The Best Quotes After 7 Years Reading on Kindle
After so many books read in this period, these are the words that touched me the most.
When I first bought a Kindle, one of its functions promptly caught my attention. It is pretty mainstream nowadays, but it was groundbreaking for a person used to old-school reading.
It was highlighting.
Yes — the same thing we do here on Medium. You read a passage that for some reason resonates with you and mark it. After that, the device stores these specific words for a transient eternity.
Highlighting is not simply a way to accumulate quotes (even though it also does this), but it also hints at your emotions, desires, troubles, and interests. You and I can read the same book, but we will pay attention to different details, reach different conclusions, and focus on different chapters. We will even remember different events.
Thus, we will probably highlight different passages.
After 7 years possessing a Kindle, I recently re-read the passages I highlighted throughout this time. These are pieces of knowledge that ranged from fiction and non-fiction, intellectual quips and plain bullsh**.
If I re-read some book today, it is likely that I wouldn’t highlight the same quotes. This makes these highlights both insightful and nostalgic.
And without further delay, I present to you some sentences I gathered during these years as an e-reader.
I hope they move you the same way they moved me.
(…) he doubted if there could be any mental state more relentlessly cruel than the desiring of real meaning from circumstances that lacked useful or definitive answers. — A Slight Trick of the Mind by Mitch Cullin.
This was especially touching for someone who was suffering from a teenage post-breakup syndrome and was trying to fetch clues from a place where no mystery had occurred. Me, in this case.
Also, this book — A Slight Trick of the Mind by Mitch Cullin — was the first book I read on Kindle. I was in a shopping center, drinking a coffee alone, trying not to think of my ex-girlfriend, when I read this passage.
Talk about nostalgia.
All she felt was pity, and pity was death to desire. — A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3) by George R. R. Martin.
Teenage post-breakup syndrome, all right.
“Explain to me why it is more noble to kill ten thousand men in battle than a dozen at a dinner.” — A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3) by George R. R. Martin.
I couldn’t explain this — nor could the character.
“Who knows CPR?” asks the one who grabbed Hodges. A roadie with a long graying ponytail steps forward. He’s wearing a faded Judas Coyne tee-shirt, and his eyes are bright read. “I do, but man, I’m so stoned.” — Mr. Mercedes: A Novel by Stephen King.
I was a medical student at the time. This was tragically relatable.
It is the curse of age, that all things are reflections of other things. — Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman.
No matter what we do in life: the first time is always the best.
And as we age, we do fewer and fewer things for the first time.
I realized this in a rather nerdy way, in my teenage years: playing World of Warcraft. Yes. Whenever I entered a region of that virtual world for the first time, it always looked fascinating and big.
But after a while, just like every other region in the game, it became monotonous. I already knew what to expect. It was still fun, all right, but never as fun as the first time. I already knew the NPCs, the quests, and the monsters.
Talk about an unusual metaphor for aging.
‘Of course they do. There’s never been a true war that wasn’t fought between two sets of people who were certain they were in the right. The really dangerous people believe that they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do. And that is what makes them dangerous.’ — American Gods by Neil Gaiman.
A classical case of understanding our world through events that never happened.
At the same time he had begun to understand the great principle that moved the universe, at least that part of the universe which had to do with careers and success: you found the crazy guy who was running around inside of you, fucking up with your life. You chased him into a corner and grabbed him. But you didn’t kill him. Oh no. Killing was too good for the likes of that little bastard. You put a harness over his head and then started plowing. The crazy guy worked like a demon once you had him in the traces. — It by Stephen King.
This was one of the most precious pieces of advice about productivity I have ever received. Curiously, out of a coming-of-age book about a shape-shifting demon-clown from outer space.
Thirty — the promise of a decade of loneliness, a thinning list of single men to know, a thinning brief-case of enthusiasm, thinning hair. — The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
In contrast with A Slight Trick of the Mind, The Great Gatsby is a book I read recently. And oh, boy, what a book.
Being a twenty-six-year-old, I am still somewhat distant of experiencing the supposed devastation of the thirties. But the illustration was precise and hinted at — to me — the very purpose of fiction: to show how life truly is through events that never existed. Just like Neil Gaiman’s American Gods quote.
This is the great lesson the depressive learns: Nothing in the world is inherently compelling. — The Conspiracy against the Human Race: A Contrivance of Horror by Thomas Ligotti.
These were some of the most accurate words I have ever read about depression. You look at a full moon in the sky and you don’t confabulate about its magic, or about the wonders of Mother Nature, or about a love lived in the past.
You just feel nothing.
The full moon is nothing more than the neurological processing of an object captured by our optical apparatus.
Nothing in the word, not even a full moon, is inherently compelling when you are depressed.
Any major illness transforms a patient’s — really, an entire family’s life — life. But brain diseases have the additional strangeness of the esoteric. — When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi.
I read this book a few months after my grandmother, who lived with me at the time and raised me since I was seven, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
And this quote is pretty accurate.