Hello fellow bookworms! It’s Sunday, which means it’s discussion time. This is when I write to think more deeply about books, why we read, and why literature is so important in our lives. As you may have discovered a pattern in my discussion posts, I like to have a discussion ‘theme’ for a month, because I feel it allows me to go into more depth about a specific topic without boring you all by putting it in one massively long post you probably won’t read.
Throughout August, I will be talking about quotations in literature, focusing on why they are so important to us as readers, and what we can do to make the most of these small snippets of literature in our everyday lives. Today’s post will be focused on what quotations mean to us as readers and why they are such an important part of the reader community…
What makes quotations from literature so important?
I find it difficult to express how much literary quotes mean to me. If you are familiar with the theory of horcruxes, it’s almost like taking a piece of a book and keeping it somewhere safe in your mind, so the book can continue to live, even when you’re not reading it.
This question could also be ‘why are quotes from literature different from inspiring quotes in general?’. Most quotes in our ‘collections’ are from the books that we’ve read and enjoyed, and they become a record of those books, so we are able to remember and cherish the stories through a snippet of literature. These quotes come from people who know how to do wondrous things with words, which means they quotes can also be read metaphorically and have more than one meaning, which adds depth to them that generalised quotes don’t tend to have. When we read a book, we are subconsciously on the look out for sentences or groups of words that come to life and bring meaning, whether it’s a well known quote we’ve heard before, or just a section that really resonates with us personally. These quotes then become a great comfort to us in times when we aren’t feeling our best, or need encouragement or motivation. If they come from our most treasured books, they become even more special. Those quotes that may not have been picked up by others, or are less popular among other readers, can be a lot more personal, and can seem like we have something special and unique. These literary quotes give us hope, they share morals and give insight into a world beyond what we know. Not only do these quotes have metaphorical depth, but they hold imagination that only readers can see, and allow us access to unknown places. They are fictional, but can be so much more!
How can you spot a quote when you’re reading?
If you’re reading a popular book, or something you have read before, you may be familiar with the quotes, and therefore spot them straight away when reading. However, if you’re reading a book that you aren’t familiar with, you may have to search around a bit more. I tend to find it sends a strange vibe through me, like I’ve struck a piece of gold in a mine full of words. It gives me the urge to sit back and think about what I’ve just read and think, or write it down immediately to make sure I don’t forget it, and so I can look back on it later. These are usually sentences or groups of sentences that resonate with you, because of something you have or are experiencing in life, which you draw wisdom from, or just words that are so well written they are just too beautiful not to savour.
Why and how do we collect our favourite quotes?
We collect the quotes we find in books to look back on them and remember the stories, and what the quotes meant at the time of reading. Maybe they mean something different now. So how do we go about making sure we have a record of these quotes, because let’s be honest, we are not all superhuman and cannot store hundreds of quotations in our brain! Personally, I use Goodreads to a keep a rough record of the quotes I find, but not all quotes are on Goodreads, and it isn’t easy to find them even when you have liked them. For the month of August, I am setting myself a task, or challenge of sorts. I am going to be keeping a ‘Note the Quote’ diary, writing down anything I read that I want to keep hold of for any reason. I will be aiming for at least 5 quotes per book, and at the end of the month, I will share all the quotes I found, and why I chose to write them down.
I hope you enjoyed reading, and if you have anything to add about why you feel literary quotations are important, please feel free to share in the comments!
Until next time…