80 Inspirational Literary Quotes

If you are a follower of my Bookstagram feed, then you know that I regularly feature inspirational literary quotes in my posts and captions. I’ve compiled a list of eighty of my favorite quotes. Whether you need quotes for your Instagram or just need some inspiration, I hope you enjoy!

80 Inspirational Literary Quotes

  • “It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.” -Jane Austen, Sense & Sensibility⁠
  • “And now that you don’t have to be perfect you can be good.” -John Steinbeck, East of Eaden ⁠
  • “If we wait until we are ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.” -Lemony Snicket, The Ersatz Elevator⁠
  • “My advice is never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.” -Charles Dickens, David Copperfield⁠
  • “Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.” -Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannnot See⁠
  • “In spite of everything, I still believe people are really good at heart.” -Anne Frank⁠
  • “Everything is possible. The impossible just takes longer.” -Dan Brown, Digital Fortress⁠
  • “Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.” –John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men⁠
  • “We accept the love we think we deserve.” –Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower⁠
  • “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” –Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island⁠

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  • “Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it yet.” –L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables⁠
  • “Get busy living, or get busy dying.” –Stephen King, Different Seasons⁠
  • “If my life is going to mean anything, I have to live it myself.” -Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief⁠
  • “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” -Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl.⁠
  • “I would always rather be happy than dignified.” -Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre⁠
  • “All endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time.” –Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet In Heaven⁠
  • “It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.” –André Gide, Autumn Leaves⁠
  • “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” –Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History⁠
  • “It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.” –Philip K. Dick, Valis⁠
  • “We must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.” –J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire⁠
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  • “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” -Maya Angelou
  • “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” –Victor Hugo, Les Miserables⁠
  • “If you’re making mistakes it means you’re out there doing something.” –Neil Gaiman, Make Good Art⁠
  • “We need never be ashamed of our tears.” –Charles Dickens, Great Expectations⁠
  • “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” –Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running⁠
  • “Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” –Dylan Thomas from “Do not go gentle into that good night”⁠
  • “Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.” –Mary Shelley from Frankenstein⁠
  • “Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.” –William Shakespeare from Measure for Measure⁠
  • “The library is inhabited by spirits that come out of the pages at night.” –Isabel Allende
  • “When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.” –Erasmus⁠
  • “Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks.” –Dr Seuss⁠
  • “It is better to know one book intimately than a hundred superficially.” –Donna Tartt, The Secret History⁠
  • “I love the smell of book ink in the morning.” –Umberto Eco
  • “Rainy days should be spent at home with a cup of tea and a good book.” –Bill Patterson⁠
  • “If you would tell me the heart of a man, tell me not what he reads, but what he rereads.” –Francois Mauriac⁠
  • “A half-read book is a half-finished love affair.” –David Mitchell⁠
  • “Books were my pass to personal freedom.” –Oprah Winfrey⁠
  • “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” -Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • “Wear the old coat and buy the new book.” –Austin Phelps⁠
  • “The best books… are those that tell you what you know already.” –George Orwell⁠
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  • “I guess there are never enough books.” –John Steinbeck⁠
  • “In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.” –Mortimer J. Adler⁠
  • “Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.” –Anne Herbert⁠
  • “Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house.” –Henry Ward Beecher⁠
  • “I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson⁠
  • “Children know perfectly well that unicorns aren’t real, but they also know that books about unicorns, if they are good books, are true books.” –Ursula K. LeGuin⁠
  • “If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.” –Toni Morrison⁠
  • “A good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.” –Terry Pratchett⁠
  • “I owe everything I am and everything I will ever be to books.” –Gary Paulsen⁠
  • “Books should go where they will be most appreciated, and not sit unread, gathering dust on a forgotten shelf, don’t you agree?” –Christopher Paolini⁠

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  • “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” –Joseph Addison⁠
  • “Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.” –Henry David Thoreau⁠
  • “Show me a family of readers, and I will show you the people who move the world.” –Napoleon Bonaparte⁠
  • “Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” –Harper Lee⁠
  • “No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting.” –Mary Wortley Montagu⁠
  • “Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.” -Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray ⁠
  • “The very stone one kicks with one’s boot will outlast Shakespeare.” -Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse⁠
  • “After all, tomorrow is another day.” -Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind⁠
  • “Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.” -Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre⁠
  • “Perhaps no man could appreciate his own world until he had seen it from space.” -Arthur C. Clarke, A Fall of Moondust⁠
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  • “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” –Mary Oliver, The Summer Day⁠
  • “I’m choosing happiness over suffering. I know I am. I’m making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet-to-come surprises.” –Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
  • “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”⁠ -Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights
  • “But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?⁠ It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.”⁠ -William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
  • “We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.”⁠ -William Shakespeare, The Tempest⁠
  • “Not all those who wander are lost.”⁠ -J.R.R. Tolkein, The Lord of the Rings
  • “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”⁠ –H. Jackson Brown Jr., P.S. I Love You
  • “It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.⁠” –André Gide, Autumn Leaves⁠⁠
  • “There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.”⁠ –J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers⁠
  • “Who, being loved, is poor?”⁠ –Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance⁠
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  • “Get busy living, or get busy dying.”⁠ –Stephen King, Different Seasons
  • “The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.”⁠ –Chuck Palahniuk, Diary⁠⁠
  • “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 am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will, which I now exert to leave you.” —Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre⁠
  • “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” —Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities⁠
  • “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.” —Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird⁠
  • “The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.” ―John Green, Looking for Alaska⁠
  • “The same substance composes us — the tree overhead, the stone beneath us, the bird, the beast, the star — we are all one, all moving to the same end.” ―P.L. Travers, Mary Poppins
  • “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” —Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Join Our Email List

As a thank you, you’ll receive free printable reading journal templates and a bonus 100 book reading list!

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