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Reading Out Loud

05 Jun

Every so often the reader comes across a quotation that makes him or her stop and reread it several times with that pleasurable feeling of having stumbled across a beautifully phrased sentence or a profound piece of punditry.  Sadly it doesn’t happen nearly as often as one would wish but when that bolt bursts from the blue, it makes the act – and the art – of reading even more rewarding than usual.  Here’s some of the ones I enjoy returning to every so often:

  • It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love – Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel García Márquez
  • And aren’t the most beautiful follies the ones linked to love?Fire in the Blood, Irene Nemirovsky
  • The whole modern world has been shaped by lopsided outcomes. – Guns. Germs and Steel, Jared Diamond
  • We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom.War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
  • She gave me a smile I could feel in my hip pocket. – Farewell, my Lovely, Raymond Chandler
  • Give a man a fire and he’s warm for a day, but set fire to him and he’s warm for the rest of his life. – Jingo, Terry Pratchett
  • Books are not made to be believed, but to be subjected to inquiry. When we consider a book, we mustn’t ask ourselves what it says but what it means… – The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco
  • And we danced, on the brink of an unknown future, to an echo from a vanished past – The Day of the Triffids, John Wyndham

  • You who read me, are You sure of understanding my language? – The Library of Babel, Jorge Luis Borges
  • We would be together and have our books and at night be warm in bed together with the windows open and the stars bright. – A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway
  • I wish you to know that you have been the last dream of my soul. – A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
  • One reads alone, even in another’s presence. – If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler – Italo Calvino
  • Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the ‘transcendent’ and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself. Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don’t be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you. – Letters to a Young Contrarian, Christopher Hitchens
  • A life without investigation is not worth living – Phaedo, Plato
  • It is the unrepentant worship of statistics that forms the true orthodoxy of any modern police department. – Homicide, A Year on the Killing Streets, David Simon
  • If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable – what then? – 1984, George Orwell
  • How terribly sad it was that people are made in such a way that they get used to something as extraordinary as living. – The Solitaire Mystery, Jostein Gaarder
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55 Comments

Posted by on 05/06/2016 in Book Memories, Lists/Ephemera

 

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55 responses to “Reading Out Loud

  1. Jill Weatherholt

    05/06/2016 at 21:13

    Thanks for compiling these wonderful quotes into a post, Ste. J. I particularly like the one by Dickens.

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    • Ste J

      05/06/2016 at 21:24

      The Dickens one was a real stopper, there were so many more I didn’t add, it was a challenge to pare them down. I am still looking for my copy of War and Peace to find that quotation that I really like, I may have to buy a new copy…

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  2. Irena S.

    05/06/2016 at 22:26

    Wonderful quotes! “And we danced, on the brink of an unknown future, to an echo from a vanished past” is so lovely. 🙂

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    • Ste J

      06/06/2016 at 07:23

      John Wyndham is probably not one of the authors I would have guessed it, if this was quoted to me, it’s very balletic and poignant nonetheless.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  3. Lyn

    05/06/2016 at 23:37

    Great bunch of quotes. I have to admit, I’ve only heard one of them–the one by Terry Pratchett.

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    • Ste J

      06/06/2016 at 07:29

      It is the most easily memorable, being so humorous and delightfully grim, I am sure Shakespeare would have approve.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • Lyn

        06/06/2016 at 07:47

        LOL they’re probably related 😀

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  4. shadowoperator

    06/06/2016 at 01:06

    Yes, I’m a fond devotee of collecting favorite quotes too. Thanks for these!!

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    • Ste J

      06/06/2016 at 07:21

      For some reason I have no drive for reviewing of late and this was admittedly an easy post to tide me over, I am sure I will be back to it soon though.

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  5. clarepooley33

    06/06/2016 at 01:54

    Loved these quotes! A good quote can often be the distilled essence of a whole book.

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    • Ste J

      06/06/2016 at 07:26

      …which is a wonderful quotation that with your permission I will use in polite company…so it could a while then, hehe.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  6. gargoylebruce

    06/06/2016 at 03:43

    Terry Pratchet is hilarious.

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    • Ste J

      06/06/2016 at 07:19

      Of all the sentences listed, it’s the one I most often quote, unsurprisingly.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  7. renxkyoko

    06/06/2016 at 06:48

    I like the one by Jostein Gaarder.

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    • Ste J

      06/06/2016 at 07:20

      It makes me realise how many hours I waste being lazy when there are so many awesome things that could be done…

      Liked by 1 person

       
  8. Liz

    06/06/2016 at 07:38

    What a great post. So lovely to read all those quotes, some familiar, some new. All of them touching, wise and profound – even the Jingo quote! 🙂

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    • Ste J

      07/06/2016 at 13:20

      Pratchett is always reliable for a good laugh and the lighter ones give balance to the profundity. This post comes to you as I wasn’t inspired for a book review lol, I should be less inspired more often!

