Because by now Elinor had understood this, too: A longing for books was nothing compared with what you could feel for human beings. The books told you about that feeling. The books spoke of love, and it was wonderful to listen to them, but they were no substitute for love itself. They couldn't kiss her like Meggie, they couldn't hug her like Resa, they couldn't laugh like Mortimer. Poor books, poor Elinor.
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And there stood Basta with his foot already on another dead body, smiling. Why not? He had hit his target, and it was the target he had been aiming for all along: Dustfinger's heart, his stupid heart. It broke in two as he held Farid in his arms, it simply broke in two, although he had taken such good care of it all these years.
For him that stealeth, or borroweth and returneth not, this book from its owner, let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him. Let him be struck with palsy, and all his members blasted. Let him languish in pain, crying aloud for mercy, and let there be no surcease to this agony till he sing in dissolution. Let bookworms gnaw his entrails in token of the worm that dieth not, and when at last he goeth to his last punishment, let the flames of hell consume him for ever. Curse on book thieves, from the monastery of San Pedro, Barcelona, Spain
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The world was a terrible place, cruel, pitiless, dark as a bad dream. Not a good place to live. Only in books could you find pity, comfort, happiness - and love. Books loved anyone who opened them, they gave you security and friendship and didn't ask anything in return; they never went away, never, not even when you treated them badly.
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Look at your daughter, ' she whispered. 'As brave as... as.." She wanted to compare Meggie to a hero in some story but all the heroes she could think of were men, and anyway none of them seemed to her brave enough for comparison to the girl standing there, perfectly straight, scrutinizing Capricorn's Black Jackets, with her chin jutting out defiantly.
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If you take a book with you on a journey, " Mo had said when he put the first one in her box, "an odd thing happens: The book begins collecting your memories. And forever after you have only to open that book to be back where you first read it. It will all come into your mind with the very first words: the sights you saw in that place, what it smelled like, the ice cream you ate while you were reading it... yes, books are like flypaper-memories cling to the printed page better than anything else.
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There was another reason [she] took her books whenever they went away. They were her home when she was somewhere strange. They were familiar voices, friends that never quarreled with her, clever, powerful friends - daring and knowledgeable, tried and tested adventurers who had traveled far and wide. Her books cheered her up when she was sad and kept her from being bored.
So Mo began filling the silence with words. He lured them out of the pages as if they had only been waiting for his voice, words long and short, words sharp and soft, cooing, purring words. They danced through the room, painting stained glass pictures, tickling the skin. Even when Meggie nodded off she could still hear them, although Mo had closed the book long ago. Words that explained the world to her, its dark side and its light side, words that built a wall to keep out bad dreams. And not a single bad dream came over that wall for the rest of the night.
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Isn't it odd how much fatter a book gets when you've read it several times?" Mo had said... "As if something were left between the pages every time you read it. Feelings, thoughts, sounds, smells... and then, when you look at the book again many years later, you find yourself there, too, a slightly younger self, slightly different, as if the book had preserved you like a pressed flower... both strange and familiar.
He saw so many emotions mingled on her face: anger disappointment, fear - and defiance. Like her daughter, thought Fenoglio again. So uncompromising, so strong. Women were different, no doubt about it. Men broke so much more quickly. Grief didn't break women. Instead it wore them down, it hollowed them out, very slowly.
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What was this yearning, tearing at her insides like hunger and thirst? It couldn't be love. Love was warm and soft, like a bed of leaves. But this was dark, like the shade under a poisonous shrub, and it was hungry. So hungry. It must have some other name, just as there couldn't be the same word for life and death, or for moon and sun
Can't you imagine? Haven't you told her about the place enough?' He tried the handle again, as if that could change anything. Meggie had covered the whole door with quotations. They looked to him now like magic spells written on the white paint in childish hand. Take me to another world! Go on! I know you can do it. My father has shown me how. Odd that your heart didn't simply stop when it hurt so much.
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You know, it's a funny thing about writers. Most people don't stop to think of books being written by people much like themselves. They think that writers are all dead long ago-they don't expect to meet them in the street or out shopping. They know their stories but not their names, and certainly not their faces. And most writers like it that way.
