Since getting my Kindle in February 2009 I’ve discovered the joys of highlighting passages in novels that delight or move me.
I have to admit that my rather shallow reading tastes are reflected in which passages I most often choose to highlight. I usually highlight something because it made me laugh out loud, or at least grin a little bit. Though occasionally I do select something because it’s beautifully worded or profound to me in some way.
In the last three years I’ve collected quite an assortment of quotations which talk about books, usually with reverence, though occasionally just the opposite. I’d been thinking for a while of starting to post some of my highlights on the blog, so what better place to start than with selections from books that talk about books.
My first offering is from The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, in which the protagonist is the daughter of a used and rare bookshop owner:
The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel (Diane Setterfield)
– Highlight Loc. 278-83 | Added on Tuesday, May 03, 2011, 02:30 AM
People disappear when they die. Their voice, their laughter, the warmth
of their breath. Their flesh. Eventually their bones. All living memory of
them ceases. This is both dreadful and natural. Yet for some there is an
exception to this annihilation. For in the books they write they continue
to exist. We can rediscover them. Their humor, their tone of voice, their
moods. Through the written word they can anger you or make you happy.
They can comfort you. They can perplex you. They can alter you. All this,
even though they are dead. Like flies in amber, like corpses frozen 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.