The moment you stop to think about whether you love someone, you’ve already stopped loving that person forever.
One loves truly only once in a lifetime, Julian, even if one isn’t aware of it.
Most of us have the good or bad fortune of seeing our lives fall apart so slowly we barely notice.
There are no second chances in life, except to feel remorse.
that as long as we are being remembered, we remain alive.
One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn’t have to understand something to feel it. By the time the mind is able to comprehend what has happened, the wounds of the heart are already too deep.
People talk too much. Humans aren’t descended from monkeys. They come from parrots.
Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you.
There are few reasons for telling the truth, but for lying the number is infinite.
We are willing to believe anything other than the truth.
Evil presupposes a moral decision, intention, and some forethought. A moran or a lout, howeverm doesn’t stop to think or reason.
Cada vez que un libro cambia de manos, cada vez que alguien desliza la mirada por sus páginas, su espíritu crece y se hace fuerte. (Sempere)
If there is a god, or hundreds of them, I hope they will forgive me for the harm I may have inflicted on you by telling you exactly what happened.
Making money isn’t hard in itself,what’s hard is to earn it doing something worth devoting your life to
Time has taught me not to lose hope, yet not to trust too much in hope either.
I couldn’t help thinking that if I, by pure chance, had found a whole universe in a single unknown book, buried in that endless necropolis, tens of thousands more would remain unexplored, forgotten forever.
Remember me, even if it’s only in a corner and secretly. Don’t let me go.
I can’t die yet, doctor. Not yet. I have things to do. Afterwords I’ll have a whole lifetime in which to die.
A story is a letter that the author writes to himself, to tell himself things that he would be unable to discover otherwise.
If you really want to possess a woman, you must think like her, and the first thing to do is win over her soul. The rest, that sweet, soft wrapping that steals away your senses and your virtue, is a bonus.
Senor Sempere believed that God lives, to a smaller or greater extent, in books, and that is why he devoted his life to sharing them, to protecting them, and to making sure their pages, like our memories and our desires, are never lost.
People tend to complicate their own lives, as if living weren’t already complicated enough.
Time goes faster the more hollow it is. Lives with no meaning go straight past you, like trains that don’t stop at your station.
They had parted as boys, and now life presented one of them with a fugitive and the other with a dying man. Both wondered whether this was due to the cards they’d been dealt or to the way they had played them.
Max had once read in one of his father’s books that some childhood images become engraved in the mind like photographs, like scenes you can return to again and again and will always remember, no matter how much time goes by.
In the shop we buy and sell them, but in truth books have no owner. Every book you see here has been somebody’s best friend.
I was raised among books, making invisible friends in pages that seemed cast from dust and whose smell I carry on my hands to this day.
Some like to believe it’s the book that chooses the person.
I still remember the day my father took me to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books for the first time.
Books hold no passports. There’s only one true literary tradition: the human.
To Senor Sempere, the best friend a book could ever have: you opened the doors to the world for me and showed me how to go through them.
Ignatius B. Samson, welcome to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books.
I was no longer able to hear the music that issues from a decent piece of prose.
Aryami Bose’s home had been closed up for years, inhabited only by books and paintings, but the spectre of thousands of memories imprisoned between its walls still permeated the house.
… Few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds its way into his heart. Those first images, the echo of words we think have left behind, accompany us throughout our lives and sculpt a palace in our memory
Don’t be afraid of being scared. To be afraid is a sign of common sense. Only complete idiots are not afraid of anything.
I don’t suppose you have many friends. Neither do I. I don’t trust people who say they have a lot of friends. It’s a sure sign that they don’t really know anyone.
nations never see themselves clearly in the mirror, much less when war preys on their minds
Every book has a soul, the soul of the person who wrote it and the soul of those who read it and dream about it.
He was rather clumsy and shy and looked as if he’d spent the last ten years of his life locked up in a library – hardly the kind of man any girl your age dreams of …
Keep your dreams, you will never know when you need them
The day I die, all that was once mine will be yours, Julián, he would say. Except my dreams.
Martin, at my age, eroticism is reduced to enjoying caramel custard and looking at widows’ necks.
Never trust girls who let themselves be touched right away. But even less those who need a priest for approval.
Nobody knows much about women, not even Freud, not even women themselves. But it’s like electricity: you don’t need to know how it works to get a shock on the fingers.
I discovered that seventeen-year-old girls have such huge verbal energy that their brain drives them to expend it every twenty seconds. On the third day I decided I had to find her a boyfriend — if possible, a deaf one.
