25 Love Quotes From Books That Make The Perfect Valentine's Day Insta Caption

Ashley Batz/Bustle

With Valentine’s Day (or its far superior sister holiday, Galentine’s Day) just around the corner and the world in dire need of more words of affirmation, compassion, and love these days, now is a great time to revisit what some of your favorite writers have to say about love: the good, the bad, the confusing, the totally relatable, and the downright necessary. If you’re a lover of literature, you don’t need me to tell you that love stories have featured prominently in books since practically the beginning of books themselves — that’s thousands of years’ worth of words penned to page (or papyrus, or clay) dedicated to that irresistible little feeling that continues to allure and elude humans: love. In all it’s mystery, complexity, devastation, and beauty.

Even the oldest known written literary work, The Epic of Gilgamesh — an ancient text written (and then buried, lost, and found again) in Babylonia more than 3,000 years ago — tells a story that is filled with sex and love. Suffice it to say, humans, and writers, have been working out these issues of love for a while. Your favorite writers, and some of their best book quotes about love, are simply a few more voices added to a conversation humans will likely be having forever — and any sucker for a good love story wouldn’t have it any other way.

Here are 25 quotes from your favorite authors about love.

“You cannot convince people to love you. This is an absolute rule. No one will ever give you love because you want him or her to give it. Real love moves freely in both directions. Don’t waste your time on anything else.”
“I am not easy to love, but I am well loved. I try to love well in return.”

― Roxane Gay, An Untamed State

“I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.”

― Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets

"I would have written you, myself, if I could put down in words everything I want to say to you. A sea of ink would not be enough.' 'But you built me dreams instead."

— Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

"To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow — this is a human offering that can border on miraculous."
"And so we stood together like that, at the top of that field for what seemed like ages, not saying anything, just holding each other, while the wind kept blowing and blowing at us, tugging our clothes, and for a moment, it seemed like we were holding onto each other because that was the only way to stop us from being swept away into the night."

― Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go

"There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment."
“I told him a story of two people. Two people who shouldn't have met, and who didn't like each other much when they did, but who found they were the only two people in the world who could possibly have understood each other.”

― Jojo Moyes, Me Before You

“I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun."
"Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”

― Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

“Your mother died to save you. If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didn’t realize that love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign… to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever.”
“As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”
“Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.”

― Nicole Krauss, The History of Love

“We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were.”
“I think... if it is true that there are as many minds as there are heads, then there are as many kinds of love as there are hearts.”

― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

“I wasn't actually in love, but I felt a sort of tender curiosity.”

― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up.”

― Neil Gaiman, The Kindly Ones

"The sense of falling did not touch her, not as long as her body was between the hands of this boy who felt steadier in the air than on the ground."

― Anna-Marie McLemore, The Weight of Feathers

"Just to be in love seemed the most blissful luxury I had ever known. The thought came to me that perhaps it is the loving that counts, not the being loved in return—that perhaps true loving can never know anything but happiness. For a moment I felt that I had discovered a great truth."

― Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle

"Real love amounts to withholding the truth, even when you're offered the perfect opportunity to hurt someone's feelings."
"A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved."

― Kurt Vonnegut, The Sirens of Titan

"I have learned not to worry about love; but to honor its coming with all my heart."

― Alice Walker, Revolutionary Petunias

“Time is how you spend your love.”
"This feels safe, and steadfast, and predictable. And secure. It's boring as shit. And it's easily the best thing I've ever felt.”
"There is only one page left to write on. I will fill it with words of only one syllable. I love. I have loved. I will love."

― Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler's Wife