Life is hard. Whatever challenges you're currently facing, there's no getting around the fact we all need some help sometimes. Many of us are lucky enough to turn to loved ones, partners, friends, family and colleagues. But there's a great deal of wisdom to be found in literature.
So to help you through the perilous vortex of everyday life, with its confusing decisions, moral dilemmas and social quandaries, we've created this list of the most amazing pieces of wisdom from famous novels.
We've included gems of insight, words of advice and powerful meditations that we think could put a smile on your face, make you feel profoundly moved or at least give you a little glimmer of hope.
While we've already explored the fountain of wisdom which exists in the world of film, it's time to scour the library for some inspirational advice from some of the greatest literary minds who have ever lived.
- Once you're done with these 50 free slices of wisdom, check out the best free books you can snag for your e-reader
"You know what charm is: a way of getting the answer yes without having asked any clear question."
"Love is or it ain't. Thin love ain't love at all."
"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship."
Louisa May Alcott
"It is the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting."
The Hate U Give
"What's the point of having a voice if you're gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn't be?"
The Round House
"Now that I knew fear, I also knew it was not permanent. As powerful as it was, its grip on me would loosen. It would pass."
Murder At The Vicarage
"The young people think the old people are fools -- but the old people know the young people are fools."
"Never think of pain or danger or enemies a moment longer than is necessary to fight them."
The Rules Of Attraction
"No one will ever know anyone. We just have to deal with each other."
Bret Easton Ellis
"We need never be ashamed of our tears."
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
"You should never, never doubt something that no one is sure of."
Things Fall Apart
"A proud heart can survive a general failure because such a failure does not prick its pride."
The Bell Jar
"If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed."
"You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget."
"Never leave a friend behind. Friends are all we have to get us through this life--and they are the only things from this world that we could hope to see in the next."
The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket & Related Tales
"Sensations are the great things, after all. Should you ever be drowned or hung, be sure and make a note of your sensations; they will be worth to you ten guineas a sheet."
Edgar Allan Poe
Fear Of Flying
"Show me a woman who doesn't feel guilty and I'll show you a man."
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
"Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional."
"When its gone, you'll know what a gift love was. You'll suffer like this. So go back and fight to keep it."
"By definition, you have to live until you die. Better to make that life as complete and enjoyable an experience as possible, in case death is shite, which I suspect it will be."
The Fellowship of the Ring
"Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens."
"The essential matrimonial facts: that to be happy you have to find variety in repetition; that to go forward you have to come back to where you begin."
"Doubt is faith's shadow."
Nothing To Lose
"A person less fortunate than yourself deserves the best you can give. Because of duty, and honor, and service."
War and Peace
"We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom."
House of Meetings
"Closure is a greasy little word which, moreover, describes a nonexistent condition. The truth, Venus, is that nobody gets over anything."
Brave New World
"Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth."
The Lost World
"All your life people will tell you things. And most of the time, probably ninety-five percent of the time, what they'll tell you will be wrong."
"It's no good pretending that any relationship has a future if your record collections disagree violently or if your favorite films wouldn't even speak to each other if they met at a party."
"No one forgets the truth; they just get better at lying."
The Catcher In The Rye
"All you have to do is say something nobody understands and they'll do practically anything you want them to."
"There is no trap so deadly as the trap you set for yourself."
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
"Love was that moment when your heart was about to burst."
Clear and Present Danger
"Words are important. Your word is the most important of all. Your word is who you are."
Breakfast at Tiffany's
"Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself."
"The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open."
"The more you love a memory the stronger and stranger it becomes."
To Kill A Mockingbird
"People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for."
The Moon and the Sixpence
"As lovers, the difference between men and women is that women can love all day long, but men only at times."
W. Somerset Maugham
The Sound and the Fury
"It's not when you realise that nothing can help you - religion, pride, anything - it's when you realise that you don't need any aid."
On The Road
“The best teacher is experience and not through someone's distorted point of view”
The Killer Inside Me
"There are things that have to be forgotten if you want to go on living."
The Secret History
“Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it.”
The Rum Diary
"A man can live on his wits and his balls for only so long."
Hunter S Thompson
“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”
The White Lioness
"Not having time for a person, not being able to sit in silence together with somebody, that's the same as rejecting them, as being scornful about them."
The Human Stain
"Because that is when you love somebody - when you see them being game in the face of the worst. Not courageous. Not heroic. Just game."
Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha
"It was a sign of growing up, when the dark made no more difference to you than the day."
"Surround yourself with human beings, my dear James. They are easier to fight for than principles."
By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept
“Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering.”
"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be."
The Old Man And The Sea
"Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready."
"You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative."
"You may be poor, but the one thing nobody can take away from you is the freedom to fuck up your life whatever way you want to."
The Blind Assassin
"The best way of keeping a secret is to pretend there isn't one."