I live for the moments when I first discover perfectly well-crafted statements that speak of an unacknowledged truth that my heart so deeply longed for and then wished that it had said it first. But more importantly, I live for that moment when I am so awed by its beauty. And though there’s a tinge of regret that I wasn’t the first one to put it out in the world, I am so glad and grateful that I came across it.

So, I decided to make a list of one line from each quote-worthy book I read in 2020, at which I gasped, paused, and contemplated. Some of which came out of the blue but seemed familiar when pondered over. Some so simple and yet were forgotten most times, served as much-needed-reminders. Some I grew into, and some grew into me.

“Giving is the way we also learn how to receive.”

from All About Love by bell hooks

“Seeking solitude, only to find in it the value of companionship.”

from Latitudes of Longing by Shubhangi Swarup

“Hearts, like flowers, cannot be rudely handled, but must open naturally.”

from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

“Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting — over and over announcing your place in the family of things.”

from Dream Work by Mary Oliver

“No one is ever satisfied where he is.”

from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“Her laughter is her empire.”

from Love Without a Story by Arundhathi Subramaniam

“That’s what careless words do. They make people love you a little less.”

from The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

“War doesn’t negate decency. It demands it, even more than in times of peace.”

from The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini

“Asking questions is embarrassing for a moment, but not asking’s embarrassing for a lifetime.”

from Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

“The questions are always more important than the answers.”

from The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

“I will die, yes, but not today.”

from Everything happens for a reason – and other lies I’ve loved by Kate Bowler

“All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.”

from Animal Farm by George Orwell

“I am not alone because I feel alone.”

from Depression & Other Magic Tricks by Sabrina Benaim

“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”

from The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

“No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.”

from The Prophet by Khalil Gibran

Arundhati Roy’s Booker Prize Winner, The God of Small Things tells us what makes a story great (which feels like a dream), and I often find myself drooling over those impeccable words.And which would possibly justify in some way as to why I like clinging onto great stories (or words).

“…the secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don’t deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen. They are as familiar as the house you live in. Or the smell of your lover’s skin. You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don’t. In the way that although you know that one day you will die, you live as though you won’t. In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn’t. And yet you want to know again.

That is their mystery and their magic.”

For these great words are the ones I have heard and want to hear again and again and again. And I wish for more such words to always find their way to me.

Tell us about the lines you clung to in 2020 in the comments below.

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