20 Most Powerful Book Quotes of All Time

Every book-lover has a favorite quote they can recite by heart. Many of these best book quotes are used like mantras; they're powerful and life-changing and can help you push forward in your own life. I know within my own book collection, you could open up any book and find underlined pencil markings on numerous pages, all focusing on the quotes that have transformed the way I view the world.

Books are more than just important to you — books are everything. It's sort of like what Hazel Grace Lancaster from The Fault in Our Stars says,

Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.

John Green, a frequent contributor to powerful book quotes, knew exactly what amazing books, and the quotes within, can do. Powerful book quotes can be used to inspire, uplift, and even push you in the right direction when you need a little help. Often enough, these impactful book quotes make some of the best tattoos and other artistic creations. Whenever you need some extraordinary words to get you going, here are 20 of the most powerful book quotes out there.

1. "Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life."

— Jack Kerouac, On The Road

2. "Life is to be lived, not controlled; and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat."

— Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

3. "It's much better to do good in a way that no one knows anything about it."

— Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

4. No matter what they wish for, no matter how far they go, people can never be anything but themselves. That's all.

— Haruki Murakami, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

5. "The thing about a story is that you dream it as you tell it, hoping that others might then dream along with you, and in this way memory and imagination and language combine to make spirits in the head. There is the illusion of aliveness."

— Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried

6. "Clocks slay time... time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life."

— William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

7. "Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs."

— Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

8. "Don't let the bastards grind you down."

— Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale

9. "No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true."

— Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlett Letter

10. "If you're good at it, and you love it, and it helps you navigate the river of the world, then it can't be wrong."

— Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

11. "Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change."

— Marry Shelley, Frankenstein

12. "You are your best thing."

— Toni Morrison, Beloved

13. "I think of my life as a kind of music, not always good music but still having form and melody."

— John Steinbeck, East of Eden

14. “Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.”

— Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five

15. "Most men and women will grow up to love their servitude and will never dream of revolution."

— Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

16. “All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.”

— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

17. "There's only one rule you need to remember: laugh at everything and forget everybody else! It sound egotistical, but it's actually the only cure for those suffering from self-pity."

— Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank

18. "To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all."

― Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism

19. "The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive."

― John Green, Looking for Alaska

20. "Anything can happen, child. Anything can be."

— Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

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