Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Bookish Quotations

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.


Oh my!

Book quotes! There are just so many to choose from! I love me a quotation and – yes – I am that sort of person who will pepper their speech with quotations and allusions and references which really annoy a lot of people. And I do love those books which do the same thing. Reading Kate Atkinson’s Transcription at the moment – and all of Atkinson is so deliciously literary – I love Juliet’s damnation of Perry that

Any romantic notions she may have been fostering had been entirely numbed by cold and hunger. He was currently expounding on the regurgitating habits of owls. ‘Fur and bone of voles and mice,’ he said, and she thought of the witches in Macbeth and she laughed and responded with, ‘Eye of newt and toe of frog.’

‘Well, yes,’ he said, perplexed by the allusion. ‘Frogs – and rats – are occasionally found in their pellets. Shrews are common. You can identify the different species by their jawbones.’ He had no Shakespeare, she realized.


So let’s begin this list with the impossible task of reducing Shakespeare to his top ten quotes. And to make it harder, I am going to limit myself to quotations of no more than a line – evocative and potent, even when out of context, rather than literary references.

Rather than just a list, though, I thought I’d do it as a poll – to be honest just to play with different block on the blog! But please do make my day and click for your favourite!

And the joy of Shakespeare – one of so many joys! – is how he can be used in so many different contexts which he could never have anticipated. Like covid. Clearly prophesied in Macbeth!

Moving on to just an utterly self-indulgent survey of lovely bookish quotes, let’s consider one of my favourite and intimidatingly intelligent writers about writing,..

Umberto Eco

Quotes about libraries

And finally just a quick round up of lovely bookish ideas and quotes


October 6: Book Covers with Fall Colors/Vibes (or spring if you live in the southern hemisphere)
October 13: Super Long Book Titles
October 20: Books I Read Because Someone Recommended Them to Me (tell us who recommended them, if you want!)
October 27: Halloween Freebie

Again, a David Mitchell book is an event, and a thing of beauty! But the music industry is not my natural setting and again I was caught between this and another book – Daisy Jones and the Six in this case – and Daisy Jones was read first. This time, because it was nominated on a book club I was part of.

Bonus: The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch

They say that the Thorn of Camorr can beat anyone in a fight. They say he steals from the rich and gives to the poor. They say he’s part man, part myth, and mostly street-corner rumor. And they are wrong on every count.

Only averagely tall, slender, and god-awful with a sword, Locke Lamora is the fabled Thorn, and the greatest weapons at his disposal are his wit and cunning. He steals from the rich – they’re the only ones worth stealing from – but the poor can go steal for themselves. What Locke cons, wheedles and tricks into his possession is strictly for him and his band of fellow con-artists and thieves: the Gentleman Bastards.

This one has been on my TBR for years. Literally years. I have heard nothing but praise for it, but so far have never quite got around to reading it! Go figure!

So, there we go: a range of books that I got in 2020 – save for the Scott Lynch – and do regret not reading during the year. Is regret the right word? Probably not to be honest: I do not regret the reading that I did do last year at all. But these are books that I would like to find time to catch up with this year – before prize season hits us again!

Pop in the comments below your thoughts on these – maybe let me know which I should read first!

23 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Bookish Quotations”

  1. I need to re-read The Name of the Rose. The first time I read it was for a political philosophy class and was bored out of my mind, so I think I need to give it another chance. Great list!!

    Liked by 1 person

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