“One must always be careful of books,” said Tessa, “and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”
― Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel
That quote always comes to mind when I’m in the midst of reading a book I’m especially enjoying. I’ve always thought about how much truth there is to it; ‘words have the power to change us’. They do. I’ve always believed that words hold great power in a very subtle way. They can harm, they can bring comfort, they can inspire, bring happiness, ignite love, cause sadness and grief, create great frustration, and feed the fire that is anger.
In retrospect to reading I’ve always seen this quote as my prime example of how there are books out there that can make you feel like you’ve found a piece of yourself in them. Those books we would have been worse off for never having decided to pick up. Those books that you turn the last page and feel as if something in yourself has lit up and brought you a sense of understanding you didn’t have before. Those books that will always hold a special place in your heart because they feel like an extension of you, in a way. Words do hold the power to change us. That is one of the things I love most about reading; finding those books. Finding quotes in those books that feel as if they’re directly speaking to me. I love the power of the written word and honestly I don’t know who I would be today if someone hadn’t put a book in my hand and encouraged me to read it.
It also brings to mind the idea of only needing to pay attention to a readers favorite books and quotes to gain an understanding of who they are. Who knows if it’s really true given that each reader pulls something different and entirely unique from every book they read but it’s a lovely thought.
It also makes me think of one of my personal favorite quotes;
“I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet’s, the writer’s, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. The poet’s voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.” – William Faulkner
What are some your favorite quotes or books you feel you would have been worse off having never read?