22 Quotes From Literature That Will Inspire Every Old Soul


Are you the type of girl who could roam the aisles of any book store for hours on end? Don’t you love the smell of an old novel in a used book store or the smooth pages of a newly released piece of literature right off the press.

If so, then this collection of wise and inspirational quotes goes out to you. Here we’ve collected some of the beautiful words ever to fly off the written page by authors of both classic books and newer works that are destined to become classics.

These quotes will take you back to the first time you thumbed through some of your favorite books by authors like Jack Kerouac and Charles Dickens and maybe even inspire you to check out a few pieces that are still lingering at the bottom of your “to-read list.”

So if you’re the type who’s always looking to escape the stress of everyday life in between the pages of a brand new paperback, then read on. These quotes may not be full stories but hopefully they’ll tide you over the next time you’re feeling a little story withdrawal with some of your favorite quotes that are doubtless highlighted somewhere on one of your bookshelves.

The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars."

—Jack Kerouac, On the Road

"Nothing in the world is ever completely wrong. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day."

—Paulo Coehlo, Brida

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” —Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

“I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.” —Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland

“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” — Jack Kerouac

“And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” —Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before – more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.” —Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” —Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan

“I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.” —F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

“Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic.” —Frank Herbert, Dune

"The reason death sticks so closely to life isn't biological necessity — it's envy. Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can. But life leaps over oblivion lightly, losing only a thing or two of no importance, and gloom is but the passing shadow of a cloud."

—Yann Martel, Life of Pi

“All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring; renewed shall be blade that was broken, the crownless again shall be king.” —J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” —Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

"When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person's body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings."

—Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

"We've got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen." -D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover

"I don't talk things, sir. I talk the meaning of things." - Ray Bradbury

“There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.” —George Orwell, 1984

“In spite of everything, I still believe people are really good at heart.” —Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank

“There are darknesses in life and there are lights, and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights.” —Bram Stroker, Dracula

"Forgiving isn't something you do for someone else. It's something you do for yourself. It's saying, 'You're not important enough to have a stranglehold on me.' It's saying, 'You don't get to trap me in the past. I am worthy of a future.'"

—Jodi Picoult, The Storyteller

"You will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do."

—David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view...Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it."

—Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

If we missed any of your favorite quotes, add them to the collection by typing them in the comments section below! Also be sure to pass this list along to all your favorite book fanatics so we can keep the list growing!