Isn't it odd how much fatter a book gets when you've read it several times?... As if something were left between the pages every time you read it. Feelings, thoughts, sounds, smells... and then, when you look at the book again many years later, you find yourself there, too, a slightly younger self, slightly different, as if the book had preserved you like a pressed flower... both strange and familiar.
Elinor had read countless stories in which the main characters fell sick at some point because they were so unhappy. She had always thought that a very romantic idea, but she'd dismissed it as a pure invention of the world of books. All those wilting heroes and heroines who suddenly gave up the ghost just because of unrequited love or longing for something they'd lost! Elinor had always enjoyed their sufferings-as a reader will. After all, that was what you wanted from books: great emotions you'd never felt yourself, pain you could leave behind by closing the book if it got too bad. Death and destruction felt deliciously real conjured up with the right words, and you could leave them behind between the pages as you pleased, at no cost or risk to yourself.
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Unlike me, he realized that Dustfinger would do anything in return for such a promise. All he wants is to go back to his own world. He doesn't even stop to ask if his story there has a happy ending!" "Well, that's no different from real life, " remarked Elinor gloomily. "You never know if things will turn out well. Just now our own story looks like it's coming to a bad end.
He bent over Farid and wiped some soot from his cold forehead. "Roxanne knows it, " he said. "She'll tell it to you. Just go to her and... and tell her I've had to go away. Tell her I'm going to find out if the story is true." He spoke with a strange kind of hesitation, as if it were infinitely difficult to find the right words. "And remind her of my promise- that I'll always find a way back to her, wherever I am. Will you tell her that?
You'd like him back, too, wouldn't you?" It was difficult for her to turn her eyes away from Farid's face. "He'll never come back, " she whispered, and look at Dustfinger. She didn't have the strength to speak any louder. All her strength was gone, as if Farid had taken it away with him. He had taken everything away from him.
you can not fully read a book without being alone. But through this very solitude you become intimately involved with people whom you might never have met otherwise, either because they have been dead for centuries or because they spoke languages you cannot understand. And, nonetheless, they have become your closest friends, your wisest advisors, the wizards that hypnotize you, the lovers you have always dreamed of. -Antonio munoz molinas, "the power of the pen
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Isn't it odd how much fatter a book gets when you've read it several times?" Mo had said..."As if something were left between the pages every time you read it. Feelings, thoughts, sounds, smells...and then, when you look at the book again many years later, you find yourself there, too, a slightly younger self, slightly different, as if the book had preserved you like a pressed flower...both strange and familiar.
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I pledge to set out to live a thousand lives between printed pages. I pledge to use books as doors to other minds, old and young, girl and boy, man and animal. I pledge to use books to open windows to a thousand different worlds and to the thousand different faces of my own world. I pledge to use books to make my universe spread much wider than the world I live in every day. I pledge to treat my books like friends, visiting them all from time to time and keeping them close.
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Why could she remember nothing but stories of frightened people when Capricorn looked at her? She usually found it so easy to escape somewhere else, to get right inside the minds of people and animals who existed only on paper, so why not now? Because she was afraid. "Because fear kills everything," Mo had once told her. "Your mind, your heart, your imagination.
She always did like tales of adventure-stories full of brightness and darkness. She could tell you the names of all King Arthur's knights, and she knew everything about Beowulf and Grendel, the ancient gods and the not-quite-so-ancient heroes. She liked pirate stories, too, but most of all she loved books that had at least a knight or a dragon or a fairy in them. She was always on the dragon's side by the way.
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From the tower battlements, Dustfinger looked down on a lake as black as night, where the reflection of the castle swam in a sea of stars. The wind passing over his unscarred face was cold from the snow of the surrounding mountains, and Dustfinger relished life as if he were tasting it for the first time. The longing it brought, and the desire. All the bitterness, all the sweetness, even if it was only for a while, never for more than a while, everything gained and lost, lost and found again.
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I think we should sometimes read stories where everything's different from our world, don't you agree? There's nothing's like it for teaching us to wonder why trees are green and not red, and why we have five fingers rather than six.' --spoken by The Bluejay, aka Mo the Bookbinder, from 'Inkdeath
You know, it's a funny thing about writers. Most people don't stop to think of books being written by people much like themselves. They think that writers are all dead long ago--they don't expect to meet them in the street or out shopping. They know their stories but not their names, and certainly not their faces. And most writers like it that way.