One of the best things about love quotes from books is that writers so well articulate the experience of being in love that you start to fall in love a little—whether or not you are actually in a relationship! They make you nostalgic, they make you swoon, and they make you yearn. What I have assembled below are some of the best literary quotes about love. These are—to me—the best love quotes from books, whether the books are of poetry, individual poems, novels, or even nonfiction.
The Marquis dusted off the Italian theorbo. He restrung it, tuned it with a perseverance that could be understood only as love, and once again accompanied the songs of the past, sung with the good voice and bad ear that neither years no troubled memories had changed. This was when she asked him whether it was true that love conquered all, as the songs said.
“It is true,” he replied, “but you would do well not to believe it.”
—Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel García Márquez
I was afraid to look into the warm brownness of his eyes, I was afraid I would swoon, that I would throw my hands around him and lace my fingers together behind his neck and refuse to let go. I turned.
—Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Physical attraction? Not a real thing. If, at thirty-six years old, I’m sitting over here talking about chiseled abs and perfect teeth, then I am undeserving of genuine romantic love.
—We are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby
This singing she heard that had nothing to do with her ears. The rose of the world was breathing out smell. It followed her through all her waking moments and caressed her in her sleep. It connected itself with other vaguely felt matters that had struck her outside observation and buried themselves in her flesh. Now they emerged and quested about her consciousness.
—Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
I was able to squirrel away 4,213 of Fusun’s cigarette butts. Each one of these had touched her rosy lips and entered her mouth, some even touching her tongue and becoming moist, as I would discover when I put my finger on the filter soon after she had stubbed the cigarette out; the stubs, reddened by her lovely lipstick, bore the unique impress of her lips at some moment whose memory was laden with anguish or bliss, making these stubs artifacts of singular intimacy.
—The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk
Other people seemed to turn up their volume when Sula was in the room. More than any other thing, humor returned. She could listen to the crunch of sugar underfoot that the children had spilled without reaching for the switch; and she forgot the tear in the living-room window shade. Even Nel’s love for Jude, which over the years had spun a steady gray web around her heart, became a bright and easy affection, a playfulness that was reflected in their lovemaking.
—Sula by Toni Morrison
If love be rough with you, be rough with love. Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down.
—Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Now and then my heart wanders off like a tomcat. It comes back later, it always comes back, who am I kidding? I don’t control it. I may control it. I really don’t know.
—My Pet Heart by Emily Hipchen
For the first eighteen years we were together, I’d give Hugh chocolates for Valentine’s Day, and he’d give me a carton of cigarettes. Both of us got exactly what we wanted, and it couldn’t have been easier. Then I quit smoking and decided that in place of cigarettes I needed, say, an eighteenth-century scientific model of the human throat. It was life-size, about four inches long, and, because it was old, handmade, and designed to be taken apart for study, it cost quite a bit of money. “When did Valentine’s Day turn into this?” Hugh asked when I told him that he had to buy it for me…“Eventually, we’ll celebrate by spaying a few dozen kittens,” I said, “but until that day comes, I want that throat.”
—Understanding Owls by David Sedaris
“Do you want to untie the ribbon?” I ask him. “After these many years, is that what you want of me?”
—Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
He was too young to know that the heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and that thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past.
—Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez Read more