In the book v. e-reader debate, a clear benefit to e-readers is the ability to annotate easily. And I’m an avid annotator of sentences and passages I like. (My workaround for reading books is to snap a photo of the page and then save the screenshot to Evernote – which converts it to readable and searchable text.)
I save sentences for any number of reasons. Maybe the meaning was significant to me, or the style, or a metaphor. Maybe it was particularly funny, witty, poignant, dark, wry. Sometimes I’ll go back through and stumble across a sentence and I’m not sure why I saved it. Was it a note to my future self? It’s a mystery…
Well, anyway. Good sentences should be shared. Here’s a smattering:
Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Joan Didion:
…but one of the mixed blessings of being twenty and twenty-one and even twenty-three is the conviction that nothing like this, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding, has ever happened to anyone before.
The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing, Melissa Bank:
They were clasping fingertips, ladylike, smiling as though they were already fond of each other and just waiting for details to fill in why.
Special Topics in Calamity Physics, Marisha Pessl:
Some people, every now and then, simply had to have One Too Many, go drifty voiced and slouch mouthed, swimming willfully around in their own sadness as if it were hot springs.
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers:
Girls were scared a man would come out from somewhere and put his teapot in them like they was married.
The Savage Detectives, Roberto Bolaño:
In a brief moment of lucidity, I was sure that we’d all gone crazy. But then that moment of lucidity was displaced by a supersecond of superlucidity (if I can put it that way), in which I realized that this scene was the logical outcome of our ridiculous lives. It wasn’t a punishment but a new wrinkle.
A Coffin for Dimitrios, Eric Ambler:
His eyes smarted, his mouth was dry and he yawned repeatedly, but his brain was working with the feverish clarity induced by too much strong coffee; the sort of clarity which makes sense of nonsense. He would, he knew, have a sleepless night. The circles of thought would become wider and wider, and more ridiculous and more ridiculous until he got up and drank a glass of water. Then, he would listen for a time to the blood beating in his head and the process would begin again.