Every piece of that marvelous world was a silent tear.
Paris is the only city in the world where starving to death is still considered an art.
Few things leave a deeper mark on the reader, than the first book that finds its way to his heart.
I had never known the pleasure of reading, of exploring the recesses of the soul, of letting myself be carried away by imagination, beauty, and the mystery of fiction and language. For me all those things were born with that novel.
future could be read much more clearly in the streets, factories, and barracks than in the morning press.
I’ve always said that idleness dulls the spirit. We have to keep the brain busy, or at least the hands if we don’t have a brain.
Making money isn’t hard in itself,’ he complained. ‘What’s hard is to earn it doing something worth devoting one’s life to.
He was waiting for me at the best table in the room, toying with a glass of white wine and listening to the pianist who was playing a piece by Granados with velvet fingers.
Making money isn’t hard in itself… What’s hard is to earn it doing something worth devoting one’s life to.
-Do you think it’s dirty money?-All money is dirty. If it were clean nobody would want it.
I imagine some people, like some toys, are born defective – which I suppose makes us all broken toys, don’t you think?
Julian spoke with the clear, unequivocal lucidity of madmen who have escaped the hypocrisy of having to abide by a reality that makes no sense.
It is impossible to survive in a prolonged state of reality.
Now, back in the reality that always lies in wait among the shadows of the Ensanche quarter, the enchantment was lifting, and all I had was painful desire and an indescribable restlessness.
You don’t look well,” he pronounced.”Indigestion,” I replied.”From what?””Reality.””Join the queue.
You don’t know what thirst is until you drink for the first time.
If you don’t trust a novelist, who are you going to trust?
Destiny is usually just around the corner. Like a thief, a hooker, or a lottery vendor: its three most common personifications. But what destiny does not do is home visits. You have to go for it.
Destiny doesn’t do home visits… you have to go for it yourself.
Destiny is usually around the corner. Like a thief, like a hooker, or a lottery vendor: its three most common personifications. But what destiny does not do is home visits. You have to go for it
In my schoolboy reveries, we were always two fugitives riding on the spine of a book, eager to escape into worlds of fiction and secondhand dreams.
The words with which a child’s heart is poisoned, whether through malice or through ignorance, remain branded in his memory, and sooner or later they burn his soul.
Jacinta never told Penelope that she loved her. The nurse knew that those who really love, love in silence, with deeds and not with words.
He lost himself in the words and images conjured in his mind and for a while forgot … He found himself flying among stars and planets …
Never trust anyone, Daniel, especially the people you admire. Those are the ones who will make you suffer the worst blows.
I wandered off, walking through streets that seemed emptier than ever, thinking that if I didn’t stop, if I kept on walking, I wouldn’t notice that the world I thought I knew was no longer there.
1I smiled bitterly, a defeated man pitifully begging a God in whom he had never trusted.
He would have liked to know that somebody wanted to keep him alive, that someone remembered him. He used to say that we exist as long as somebody remembers us.
as long as we are being remembered, we remain alive
Every self-respecting act of persuasion must find appeal to curiosity, then to vanity, and lastly to kindness or remorse. Isabella looked down and slowly nodded.
Over time, loneliness gets inside you and doesn’t go away.
Delving into the past had unveiled a cruel lesson – that in the book of life it is perhaps best not to turn back pages; it was a path on which, whatever direction we took, we’d never be able to choose our own destiny.
People tend to complicate their own lives, as if living isn’t complicated enough
Never trust anyone Daniel, especially the people you admire
In small towns, news travels at the speed of boredom.
Ben invented mathematical theories that even he didn’t manage to remember and wrote such bizarre tales of adventure that he ended up destroying them a week after they were finished, embarrassed at the thought that he had penned them.
Man is a moral animal abandoned in an amoral universe and condemned to a finite existence with no other prupose than to perpetuate the natural cycle of the species.
I could tell you it’s the heart, but what is really killing him is loneliness. Memories are worse than bullets.
Now he knew that any memories he might cherish during the last years of his life would be only fictions from a biography he’d never lived.
I handed the photo back to her. The caretaker gazed at it as if it were a lucky charm, a return ticket to her youth.
Sometimes memories follow you wherever you go-you don’t need to take them with you.
The city was asleep, and the bookshop felt like a boat adrift in a sea of silence and shadows.
The day I charge an unbeliever like you for the word of God will be the day I’m struck dead by lightning, and with good reason.
Justice is an affectation of perspective, not a universal value.
