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These 25 pieces of great life advice from literature will make your day

There is such pleasure in finding the truths of life mirrored in literature or the answers to the questions you have been struggling with.

books Updated: Oct 20, 2017 08:55 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Books,Life advice,Literature
Books are the gift that keeps giving. (Shutterstock)

The stories we love best are also the stories that describe most closely the experiences we have lived through. There is such pleasure in finding the truths of life mirrored in literature or the answers to the questions you may have been struggling with. We’ve compiled 25 such wonderful sentences from books that make for great life advice.

If you expect to find people who will understand you, you will grow murderous with disappointment. The best you’ll ever do is to understand yourself, know what it is that you want, and not let the cattle stand in your way.

– Janet Fitch, White Oleander

Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.

– Neil Gaiman, Coraline

Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!

– Lewis Carroll, Alice Through the Looking Glass

Always remember that the crowd which applauds your coronation is the same crowd that will applaud your beheading. People like a show.

–Terry Pratchett, Going Postal

Well, I must endure the presence of a few caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies.

– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.

– Iain Thomas, I Wrote This For You

It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.

– JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Face your life, its pain, its pleasure, leave no path untaken.

– Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book

Love is never any better than the lover.

– Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

– Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom.

– Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

I’ve been making a list of the things they don’t teach you at school. They don’t teach you how to love somebody. They don’t teach you how to be famous. They don’t teach you how to be rich or how to be poor. They don’t teach you how to walk away from someone you don’t love any longer. They don’t teach you how to know what’s going on in someone else’s mind. They don’t teach you what to say to someone who’s dying. They don’t teach you anything worth knowing.

– Neil Gaiman, The Kindly Ones, The Sandman series

I am practicing being kind over being right.

– Matthew Quick, The Silver Linings Playbook

Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.

– Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

Even nothing cannot last forever.

– Neil Gaiman, American Gods

You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world...but you do have some say in who hurts you.

– John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

And here’s a bonus:

First Published: Oct 20, 2017 08:48 IST