“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” ― Charles William Eliot
What’s up guys?
People read for a whole load of different reasons; sometimes it’s to escape reality for a little bit, sometimes it’s to feel as though you’re not alone and sometimes it’s to help put your life into perspective. Whatever your reasons are for reading, I often find that books contain a whole host of words of wisdom that can be used in real life, if only one takes the time to follow the advice. I’ve gathered up just a few of these little nuggets of wisdom that I’ve found throughout the books I’ve read in my life.
1. “Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” — The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Little Prince is one of my favourite stories, because on a basic level it’s a nice story for children, but it also deals with a multitude of difficult concepts such as loneliness, the nature of friendship and human relationships, loss, love and more. Here the character of the Fox is explaining to the titular Prince that what is on the surface is far less important than what lies beneath.
2. “A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” – The Twits, Roald Dahl.
Just as the Fox says in The Little Prince, true beauty comes from within. Always think good thoughts and you will never be ugly, at least not in any way that matters.
3. “Here’s some advice. Stay alive.” — The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins.
A basic piece of advice but a good one. instead of worrying about the little things just focus on the fact that you are alive. In the end sometimes just surviving the day can be an accomplishment.
4. “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one, just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”
—The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald.
I know this is supposed to be an ironic statement, but I think this is actually a good piece of advice when take it at its most basic level. It’s important to remember that everyone has experienced life differently to you, and that you should never judge someone just because they’re different. Which brings me perfectly to my next quote…
5. “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
—To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee.
People are always quick to judge, but rarely take the time to consider things from someone else’s perspective. The world would be a much better place if people took the time to (figuratively) walk around in a person’s skin before making assumptions.
6. “Live in the present, remember the past, and fear not the future, for it doesn’t exist and never shall. There is only now.” — Eldest, Christopher Paolini.
Whilst this is fantasy story about elves and dragons and magic, this advice is as true in the real world as it is in the fictional land of Alagaesia. Too many people let life pass them by as they insist on looking back in to the past or worrying about the future.
7. “The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.” ―Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie.
Belief in yourself or in others can go a long way. Nobody ever achieved anything by doubting themselves.
8. “It does not do well to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.”—Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J.K. Rowling.
Come on, there was no way I could not include at least one Harry Potter quote (even though I’ve already done a whole post on advice from the series). For real though, this is some pretty sound advice from JK!
9. “This above all: to thine ownself be true.” – Hamlet, William Shakespeare.
Good old Will, always coming up with gems like this! At the end of the day, the only person who needs to be happy with who you are is yourself.
This is a very small selection of some of the things I have learned from books in my relatively small lifetime. I try to follow all of these pieces of advice, amongst others, and while it can sometimes be a struggle, I know that it makes me a better person. If I’ve missed any that you think are important, let me know!
Until next time,