And as he watched them walk out of the orphanage, Thomas Carter would think of their lives as the blank pages of a book in which he had written the initial chapters of a story he would never be allowed to finish.
[He] was a brilliant man. People tend to become wary of individuals like him because their brilliance reminds them of their own mediocrity. Envy is a blind man who wants to pull out your eyes.
Everything in life is nonsense. It’s just a question of perspective.
I started off for home, where I planned to recruit a good book and hide away from the world.
[H]e lay awake, dreading the dawn when he would have to say good-bye to the small universe he had built for himself over the years.
You young people never say anything. And us old folks don’t know how to stop talking.
I guessed she must be, at most, twenty, but there was something about her manner that made me think she could be ageless. She seemed trapped in that state of perpetual youth reserved for mannequins in shop windows.
A young man is the perfect soldier. He has great potential for aggression and a limited critical capacity – or none at all – with which to analyze it and judge how to channel it.
Youth is like a fickle girlfriend. We can’t understand or value her until she goes off with someone else, never to return.
In those days I learned that nothing is more frightening than a hero who lives to tell his story, to tell what all those who fell at his side will never be able to tell.
I would have preferred someone else to have been in charge of rescuing this story, but once again life has taught me that my role is to be a witness, not the leading actor.
In the haunted shade of the Ateneo, her hands wrote a curse on my skin that was to hound me for years.
Whoever said that childhood is the happiest time of your life is a liar, or a fool.
I’ve learnt that solitude is sometimes a path that leads to peace
Life has enough torturers as it is, without you going around moonlighting as a Grand Inquisitor against yourself.
As he took them in his arms, the crying of the babies permeated the night like a trail of blood calling out to a predator.
And here I was thinking you were a bit slow, what with so much asking and not knowing anything.
You talk as if Bea were a trophy.”No, as if she were a blessing,’ Fermin corrected.
A secret’s worth depends on the people from whom it must be kept.
All business opportunities stem from someone else’s inability to resolve a simple and inevitable problem.
Our world will not die as the result of the bomb, as the papers say, it will die of laughter, of banality, or making a joke of everything, and a lousy joke at that.
God gives us life, but the world’s landlord is the devil….
All I know is that once Julián told the kids in the building that he had a sister only he could see. He said she came out of mirrors as if she were made of thin air and that she lived with Satan himself in a palace at the bottom of a lake.
But I couldn’t absorb the idea that death could actually walk by my side, with a human face and a heart that was poisoned with hatred.
… And what am I to do?””Well, that depends. Do you like the girl?””Like her? I don’t know. How do you know if…?””It’s very simple. Do you look at her furtively and feel like biting her?””Biting her?””On her backside, for example.
Human beings believe just as they breathe – in order to survive.
Its impossible to initiate a rational dialogue with some one about beliefs and concepts if he has not acquired them through reason. It doesn’t matter whether we are looking at God, race, or national pride.
A Gentleman’s agreement cannot be broken without breaking the person who has entered into it.
The only way you can truly get to know an author is through the trail of ink he leaves behind him. The person you think you see is only an empty character: truth is always hidden in fiction.
We spend a good part of our lives dreaming, especially when we’re awake.
This cures everything except stupidity, which is an epidemic on the rise.
Presents are made for the pleasure of who gives them, not the merits of who receives them.
The same thing that had happened with the flowers was happening with my longing: once I held it in my hands, I didn’t know where to put it.
1My father says a hunch is your brain’s way of taking a short cut to the truth,’ replied Max.‘He’s a wise man, your father. What else does he say?’‘That the more you try to hide from the truth, the quicker it finds you.
Inspiration comes when you stick your elbows on the table, your bottom on the chair and you start sweating. Choose a theme, an idea, and squeeze your brain until it hurts. That’s called inspiration.
You don’t win a game by hitting the ball out of the court.
I believe that nothing happens by chance. Deep down, things have their secret plan, even though we don’t understand it.
Everyone wanted to see [him] fall so they could devour his remains. As is usually the case, the army of sycophants had turned into a horde of hungry hyenas
He let the hours go by lost in the magic of words, shedding his skin and his name, feeling like another person. He allowed himself to be carried away by the dreams of shadowy characters, the only refuge left for him.
– Boys my age are boring. They have nothing to say and half of them seem like complete idiots.I was going to say that they didn’t improve with age but didn’t want to spoil her illusions.
Her tiny and organized handwriting reminded me of the tidiness of her desk, as if she’d wanted to find in words the peace and safety that life hadn’t wanted to grant her.