      Liked by 1 person

       
  9. Aquileana

    06/06/2016 at 13:36

    Excellent selection of wise bookish quotes.. Leo Tolstoy´s words reminded me of the socratic paradox “I know that I know nothing” … Thanks for sharing, dear Ste… Have a great week. Aquileana 🌟

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    • Ste J

      07/06/2016 at 13:38

      I quite like ‘there is no truth, only human opinion’ as a good quote as well. Those Greeks were a canny lot though! Have a wonderful week yourself too my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

       
  10. anna amundsen

    06/06/2016 at 17:31

    I wanted to share some of mine but as I was going through my notebook I realized they were all longer than a sentence, and I gave up.
    Borges, Calvino, Plato, Tolstoy, Hitchens, Gaarder.. Great ones. But Pratchett – hilarious. You should put together a post of only his quotes on the subject of men and mankind. It would be tremendously and frighteningly funny.

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  11. colemining

    06/06/2016 at 17:33

    So many of my favourites here. Great list!

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  12. Theanne aka magnoliamoonpie

    06/06/2016 at 22:02

    Lovely…thank you for sharing 🙂

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  13. LuAnn

    07/06/2016 at 16:03

    I loved this post. Given the voracious reader you are, it must have been difficult to choose. Although I enjoyed them all, the two that resonated most with me were John Wyndham and Charles Dickens.

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    • Ste J

      09/06/2016 at 13:50

      It was a challenge with so many good books vying for my attention and I barely touched the non fiction books I have. Wyndham straddles the pulp and the literary perfectly, Dickens is just awesome and I had a shedload of ideas but plumped for a lesser known quote from A Tale of Two Cities because I like to retain a bit of originality.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • LuAnn

        09/06/2016 at 21:17

        You embrace originality like few others I know. 🙂

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        • Ste J

          09/06/2016 at 22:00

          That is quite the compliment my friend, thank you it means a lot. I love a good hug me!

          Liked by 1 person

           
  14. Letizia

    11/06/2016 at 18:23

    I love these! Marquez has so many memorable ones, right? Did you have a journal where you write them down?

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    • Ste J

      12/06/2016 at 20:33

      To save space I usually just write the title of the book, the page number and the first few words of the quotation, it is time consuming, especially as you say with Marquez, sometimes it’s more writing that reading lol.

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      • Letizia

        13/06/2016 at 02:34

        That’s a good idea. I have started a quotation journal and am finding it quite time consuming haha!

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        • Ste J

          13/06/2016 at 18:57

          Taking photos on your phone and emailing them to yourself is my new preferred method, it means I can store them in a few taps and then forget about them despite them being all over my inbox.

          Liked by 1 person

           
  15. Andrea Stephenson

    11/06/2016 at 21:15

    Some great and eclectic quotes Ste, I love it to when you get that sense of resonance from a sentence on the page.

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    • Ste J

      12/06/2016 at 21:03

      I love that feeling of rereading sentences, that ‘oh yes’ moment when you are struck by a beautiful line in the infinite jigsaw of words…I know it would resonate too!

      Liked by 1 person

       
  16. Maniparna Sengupta Majumder

    16/06/2016 at 15:56

    Wonderful compilation and, some of them are new to me. Loved the one by Umberto Eco. I agree that these quotes make us stop for a while and think… 🙂

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  17. shadowoperator

    17/06/2016 at 13:24

    By the by, on the title subject of “reading aloud,” one of the most fun short books to read aloud is T. S. Eliot’s book of poetry “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.” It’s the book that the musical “Cats” was based upon, and has a lot of good jog-trot rhythms and fun rhymes. Read it to your cat in small doses. Mine listened for a while with a look of intelligence on her whiskered face, and then walked away looking bored. Tough room!

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    • Ste J

      17/06/2016 at 14:01

      Perhaps doing a tap dance as well or throwing in a joke about dogs would have kept your cat happier! I hate reading out loud, I stumble over everything and somehow ignore all punctuation and stop at odd times. I know I do it but can’t seem to master it, my head is a much better place to read in, although it would be a little cramped in there.

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  18. Jilanne Hoffmann

    18/06/2016 at 17:20

    Love the quotes you’ve selected. The Pratchett quote caught me by surprise. And yes, I read several of these out loud. Started me thinking about some of my favorites.

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    • Ste J

      28/06/2016 at 18:51

      The Pratchett one is always memorable, I thought I was being a little too serious and that is always goof one to use as a curveball. It’s infectious this quoting malarkey.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  19. macjam47

    02/07/2016 at 03:35

    Fantastic collection of quotes. Thanks for sharing, Steve.

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    • Ste J

      03/07/2016 at 11:06

      I have a nagging feeling I probably missed about 100 more amazing quotes from the books I chose but therein is the beauty, a reread will remind me. It’s amazing to have so many brilliant authors to be able to call upon and digest their wisdom.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  20. writersideup

    13/08/2016 at 16:48

    I think I like the last one the best. The poignancy! I, too, love quotes 🙂 I collect them!

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    • Ste J

      14/08/2016 at 15:10

      It is such a wonderful quote from an inventive book, which is well worth a read…I always like to finish on a high note…sadly puberty ruined that for me.

      Liked by 1 person

       

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