30 Life-Changing Literary Quotes For The Non-Reader

I’ll have the cliff notes, please.

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Photo by Claudia Wolff of Unsplash

For as long as I can remember, I have always been an avid writer, but as of these past few years, I have developed a genuine obsession with reading. The idea that the same chapter can hold different meanings, depending on its ability to resonate with the current fascets of a person’s life, is a fascinating realization.

That being said, I have decided to consolidate into 30 unique points, the most meaningful quotes I have come across while reading. Though you may have not read the book in its entirety, I should hope that (at a minimum) a few of these quotes bring value to your life and encourage a new perspective in how you navigate the human experience going forward.

2. “For far too long we have been seduced into walking a path that did not lead us to ourselves. For far too long we have said yes when we wanted to say no. And for far too long we have said no when we desperately wanted to say yes. When we don’t listen to our intuition, we abandon our souls. And we abandon our souls because we are afraid if we don’t, others will abandon us.” — Terry Tempest Williams from When Women Were Birds

3. “People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.” — Paulo Coelho from The Alchemist

4. “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” — Robert Frost from The Road Not Taken

5. “Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.” — Maya Angelou from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

6. “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 from Kafka on the Shore

7. “We accept the love we think we deserve.” — Stephen Chbosky from The Perks of Being a Wallflower (print from The Sleeping Sloth)

8. “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places.” — Ernest Hemingway from A Farewell to Arms

9. “Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.” — Toni Morrison from Beloved

10. “So it goes…” — Kurt Vonnegut from Slaughterhouse-Five (print from Islays Terrace)

11. “Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” ― Terry Pratchett from A Hat Full of Sky

12. “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 from To Kill a Mockingbird

13. “The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.” — J.D. Salinger from Catcher in the Rye

14. “You will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do.” — David Foster Wallace from Infinite Jest

15. “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 from The Storyteller

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Photo by Drew Beamer of Unsplash

16. “To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.” — Arundhati Roy from The Cost of Living

17. “Nothing is random, nor will anything ever be… In the end, or rather, as things really are, any event, no matter how small, is intimately and sensibly tied to all others… And, when all is perceived in such a way as to obviate time, justice becomes apparent not as something that will be, but something that is.” — Mark Helprin from Winter’s Tale

18. “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 from Eat, Pray, Love

19. “No one ever made their dreams come true in a field of certainty.” ~Alex Banayan from The Third Door

20. “Happiness is part of who we are. Joy is the feeling.” ― Tony DeLiso from Legacy: The Power Within

21. “There will never be another you. The planet desperately needs your unique purpose, passion and presence.” ― Julie Reisler from Get a PhD in YOU: A Course in Miraculous Self-Discovery

22. “There are secret opportunities hidden inside every failure.” — Sophia Amoruso from Girl Boss

23. “Focus on what you can control: your actions. How you react to negative feelings will be the key to your success.” — Blake Mycoskie from Start Something That Matters

24. “80 Percent of the constraints, the factors that are holding you back from achieving your goals, are internal.” — Brian Tracy from Eat That Frog

25. “What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson from Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson

26. “You have to begin to tell the story of your life as you now want it to be and discontinue the tales of how it has been or of how it is.” — Esther & Jerry Hicks from Money and the Law of Attraction: Learning to Attract Wealth, Health, and Happiness

27. “As the physically weak man can make himself strong by careful and patient training, so the man of weak thoughts can make them strong by exercising himself in right thinking.” — James Allen from As a Man Thinketh

28. “If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is, too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.” — Timothy Ferriss from The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9–5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

29. “Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.” — Robert T. Kiyosaki from Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!

30. “It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.” — Dale Carnegie from How to Win Friends & Influence People

Written by

Writer. Poet. Philomath. Dog Mom. Traveler. Creator. Partner. Wanderer. Empath.

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