The Books You Read Shape Your Mind: Some Quotes

I cleaned up my old bookshelf recently. I found some notes from when I was still doing my undergraduate. I found some quotes I copied from the books I read as well. I guess that’s been my habit, huh? I’m always interested in fascinating sentences I found in the books that I read (or movies/dramas/anime/etc. that I watched). The “funny” thing is the fact that I don’t always remember the book, the title, or the writer, or even the story. Sometimes I simply forgot them all. That is to say that I, of course, might not actually remember those quotes exactly. However, I think those quotes shape my mind. Those books I read must have inspired or motivated me in some ways. I don’t always remember the words, but I’m sure they affect how I behave, think, and such. They also teach me, to some extent, about how to live my life, how to face challenges, what kind of person I aspire to be, etc. In short, those books I read somehow, indirectly, shape who I am now. In a way, maybe those quotes are like my own “Holy Book.”

So, alright, today I’ll share some of those quotes. Again, I don’t always remember the books or the stories. I can’t even remember how I did get to read them. Maybe I borrowed them from my teacher, maybe from a friend, or maybe from a library. I can’t tell. I can’t remember. I guess I was just trying to read as much as I could while I still had an access to read them – aside from trying to enhance my English skills by increasing my vocabulary and such. But, well, here are the quotes that, I think, might inspire or motivate you as well. I don’t always elaborate on why I find them intriguing, but I guess, even without context, these quotes are still meaningful since you can always interpret it on your own 🙂

From: Olivia Joules & The Overactive Imagination by Helen Fielding (344 pages)
Pages 93-94
Rules for living by Olivia Joules
1) Never panic. Stop, breath, think.
2) No one is thinking about you. They’re thinking about themselves, just like you.
3) Never change haircut or color before an important event.
4) Nothing is either as bad as or as good as it seems.
5) Do as you would be done by, e.g., thou shalt not kill.
6) It is better to buy one expensive thing that you really like than several cheap ones that you only quite like.
7) Hardly anything matters. If you get upset, ask yourself, “Does it really matter?”
8) The key to success lies in how you pick yourself up from failure.
9) Be honest and kind.
10) Only buy clothes that make you feel like doing a small dance.
11) Trust your instincts, not your overactive imagination.
12) When overwhelmed by disaster, check if it’s really a disaster by the following
      a) Think, “Oh, fuck it.”
      b) Look on the bright side and, if it doesn’t work, look on the funny side.
      If neither of the above works then maybe it is a disaster so turn to items 1 and 5.
13) Don’t expect the world to be safe or life to be fair.
14) Sometimes you just have to go with the flow.
15) Don’t regret anything. Remember there wasn’t anything else that could have happened, given who you were and the state of the world at that moment. The only thing you can change is the present, so learn from the past.
16) If you start regretting something and thinking, “I should have done…” always add, “but then I might have been run over by a lorry or blown up by a Japanese-manned torpedo.”

Page 13
“Money doesn’t buy happiness… if you work hard and you’re honest and kind, then nothing can harm you.”

Page 14
I’m all I’ve got … I’m going to be complete in myself. I’m not going to give a shit about anything anymore. I’m going to work out my own good and bad. I’m going to … do something that matters. I’m going to search this shitty world for some beauty and excitement and I’m going to have a bloody good time.

Page 31
You can’t go regretting stuff because there wasn’t anything else that could have happened. … Every time anything happens, it’s because of all the other things happening all over the world. Any time you make a decision, there wasn’t ‘owt else you could have done because it were who you were, like, and it was all the things that had happened up to then that made you decide that. So there’s no point regretting ‘owt.

Page 130
“Love and hate are the same thing. The opposite of love is indifference.”
“There was no ordinary life. Life was fragile and bizarre and turned on a sixpence. It was up to you to snuffle out the fun.”

Page 163
“The secret of success lies in how you emerge from failure.”

Page 194
The more a situation is geared up to be perfect, the funnier it is when something goes wrong. Things aren’t supposed to be perfect.

Page 201
The Western man with his lust for progress sees nothing but the future, destroying the world in his blind pursuit of novelty and wealth. My people see that the truth lies in the wisdom of the past, and that wealth lies in the strength of the tribe.

Page 260
“People trust you, which means you can betray them.” (I believe I quoted this not because I planned to betray anyone, but it’s more because I’ve got a trust issue: When I trust someone, they can betray me. Hence, I must be cautious, and I should not trust people easily and carelessly especially because I know I’m quite gullible).

“Never feel good. The corruption of the good by the belief in their own infallible goodness is the most bloody dangerous human pitfall. Once you have conquered all your sins, pride is the one which will conquer you. A man starts off deciding he is a good man because he makes good decisions. Next thing, he’s convinced that whatever decision he makes must be good because he’s a good man. … Most of the wars in the world are caused by people who think they have God on their side. Always stick with people who know they are flawed and ridiculous.”

Page 281
“A man who never makes a mistake never makes anything.”
“If it makes you feel better, a certain unpredictability of movement is no bad thing.”

From: The Witness by Ginna Gray (377 pages)
“People do all kinds of things under stress that they wouldn’t normally do.” (page 266)

From: Vince and Joy by Lisa Jewell (503 pages)
Page 93
“Reality bites, man. … reality bites.”

Page 187
“Looks aren’t everything. … . Looks weren’t everything, but they were definitely, significantly, something.”

Page 241
“… your parents, you know, they’re part of you, make you who you are, whether you like it or not. And when that part goes, however it happens, it leaves a big hole. And it’s only natural to try to fill it.”

Page 292
Paraphrase… “The best relationship you’ve ever had doesn’t mean to say it’s the best relationship you’ll ever have. … . You might meet someone tomorrow who just blows you away, someone who doesn’t only make you feel amazing, but someone who makes you feel complete.”

Page 325
“It wasn’t her job to censor her actions, to edit her feelings. It was the other person’s job to grow up and take it.”

Page 337
“If destiny could bring two people together, then it could just as easily tear them apart, and, if it could tear two people apart, then it could just as easily bring them back together again. There was no beginning, middle, and end to destiny. It wasn’t neat and manageable. It was random and scary. It did what it wanted.”

Page 354
“Let’s say that life is a trip across town. Some people are cab drivers – their destination is dictated by their passengers. But other people are bus drivers. They set the course. People can get on and off the bus, but ultimately the bus is only going in one direction and there’s nothing a passenger can do to change that.”

Page 480
“I loved her more than she loved me, that was the problem. A basic imbalance. Relationships like that never last, however hard you try. And now she’s pregnant and in love with a man who’ll never love her the way she loves him. It’s a series of vicious circles, and the only way to stop it is to find someone who loves you the same. … . No power struggle. No insecurities. Just friendship. Because you can never be friends with someone if you love them too much…” 

From: The Da Vince Code by Dan Brown (489 pages)
“Forgiveness is God’s greatest gift.” (page 450)
“We, British, judge man’s civility not by his compassion for his friends, but by his compassion for his enemies.” (page 311)

From: … And Now Miguel by Joseph Krumgold
“You only get when you give.” (page 201)

From: Mama I Love You by William Saroyan
“It is a mistake not to make a mistake.”

From: The Human Comedy by William Saroyan
“Love is immortal. Hate dies every minute.”
“You’ll go your way. I’ll go mine.”

From: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer (498 pages)
“Life isn’t fair.” (page 49)
“Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.” (page 284)
“There are always exceptions to every rule.” (page 325)

Alright, I think that’s all for now. I’ll try to see if I can share more quotes I copied in my diary. For other quotes, you can check this category: here.

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