While authors are often cursed with a myriad of problems (suffering for their art is mostly unavoidable), they're also intimidatingly talented folk, full of creativity and smarts.
This is mainly funnelled into their work but it's also blessed us with a selection of perfectly realised nuggets of life-improving wisdom.
Here are 30 of the very best:
(Images: Rex Features, Getty)
"An intellectual is a person who's found one thing that's more interesting than sex."
"Evil is always possible. Goodness is a difficulty."
"One of the delights known to age, and beyond the grasp of youth, is that of Not Going."
Bret Easton Ellis
"Life is like a typographical error: we're constantly writing and rewriting things over each other."
Daphne Du Maurier
"Women want love to be a novel, men a short story."
"Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts."
"If you love something set it free, but don't be surprised if it comes back with herpes."
"I think innocence is something that adults project upon children that's not really there."
"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut."
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
"It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams."
"Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't."
"Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it."
"No one knows anything, really. It's all rented, or borrowed."
J D Salinger
"All morons hate it when you call them a moron."
"Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion."
"You live your life today, Not tommorow, and certainly not yesterday."
"We may freak out globally, but we suffer locally."
"If people think nature is their friend, then they sure don't need an enemy."
"War is what happens when language fails."
"Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgment."
"Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life."
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."
"You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it."
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
"Just like those who are incurably ill, the aged know everything about their dying except exactly when."
"Most human beings are inescapably alone, and therein lies their tragedy."
"A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men."
"If you liked being a teenager, there's something really wrong with you."
"Literature and butterflies are the two sweetest passions known to man."
"What a man does defiles him, not what is done by others."