brew, I peruse Henry’s bookshelves.
Here is the Henry I know. Donne’s Elegies and Songs and Sonnets. Doctor Faustus, by Christopher Marlowe. Naked Lunch. Anne Bradstreet, Immanuel Kant. Barthes, Foucault, Derrida. Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience. Winnie the Pooh. The Annotated Alice. Heidigger. Rilke. Tristram Shandy. Wisconsin Death Trip. Aristotle. Bishop Berkeley. Andrew Marvell. Hypothermia, Frostbite and Other Cold Injuries.
I hope that wasn’t too many long quotes. I don’t like cutting people off when they’re talking about books!