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I have always been a reader; I...

I have always been a reader; I have read at every stage of my life and there has never been a time when reading was not my greatest joy. And yet I cannot pretend that the reading I have done in my adult years matches in its impact on my soul the reading I did as a child. I still believe in stories. I still forget myself when I am in the middle of a good book. Yet it is not the same.

73 quotes

There is something about words...

There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic.

73 quotes

A birth is not really a beginn...

A birth is not really a beginning. Our lives at the start are not really our own but only the continuation of someone else's story.

73 quotes

All children mythologise their...

All children mythologise their birth. It is a universal trait. You want to know someone? Heart, mind and soul? Ask him to tell you about when he was born. What you get won’t be the truth: it will be a story. And nothing is more telling than a story.

73 quotes

The doctor's wife wasn't a bad...

The doctor's wife wasn't a bad woman. She was sufficiently convinced of her own importance to believe that God actually did watch everything she did and listen to everything she said, and she was too taken up with rooting out the pride she was prone to feeling in her own holiness to notice any other failings she might have had. She was a do-gooder, which means that all the ill she did, she did without realizing it.

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When I was a child, books were...

When I was a child, books were everything. And so there is in me, always, a nostalgic, yearning for the lost pleasure of books. It is not a yearning that one ever expects to be fulfilled.

73 quotes

One needs no particular talent...

One needs no particular talent to be polite. On the contrary, being nice is what's left when you've failed at everything else.

73 quotes

Our lives are so important to ...

Our lives are so important to us that we tend to think the story of them begins with our birth. First there was nothing, then I was born...Yet that is not so. Human lives are not pieces of string that can be separated out from a knot of others and laid out straight. Families are webs. Impossible to touch one part of it without setting the rest vibrating. Impossible to understand one part without having a sense of the whole. - Vida Winter

73 quotes

All morning I struggled with t...

All morning I struggled with the sensation of stray wisps of one world seeping through the cracks of another. Do you know the feeling when you start reading a new book before the membrane of the last one has had time to close behind you? You leave the previous book with ideas and themes -- characters even -- caught in the fibers of your clothes, and when you open the new book, they are still with you.

73 quotes

I am human. Like all humans, I...

I am human. Like all humans, I do not remember my birth. By the time we wake up to ourselves, we are little children, and our advent is something that happened an eternity ago, at the beginning of time. We live like latecomers to the theater; we must catch up as best we can, divining the begging from the shape of later events. - Vida Winter

73 quotes

My gripe is not with lovers of...

My gripe is not with lovers of the truth but with truth herself. What succor, what consolation is there in truth, compared to a story? What good is truth, at midnight, in the dark, when the wind is roaring like a bear in the chimney? When the lightning strikes shadows on the bedroom wall and the rain taps at the window with its long fingernails? No. When fear and cold make a statue of you in your bed, don't expect hard-boned and fleshless truth to come running to your aid. What you need are the plump comforts of a stor

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But silence is not a natural e...

But silence is not a natural environment for stories. They need words. Without them they grown pale, sicken and die. And then they haunt you.

73 quotes

Like flies in amber, like corp...

Like flies in amber, like corpses frozen in in ice, that which according to the laws of nature should pass away is by the miracle of ink on paper, preserved. It is a kind of magic. As one tends the graves of the dead, so I tend the books. And every day I open a volume or two, read a few lines or pages, allow the voices of the forgotten dead to resonate inside my head.

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